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Telehealth and Telemedicne Growth in Mental Health

Physician using telehealth

Telemedicine is a current policy topic that continues to gain momentum and Krista Drobac of the Alliance for Connected Care believes that telehealth’s window of opportunity is 2015. Through an article published by VentureBeat, she posits that four key factors have created the circumstances for regulatory change to open the window for telemed/Telemental Health

  • Consumer Demand for Access, Convenience, and Engagement”

    The consumer of today’s services look to technology for fast and easy

  • access. “According to a report from Research and Markets, the global telemedicine market, valued at $14.2 billion in 2012, will have a compound annual growth rate of 18.5 percent through 2018,” the article says. This rapidly expanding market will create the momentum required for increased telehealth support in the form of the addition of online medicinal services becoming eligible for reimbursement through Medicare.

  • Growing Emphasis on Value-based Care”

    The value for both patients and care providers intrinsic in telemedicine has led to a desire to develop the market by health plans. Expect 2015 to lead to a renewed push for the increase in coverage for these services.

  • Broadband Infrastructure”

    The massive increase over the last decade in reliable internet coverage for Americans has enabled telemedicine to become a viable option for the 70% of adults who have a high-speed internet connection at home.

  • Bipartisanship”
    Drobac says that she expects both sides of the aisle to support telemedicine. The advantage of constituent support combined with the desire to support something in the healthcare field make regulatory changes desirable for politicians. Its separation from the Affordable Care Act will give this change the bipartisanship it deserves.

She leaves us with this call to action: “The window is open; it would be a shame if we didn’t go through it.”