Archive for the ‘telehealth’ Category

More Doctors Using Telehealth Solutions

28 Dec

In these challenging times in healthcare, physicians and policymakers alike are looking for ways to streamline the way they deliver care. So-called “telehealth” is having a major impact on multiple fronts: health outcomes in patients, financial health of medical practices, and even potentially the environment when considering less travel time to doctors’ offices.

One way virtual doctor visits can save lives and improve care is with the growing elderly population who often have difficulty going to and from appointments.

“We do a lot of chronic disease management in primary care, which is where telehealth is the most valuable to me,” said Ronald Dixon, a practicing general internist and director of the Center for Integration of Medicine and Innovative Technology in Boston.

A 2010 survey by Intel found that an overwhelming majority of health care decision makers – 89 percent – believe telehealth will transform health care over the next decade. The survey found that about two-thirds of all physicians currently use telehealth solutions, with 87 percent of those being happy with results. Among those healthcare providers not currently using telehealth solutions, 50 percent say they will by next year.

Many third party payers, including Medicare and private health insurance plans, are starting to pay providers for online visits, usually at a lower rate than with traditional office visits.

London-based market research firm Datamonitor estimates the market for telehealth services in the U.S. and Europe will grow to $8 billion by next year, up from $3 billion in 2009.