Impact of Technology on the Practice of Medicine

An excerpt from the New York State Department of Health's April Newsletter -

A vast array of other technologies, such as telehealth, remote monitoring devices, and wearables, are making their way into patient care. More than half of all U.S. hospitals now have some form of telehealth, and the numbers are expected to grow. Telehealth is especially viable in the treatment of behavioral health and for chronic health conditions, enabling providers to peer inside patients’ homes and see their living conditions. Here in New York, the Medicaid program is working on implementing the requirements of the telehealth parity statute that went into effect in January 2016. This includes expanding the scope of services and providers for which telemedicine will be reimbursed, as well as incorporating “remote patient monitoring” and“store and forward” technologies into the benefit package for both fee-for- service and Medicaid managed care.

Research suggests that these new technologies may be improving health outcomes.One study looked at the use of remote monitoring in the care of patients with heart failure. It found a 50 percent drop in readmissions and a 40 percent decline in mortality. There is another reason to embrace these technologies: patients like them. One survey found that about 30 percent of adults would switch practices if they found a doctor who used virtual visits. In another, 60 percent of patients say technology improved their relationship with their doctors.Even providing an email address can make a difference. Many patients say they ask questions in email that they would never ask in person.

To read the entire letter:

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