By Ken Congdon
Why 2015 may be the year telehealth finally goes mainstream and what providers can expect once it does
Telehealth isn’t a new concept. The technology for doctors to conduct virtual visits with patients via video conferencing equipment or over the Internet has been available for years. Yet, few health providers have applied this technology to their practices to date. There are several reasons why — the biggest inhibitor being the lack of reimbursement that has historically existed for medical consultations not conducted in person. However, with Medicare and Medicaid now beginning to cover virtual care, one of the biggest barriers to telehealth adoption is being removed.
Financial motivation isn’t the only factor poised to spark increased telehealth activity in 2015. Technological improvements, increased demands on physicians’ time, and patient demand are also driving adoption.