Avoiding the Telehealth Cliff

Telehealth Week

By Dr. Nick van Terheyden aka Dr. Nick
Twitter: @drnic1
Host of Dr. Nick: The Incrementalist#TheIncrementalist

On this episode during Telehealth awareness week, it was great to catch up with Ann Wood Johnson (@AnnMondJohnson), CEO of the American Telemedicine Association – ATA (@AmericanTelemed), the only organization completely focused on accelerating the adoption of Telehealth. Ann started out focused on early stage companies and joined the ATA before the Pandemic and has seen a tide of change in the space with Telehealth becoming a household term.

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As Ann puts it “Telehealth is an expression of health” and in fact one of the drivers for the organization is that it is not ‘Telehealth’ but just ‘Health’ bringing together a large consortium of partners, device, modality and venue agnostic and many with differing and competing priorities all pulling in the same direction ensuring that people get care where and when they need it – meeting people where they are. The pandemic accelerated progress that was already being made and hoped many understand the benefits of Telehealth and some of the relaxation of restrictions (set in place in 1997 14 years before the iPhone appeared in our hands) that separated the practice of medicine and the payment of medicine which are under two very different regulatory controls. Their work made all the more urgent and essential as the Pandemic exposed the lack of available clinical resources to service the patient needs and help solve the already burgeoning demands for brain (aka Mental) health services.

Listen in to hear Ann talk about the acceleration that took place with the Pandemic and the focus of the ATA on solving for the inequities, bias and trust that exist not just in Telehealth but in the delivery of healthcare in general. As Ann describes it

It is not an opportunity but an obligation to address the inequity in healthcare

You can hear some of the solutions that address the broadband limitations and addressing healthcare literacy and how a ‘Pathological optimist’ views the Telehealth Cliff and the future regulatory landscape of healthcare.

About the Show
For years Dr. Nick van Terheyden aka Dr. Nick, has served as a voice on the impact of new technologies on healthcare, earning a reputation as a leading authority on where the future of medicine is going. Combining powers of observation and real world experience, Dr. Nick has seen many predictions come true and makes the case that innovations in healthcare can be accomplished incrementally, not just by moonshot events. Tune in to hear Dr. Nick: The Incrementalist and his guests discuss what the future of healthcare looks like, how we will get there, and what it will take to improve healthcare for all.

This article was originally published on the Dr. Nick – The Incrementalist blog and is republished here with permission.