A Focus on Telehealth Controversy in 2023

Dr. Adam Tabriz

Hybrid Medical Care and Work Models in 2023 are Indispensable in Expanding the Borders of the Point-Of-Care Network

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TelehealthPhoto byPhoto by Sincerely Media on Unsplash

According to the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) Stat poll conducted in November 2022, the Telehealth system will see a significant shift in 2023. Although a similar report confirmed that transition in October 2021, the controversy of its trend still needs to be clarified.

Fifty-five percent of survey participants are confident that the utility of Telehealth will see no change in the coming year. Of those who expect a shift in the latter trend, the opinions are split by 50%, as 28% expect a decrease and a 27% increase in the utility of the Telehealth system.

Some healthcare leaders attribute the expected Telehealth utility metamorphosis in 2023 to various market challenges and transformations. Those factors include barriers to integrating Telehealth systems with the existing Electronic Health Records (EHR) and Practice management solutions.

Budgetary impediments, escalating overhead costs, and difficulty dealing with expected lower Medicare physician reimbursement are some of the contributory elements of the predicted changes in 2023. The latter includes sub-specialized amenities like remote patient monitoring systems and Tele ICU systems that will allow connection with distant hospitals and rural communities.

If healthcare leaders intend to broaden the Point-Of-Care (POC) coverage, an expected shift is necessary.

Point of Care describes the time and place healthcare professionals extend medical services and care to patients. Those include anything from history, physical exam, consultation, and diagnostic testing services a particular patient obtains.

Traditionally, almost every POC service scenario ensued in the medical facilities and patient care environments. However, today, the definition of Point-of-care is the subject of scrutiny, particularly with the shift we anticipate with the Telehealth reform.

Point of Care in the modern sense is inevitably expanding out of the medical facilities into patients' homes and workplaces. That does not necessarily mean physical extension. But instead, it refers to a virtual platform for computers, tablets, and smartphones. These devices can accommodate digital sensors to collect data, metadata, and images for medical evaluation, diagnosis, therapy, and patient education.

One shall expect the modern Telehealth transition in 2023 to embrace a hybrid system where every virtual remote experience parallels and simulates that of the in-person encounter.
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Hybrid carePhoto byAI-Generated Photo By Author on Wonder

A hybrid system is a Cyber-Physical Human Network where every device, sensor, and human can log in and out independently from any location, interact and collaborate.

A hybrid system will benefit medical staff and patients.

The Hybrid system is necessary for extending POC. It helps strengthen the hybrid work model, improving staff's work-life balance, increasing productivity and flexibility, and facilitating easy access for clinical educators and clinicians.

Furthermore, a hybrid system will allow more organized and oriented real-time audio-visual encounters among players in healthcare. That includes efficiently utilizing resources aligned with physicians' and patients' needs.

The introduction of Telehealth to medical practices reflects the need to engage patients, medical staff, and all stakeholders in healthcare. That is towards establishing continuity of medical care and patient engagement in self-care.

But Telehealth alone can only go so far with the proper logistics!

The modern scheme of planning and execution guarantees a hybrid Point-of-care that is transparent and concomitantly accessible to all players of the given patient care while upholding interactivity.

References

  1. Telehealth utilization and patient demand in 2023: Best guesses and best practices. "Telehealth Utilization and Patient Demand in 2023: Best Guesses and Best Practices." Accessed November 6, 2022. https://www.mgma.com/data/data-stories/telehealth-utilization-and-patient-demand-in-2023

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