Reimbursement of telemedicine services could continue even after the abatement of COVID-19 pandemic: Poll

20 July 2020 (Last Updated July 20th, 2020 13:39)

Telemedicine services are being adopted widely by healthcare providers during the COVID-19 pandemic to continue providing services and avoid further surge in infection rate. Policy barriers around use of telemedicine were also quickly lifted increasing its adoption. Telemedicine is expected to remain a vital part of the health visits post COVID-19.

Verdict has conducted a poll to assess whether reimbursement of telemedicine services will continue once the COVID-19 pandemic is abated.

Analysis of the results shows that the reimbursement is expected to continue after the COVID-19 pandemic abatement.

A majority of 72% of the respondents expressed confidence about the reimbursement, while the remaining 28% opined otherwise.Telemedicine reimbursement

The analysis is based on 368 responses received from the readers of Verdict’s Pharmaceutical Technology site between 18 June and 20 July.

Healthcare spending to shift towards telemedicine

Consumers of telemedicine services in the US increased to 46% compared to 11% before the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a report from McKinsey and Company, which notes that approximately $250bn in US healthcare spending is expected to shift towards telemedicine after the pandemic ends.

Effectiveness compared to in-person visits, security, and reimbursement continues to remain crucial in the future success of telemedicine services. Physicians and doctors have upheld the importance of telemedicine services even with institutions such as the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) supporting its continued use.

The ACR also supported continued reimbursement of virtual visits. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) was quick to include reimbursements for telemedicine services amid the pandemic. As consumers become more comfortable with using telemedicine services, incorporating more changes to reimbursement policies will help in increased adoption.