How to Maintain Momentum on Telehealth After COVID-19 Crisis Ends
The purpose of the hearing, entitled “Telehealth: Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic,” was to find out which of the temporary changes in federal policy should be maintained, modified, or reversed—and to find out if any additional federal policies are needed to facilitate patient and physician use of the technology, said Committee Chair Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn.
Alexander began the hearing by recalling a conversation he had with an official from Ascension Saint Thomas Health, a nine-hospital, 800-physician system in Central Tennessee. Alexander was told that in February, prior to the pandemic, the system had about 60,000 patient visits, and only about 50 were conducted via telehealth. But, during the last two months, Ascension Saint Thomas conducted more than 30,000 telehealth visits.
Similar anecdotes are being shared throughout the nation’s health care system.
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