Telehealth Trends Going Into 2020
What to Expect from Telehealth in 2020 and Beyond
Telehealth has exploded in popularity over the last few years as care providers, state legislators, and insurance companies continue to support this technology. The telehealth industry is expected to grow exponentially over the next eight years, reaching $32.71 billion by 2027.
As the telehealth industry gains ground, more companies are looking to make a profit, spurring competition and innovation in the market for virtual care. Providers and health plans are starting to use this technology in new ways, shaping its future around the needs and preferences of the patients it’s meant to serve.
2020 looks to be one of the most eventful years for telehealth on record. Take a look at what’s in store for the telehealth industry in the years ahead.
Embracing the “Digital First” Care Model
Reimbursement parity was once the gold standard of the telehealth industry. Parity legislation requires insurance companies to reimburse virtual care services at the same rate as in-person care. But now insurance companies are taking things one step further by advocating for what is known as “Digital First” models of care, which means care providers will soon have an incentive to push their patients towards virtual care as opposed to in-person care as a way to reduce costs.
In the years ahead, insurance companies and care providers will likely work in tandem to increase access to telehealth, which should result in reduced costs, fewer emergency room visits, and better patient outcomes. Regardless of how this new partnership will take shape in the years ahead, more health plans will cover telehealth services as more companies realize the potential benefits of implementing this technology.
Giving Patients the Freedom to Access Care on the Go
Telehealth reimbursement laws are quickly evolving for the better. Strict limitations on where the patient can access digital healthcare services previously created confusion in the market. Patients were required to be at an approved “originating site” such as their home, school, or doctor’s office, in order to access digital healthcare services for the provider to be reimbursed for their services.
Fortunately, telehealth reimbursement policies are starting to do away with “originating sites,” giving patients the freedom to virtually connect with healthcare providers on-the-go. Certain states and insurance providers will still place restrictions on “originating sites” to ensure their patients are accessing digital care services in a safe, controlled environment, but patients will start to use these services and devices on their own terms. Reducing such restrictions will likely increase patient engagement and help individuals make better use of the latest technology.
There are leaders in any industry and telehealth looks to be no exception. 2020 will likely be the year of consolidation in the telehealth industry. We will begin to see telehealth providers collaborate to continue to advance the industry with new telehealth initiatives, pilot healthcare programs, and digital devices that could improve upon existing care delivery models.
This consolidation will likely push the telehealth industry to new heights as companies are starting to refine their telehealth systems in order to better appeal to both providers and patients. Ultimately, 2020 is shaping up to be a year of exciting collaboration that will significantly advance the entire healthcare industry. 2020 is already shaping up to be a great year for telehealth, solidifying its place in the healthcare industry. Keep an eye out for these trends as we head further into the new year. Visit InTouch Health to learn more about the benefits of virtual care.