The demand for telehealth and virtual healthcare services surged due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the industry is expected to reach $20bn in value by 2030, according to GlobalData.

Verdict has conducted a poll to assess whether the recent actions to change regulations to improve access to telemedicine could get side-lined by the US election.

Regulations to improve telemedicine access US election

Analysis of the poll results shows that the US elections will not have any impact on the plans to change regulations related to improving access to telemedicine, as opined by a majority 54% of the respondents.

The remaining 46% of the respondents opined that the US election may have an impact on the call to change regulations related to telemedicine.

The analysis is based on 185 responses received from the readers of Verdict network sites Hospital Management, Medical Device Network, and Pharmaceutical Technology between 28 September and 09 November 2020 and by industry experts through a survey between 07 October and 26 October 2020.

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US election impact on telemedicine regulations

The access to telemedicine services, which were previously plagued by regulations and reimbursement hurdles, surged 100-fold during the pandemic, according to GlobalData.

Healthcare organisations such as the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) promoted the use of telehealth to improve access to healthcare and reduce the risk of coronavirus infection.

Several regulatory waivers were issued during the pandemic to enhance telehealth access. Continuing these waivers will help in providing access to healthcare services for acute and speciality care apart from just primary healthcare, according to the CDC.

While telehealth surged in usage in urban areas, rural areas were at a disadvantage due to lack of infrastructure.  Joe Biden’s election win is expected to improve access to telehealth in rural areas as he plans to extend the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Community Facility Direct Loan & Grant Programme.

Broadband services will be expanded through the federally-funded programme providing access to telemedicine in rural areas, adds GlobalData.