April 2017

Telehealth Overview: The Reality Check, Please

The trend lines and bar charts are marching up. Investors are investing, insurers are extending coverage, health care systems are getting on board. But there are some skunks at the telehealth garden party: research suggesting quality and utilization problems and lingering uncertainty about reimbursement.
Susan Ladika
A lot hinges on this question: Do you feel comfortable getting a diagnosis or being treated for a condition by someone on a screen?
Frank Diamond
Investors are plowing millions into telehealth startups. Millennials could be eager adopters. But these are early times and it may take years—and some regulatory changes—for profits to materialize.
Robert Calandra
The study results are a mishmash; the methods, a work in progress. Antibiotic prescribing is a trouble spot.
Richard Mark Kirkner
When it’s time for a session, your therapist’s face is on your phone or computer instead of in the room. Telemental health doesn’t mean the end of in-person sessions, but it’s increasingly part of the therapy mix.
Timothy Kelley
Some insurers are changing their rules after the AMA and others said prior authorization could result in treatment delays that can be deadly.
Joseph Burns


Editor’s Memo
Peter Wehrwein
Legislation & Regulation
Repeal and replace could create an opening for telehealth. Meanwhile, state health officials are working through gnarly parity and licensure issues.
Richard Mark Kirkner
Medication Management
At last, there’s a biosimilar-like competitor in the U.S. insulin market. Can Basaglar put some downward pressure on prices?
Thomas Reinke
MediMedia Poll of Managed Care readers
Virtual care offerings come with no shortage of complexities, but their potential for value has many asking when, not if, to invest.
Zachary Hafner
Medical Directors Forum
The cost savings go to payers, but providers often wind up footing the bill. Value-based care could solve the problem.
Richard G. Stefanacci, DO, MGH, MBA, AGSF, CMD
Book Review
Peter Boland
Issue Tracker: Medicaid Funding
Republicans say it brings efficiency and flexibility. Others see dire consequences for beneficiaries and state budgets.