Can we hold on to some of the policy breakthroughs achieved during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Aug. 28, 2020 / By L. Gordon Moore, MD

Telemedicine has been around for a long time.

“In 1906, the inventor of the electrocardiogram published a paper on the telecardiogram. Since the 1920s, the radio has been used to give medical advice to clinics on ships. Alaska has been a model for the development and use of telemedicine for decades.” IOM report 2012

Telemedicine is usually beneficial to patients according to a systematic review of published studies, because it improves patient access to care and reduces barriers to sometimes scarce appointments with specialists. Due to advances in technology, the health care delivery system has been increasing its forays into telemedicine, but this has come with challenges.

Payment rules have made it difficult to convert an office visit that generates revenue to a televisit that does not.  It took a pandemic to change these rules.

Come listen to the experience of the Unity Health System – a network of community health centers in Washington D.C. – as COVID-19 transformed the way they engaged with their patients and community.  Hear Angela Diop ND, VP for Information Systems, and Andrew Robie MD, CMIO, describe how their past experience with telemedicine informed their ability to rapidly scale simple technologies to meet the bulk of their patient needs virtually.

L. Gordon Moore, MD, is senior medical director, Clinical Strategy and Value-based Care for 3M Health Information Systems.

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