The New Year's holiday is a few weeks behind us now, but that doesn't mean we're not able to look back at 2018 still. For the healthcare technology industry, telehealth was one of the biggest stories throughout the year. It experienced significant growth, and is quickly becoming an industry standard for providing quality, coordinated care across multiple specialties..
In a recently published article on HealthLeaders Media, industry leaders shared their thoughts about the specific areas where they felt like telehealth experienced the most growth. InSync Healthcare Solutions CFO Charlie Hutchinson was among those leaders who gave their opinion on the topic.
"In 2018, the most significant telehealth trend was the expansion of access to care to multiple patient demographics fueled by the telehealth-positive legislation. We see a huge opportunity for doctors to embrace this valuable and innovative tool, which will also help them collaborate more easily with one another. Collaboration is the cornerstone for value-based care, so having the right arsenal of technologies will only become more important.”
In an annual summary by the Center for Connected Health Policy (CCHP), there were 65 pieces of legislation on telehealth and telemedicine that were passed in 39 states and the District of Columbia. In 2017, for comparison, only 62 bills became law throughout 38 states.
The increase in telehealth legislation has led to increased telehealth adoption rates, too. For example, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, which was signed into law last February, expanded Medicare coverage for certain telehealth services to beneficiaries who are being treated by practitioners participating in accountable care organizations (ACOs).
Expanded reimbursements for telehealth services through 2018 legislation has also incentivized more healthcare providers to implement telemedicine technology in their own practices.