Here are some key benefits to telehealth or telemedicine:
– Patients who may be contagious do not need to spend time in the doctor’s office — potentially infecting other people in the waiting areas as well as the healthcare professionals.
– Telehealth helps people in rural parts of the country who don’t have convenient access to local doctors or healthcare providers.
– The expansion of telehealth can ease the burden on the hospital systems — allowing the hospitals to focus their attention on the most serious, and the most urgent, cases. This benefit is also referred to as “load balancing.”
– Telehealth can also help to reduce the cost of healthcare in the country. This could be a very significant benefit as healthcare costs in the US are estimated to be close to $4 trillion. As a result, telehealth could potentially lower the cost of private insurance and help insure the long term success of Medicare. It can also improve the services provided to Veterans.