After two years of questions and debate the Supreme Court has ruled that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) stands . The decision made in June ensures that more than 31 million previously uninsured Americans will be able to obtain health coverage by 2019….but how does that affect telemedicine?
As states expand Medicaid and other insurance programs, one is left to wonder where the newly insured will seek care? In Arkansas, the number of medically underserved areas is large and providing care to a larger percentage of patients will undeniably be hard if not impossible in the traditional healthcare structure. With telemedicine, the burden can be reduced.
Telemedicine can be the tool that can assist the medical home in providing additional care in many specialty areas. Accountable Care Organizations will use telemedicine for monitoring patient populations and reducing readmissions that ultimately will save dollars and improve patient outcomes. Mobile health applications will also create new avenues for sharing of information including data, images and trends.
As healthcare reform continues to find its form and shape, telemedicine will continue to provide a much needed resource for both patients and clinicians. States and organizations that have laid the groundwork and developed robust systems of care through telemedicine are ahead of the curve – those that have not need to be moving quickly.