In the last couple of years, telemedicine and telehealth have become a popular conversation in the senior care industry. It is anticipated that in 2018, it will make a large jump, and more than 96% of all health systems will be using some sort of telehealth in their delivery of care. Perhaps, you have considered it for your facility.
Even if you have not considered telemedicine for your facility, you are most likely aware that more than 50% of all hospital readmissions are from patients over the age of 65, which many believe can be prevented with telehealth. In fact, there are many arguments that senior care will benefit greatly from the use of telehealth.
The fact remains that seniors have a harder time accessing the care they need. Even if in a long-term facility, they may experience delayed treatment because of transportation problems, unavailable professionals, and many other factors. Studies have indicated that seniors who have experienced care via telemedicine, have a satisfaction rating of over 95%.
Many facilities are still reluctant to move to telehealth because of costs. The financial impact of using this technology can be worrisome for some facilities, however, some organizations are working to alleviate implementation costs by fighting for incentivized payment models. They are working with legislation to advocate for reimbursement models that will support this type of medicine in senior care.
While reimbursement has been in place since 1997 for telehealth, it still needs work. And, for those facilities that are looking to launch their own programs, they might wish to consider some grant funding and partnering opportunities available. These initiatives can help develop telehealth in the senior care industry.
As more and more senior care facilities embrace telemedicine and telehealth, you will see the shift in senior care become more eye-opening, and benefit patient care.
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