Expect telemedicine to make great strides in the coming year, according to the American Telemedicine Association (ATA) as reported by the Baltimore Sun. One of the reasons is that insurers are making coverage more available, although one physician says that getting that coverage can be a cumbersome process. Marc T. Zubrow, MD, vice president of telemedicine at the University of Maryland Medical System, tells the newspaper: “You have to do it in a special way and meet certain criteria. The companies make you jump through so many hoops.”
About 15 million people got some kind of virtual medical care last year, according to the ATA. The trade organization expects that number to jump by 30% this year, and notes that nearly three-quarters of large companies include telemedicine as part of their health care packages. About 48% did so last year. As the Sun points out, the technology is especially being applied to older people with multiple chronic illnesses as a way to keep them out of the emergency department.
Source: Baltimore Sun