Using telehealth during a pandemic saves valuable PPE and keeps doctors, nurses, and patients from being exposed to or spreading disease. If it's good during a crisis, why not all the time?
There was a time when it was common for doctors to make house calls. Now, the coronavirus pandemic and technology are once again allowing patients to receive medical care without leaving their homes.
As part of Public Health Disaster Emergency, Governor Reynolds mandated health insurance carriers reimburse health care professionals for telehealth services on the same basis and at the same rate as the health insurance carrier would apply to services provided in person.
The Des Moines Register reports thousands of Iowans are now using telehealth services. At one health system in Des Moines, virtual urgent care visits have increased by 176% in just one month.
Using telehealth during a pandemic saves valuable PPE (personal protective equipment) and keeps doctors, nurses, and patients from being exposed to or spreading disease.
If it's good during a crisis, why not all the time?
When this crisis is over, those benefits will still hold true. Additionally, time is money, and Iowans would save many hours by not having to travel or sit in waiting rooms.
Unless it is extended, the Governor's mandate for insurance companies to provide telehealth coverage will expire on April 30. When lawmakers reconvene, they need to quickly act to provide equal reimbursement for virtual healthcare.