Guide to Telehealth

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Guide to Telehealth – Then, Now, Tomorrow?
By Rebecca Chi

Healthcare providers have employed various forms of telehealth since long before the start of the coronavirus pandemic. Telehealth delivers knowledge and expertise to people and places that need it. A movement that largely began as a way to improve access to healthcare in rural communities saw explosive growth in 2020. Today, telehealth is in wide use and here to stay.

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Advancing Value-Based Care Through Telehealth

What is telehealth?
The US Health Resources and Services Administration defines telehealth as any electronic information and telecommunications technology that is used to support and promote long-distance clinical healthcare, patient and professional health-related education, public health and health administration. Telehealth technologies benefit providers, healthcare organizations and patients.

The importance of telehealth
The key to maintaining population health and lowering expenditures is delivering timely access to high-quality care.

The US is struggling to improve the quality of healthcare and make the needed shift to value-based models. Innovative telehealth solutions that addressed our country’s worsening healthcare access problem reached the point of widespread adoption in 2020, when the pandemic pushed the healthcare system to its limits.

Telehealth increases convenience of care and access while decreasing costs and maximizing physician time. Providers, payers and employers are increasingly adopting various and connected types of telehealth solutions to improve healthcare operations and patient outcomes. Patients embrace the convenience, safety, accessibility and flexibility of telehealth options.

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