Value of Telemedicine Recognized in Budgeting

The value of telemedicine has long been recognized among practitioners. But it is continuing to gain favor among budgeters who see the benefits it brings not only in reducing health-care cost savings but also in helping to improve medical outcomes, especially in rural areas where access is limited.

A U.S. Senate health appropriations bill that includes a $2.3 billion increase for the nation’s Department of Health and Human Services emphasizes telemedicine for rural areas, according to Modern Healthcare, which reports:

“On rural health, a pressing topic on Capitol Hill lately as rural hospitals and providers continue to struggle with closures and barriers, the Senate is highlighting the role of telehealth with a $25.5 million fund for existing programs. This is $2 million more than was appropriated for fiscal 2018.”

This comes a little more than a month after Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai said he supported increasing the $400 million annual cap for the Rural Health Care Program, which provides funding for telecommunications and broadband services to rural communities to support telemedicine.

The cap has remained unchanged for more than 20 years, but additional funding could help meet the current and future needs of the program as more and more facilities, including nursing homes, put telemedicine to work for their patients and help them achieve key quality measures in an evolving health-care market.

That’s especially true with Tapestry Telehealth’s MyCare Now™ initiative, which offers special programs focused on helping facilities improve Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) quality and rating measures. They include: pain management, wound care, incontinence evaluation and psychotropic drug reductions.

But not all telemedicine is created equal. It’s not just about the portable telehealth care, but rather the level of services offered. Tapestry Telehealth assigns a dedicated practitioner to each facility. That practitioner gets to know you, your patients and your staff, and integrates seamlessly into your daily care routines. That ensures continuity of care to help improve outcomes and assess better any changes in condition.

It’s good that more people understand the value of telemedicine. But seeing is believing. Talk directly to one of our professionals to learn how you can access quality telemedicine for your rural nursing facilities at no cost, or schedule a web demonstration to see firsthand how our MyCare Now™ program gives rural nursing home residents bedside access to physicians, specialists and behavioral health services.