Telemedicine is Becoming the New Age of Meeting Healthcare Needs
There have been many changes in the health care industry in the last few years. With the passing of the Affordable Care Act, many people who were unable to obtain medical insurance now have protection. Still, there are at least 31 million people in the country that remain “underinsured” or are found in plans that they can little afford. Many have been forced to obtain policies that are beyond their means or have high deductibles that will force them to pay major expenses out-of-pocket that they can ill afford.
Some are finding a way around these complications with the use of telemedicine. By foregoing the in-person visit, these underinsured are able to get the coverage they need without putting their health at risk. As a result of an unstable economy, affordable health care has become an ever-increasing need, sparking a medical transition that everyone is watching closely. According to Health Plan innovation News, “Healthcare is in the midst of a major market transition and technology can make a tremendous impact … makes the latest in a series of steps we are taking to help modernize our healthcare system and bring about new models of healthcare diversity.”
Across the country, more and more care-at-a-distance options are popping up giving patients easier ways to interact with their medical professionals in order to meet their health care needs.
One of the main reasons this type of treatment has been successful is that people everywhere are tired of the high costs associated with medical treatment. Sometimes just a simple visit to a doctor’s office can run into hundreds of dollars and insurance premiums can easily demand that much each month. Families with low incomes and who are already struggling financially cannot afford to be forced into a position where they may have to choose between getting proper medical treatment when they become ill or injured and feeding their household.
With telemedicine the risk of having to face such decisions has been reduced. There is a wide variety of telemedicine centers that offer their services at an extremely affordable rate with some as low as $15/month. As one such provider explains, “The low monthly fee includes unlimited doctor consultations at no additional charge. Doctors can prescribe non-controlled medication for a savings of up to 85% on prescriptions.”
The result is that more people are willing to seek out the medical treatment they need without fear of losing their shirt along the way.
How it Works
Having a telemedicine doctor to treat a patient is even simpler than an in-person visit. All that is needed is to schedule an appointment, provide the correct medical background and family history, and the doctor will review the patient information submitted and call back. And if medication or supplies are needed the doctor can even issue a prescription online called an escript and send it directly to the pharmacy. Then the medical records are updated.
Patients can also get needed help through the use of mobile apps, which can get them in touch with their physicians, pharmacies, and even insurance providers without the long telephone waits or having to make in-person visits.
The benefits of telemedicine can be without limit. The whole purpose of the Americans With Disabilities Act was designed to ensure that everyone has access to medical care whenever they need it. While the vast majority of people had access to medical services, millions could not get access for a number of reasons. Some worked for small businesses that could not afford the extra expense involved in paying for medical insurance, others were self-employed and were unable to get an affordable policy without the backing of a major corporation.
Because telemedicine providers offer a wide range of customized pricing and benefit plans, those isolated groups of individuals are in a better position to get the medical coverage they need. Even those who could afford to pay the added expenses that often come with in-person medical care can take advantage of such a program and save much of their normal out-of-pocket expenses that often come with getting treatment.
As the population continues to age and develop major health problems, the need for a more efficient way of treating them increases. With each passing year, the numbers of those who need medical treatment continues to rise and the old methods of treating patients cannot keep up with the growing numbers.
Every year there are more elderly than ever before, which translates into more people suffering from chronic diseases, and health problems. At the same time, the financial side of medicine is struggling, forcing people to find better treatment for fewer dollars. As they explain at the Southeast Telehealth Resource Center, “A fundamental and comprehensive change in the management and delivery of healthcare is crucial to get the most cost effective an efficient use out of limited healthcare resources. TeleHealth applications and solutions are viable options that can be leveraged to address such pressing healthcare issues.”
The world of medicine is changing in much the same way as every other industry is. Today’s lifestyle demands incorporating modern technology in every facet of it including medicine. It is not the first time that medicine has had to adopt to new ways of doing things and certainly won’t be the last. But for now, it seems that telemedicine is one of those ways for many of us to learn how to adapt to a new life in the 21st century and even beyond.
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