Most Agree Telemedicine Is Step Toward Improving Access And Helping Patients, But Concerns Remain
Some economists worry that e-visits will actually exacerbate health costs, while doctors are concerned that if the tele-appointments become popular they'll lose valuable face time with their patients.
The Washington Post:
The Use Of Virtual Doctors Visits Are Growing But Insurance Doesn't Always Pay
Tucked into the federal budget law Congress passed in February was a provision that significantly expands the use of telemedicine — long a hyped health-care reform and now poised to go mainstream within five to 10 years. “There’s much broader recognition of the benefits,” said Mei Wa Kwong, executive director of the Center for Connected Health Policy, a research group that promotes telemedicine in Sacramento. “The law is the latest to make telemedicine more accessible. But we still have a ways to go before most consumers are aware of the option.” (Findlay, 5/6)
In other news —
Transgender Health Care By Telemedicine
At an outpatient lab in Tifton, Ga., where Karen Williams gets her blood drawn, a clerk looked from her computer screen to Williams' printed lab order, then back again. "This is not right," the clerk said, squinting at the lab order. There, the birthdate and address matched the ones on the screen, but the name displayed was a male one. A transgender woman, Williams lived as a man for nearly 50 years before beginning to make physical changes several years ago. She's grown out her hair and has gotten most of an old goatee lasered off. One of the things that hasn't changed, however, is her legal name – so in most health care situations, she usually uses her old name and driver's license. (Landman, 5/5)