Check out Part 1 of a three part blog series recapping eVisit's recent on-demand webinar presentation Avoid the Telehealth Cliff: Managing Risk in Virtual Care.
Last Wednesday, July 27th, I had the joy and privilege to sit down with Dr. Adam Brown, Founder of the Adam Brown Impact Group, and Daniel Zinsmaster Esq., Partner at national law firm Dinsmore & Shohl LLP to discuss the quickly shifting landscape of telehealth compliance.
You aren't gonna want to miss this. Be sure to check out our on-demand presentation Avoid the Telehealth Cliff: Managing Risk in Virtual Care.
Dr. Adam Brown is a practicing emergency physician, professor, and advisor to the board at the UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School, founder of a healthcare advisory firm, and served as a President of Emergency Medicine and Chief Impact Officer in a large health system leading COVID-19 pandemic response efforts. He is a true clinical leader and impassioned strategist deeply engaged with advocacy efforts to expand telehealth.
Former member of the Ohio State Medical Board, healthcare attorney Daniel S. Zinsmaster, Esq. is a true compliance expert whose corporate healthcare advisory services are trusted by the most successful provider networks in the United States.
Across 75 minutes of insightful dialogue, we covered a wealth of topics exploring the most salient legal regulatory issues facing our industry. It was jam-packed with insights, so I’m really glad we recorded it.
I’m going to have to rewatch it myself!
In the meantime, here’s the first section of a three-part summary, including some of the most important insights from our panel.
How Have Regulatory Changes Impacted Virtual Care Delivery?
“Well, I think it's a really great question because we've seen a huge increase in the number of patients and providers that are using telehealth services, said Brown. "You know, I was just reading a report that showed that by 2021, McKinsey said there is an over 38-fold increase in the number of patients that were using telehealth services."
"Telehealth platforms allowed for this kind of virtual PPE where you could still take care of patients, and still interact with them, without having to utilize that precious PPE, that was in such short supply early in the pandemic. But as we start to move through the pandemic, we started to see how telehealth really could be leveraged to improve patient care."
"You know, with the utilization of telehealth, it's like our ATM machines, our mobile banking, and the old days of having to drive to the bank to make deposits. I don't think people want to go back to that. That said, as we come out of the public health emergency, there likely will be some changes that will occur to the flexibility that we had before and how we're going to use telehealth in the future.”
There's no way patient consumers are willing to go back. They've realized the immense benefits of telehealth and now it's up to our industry to ensure the continued expansion of virtual care services.
"I use the terminology “roller coaster “because that's what it's been like. Nothing was as abrupt of a change as those first ones", said Zinsmaster. "During the days and weeks of March of 2020 we started seeing the declaration of public health emergencies, both the federal and a variety of states issued waivers, and emergency orders were given down by the government."
"To expand access to virtual care when the whole purpose of the emergency declarations was to avoid people coming to the hospital unless they're experiencing COVID or facing some sort of other serious health care concerns. We had to find a way to expand our way of delivering care to patients that overcome a variety of historical barriers."
"So now, we're starting to see the waivers getting lifted by states. I believe just about a year ago, half a half of the states still had exemptions or waivers where a doctor in one state could practice and treat patients in other states without licenses or being actively licensed in that state pursuant to these waivers. And now I think it's only a dozen at this point in time."
Fortunately, hope is in sight. It is becoming more and more clear that legislators at the state and federal level are interested in expanding American telehealth services.
On Tuesday, July 26th, in a near-unanimous vote (416-12), the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R.4040 - Advancing Telehealth Beyond COVID–19 Act of 2021 to expand virtual care. A true testament to the hard work and advocacy telehealth supporters have been engaged with on a national level.
During our webinar, I asked our audience which virtual care compliance topics they were most interested in learning more about and 60.5% chose reimbursement policies.
Be on the lookout for Webinar Recap: Avoid the Telehealth Cliff, Part 2 and 3 to learn more about what our expert virtual care compliance panelists had to share about reimbursement, change management principles and best practices, patient privacy, technology, and so much more.
If you are passionate about telehealth services, tune in to our on-demand webinar presentation Avoid the Telehealth Cliff: Managing Risk in Virtual Care.