October 11, 2017
A recent study found that most healthcare organizations and providers plan to expand their use of telehealth programs, despite concerns about reimbursement. Conducted by KLAS Research and the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME), the study surveyed 104 healthcare organizations with telehealth programs. It delved into how healthcare organizations currently use telehealth solutions, and barriers to its adoption.
The majority of study participants plan to either expand the number of specialties served, or expand patient access to providers using telehealth systems. Convenience is ranked as the top benefit.
“Telehealth offers a great opportunity to enhance the lives of patients by making healthcare accessible to them wherever they may be,” said Russell P. Branzell, CEO and president of CHIME.
Nearly six out of 10 respondents said reimbursement was a limitation to telehealth. Some payers have been slow to reimburse telehealth visits, while others refuse to reimburse at rates that are equal to face-to-face care. Technology integration is also an impediment to telehealth adoption, according to the study. Respondents said integration between their EMR and virtual care platform vendor was nonexistent or unidirectional.
Adam Gale, president of KLAS, says telehealth “holds enormous promise,” but the underlying technology needs to evolve more quickly. “Integration of telehealth with provider EMRs is still at a primitive level,” he notes. “Vendors need to step up in terms of technology and improved support.”
For questions, comments or concerns, please contact Jennifer Duell Popovec