Department Of Defense Expands Telemedicine For Military Members

By: | Tags: | Comments: 0 | March 11th, 2016

Telemedicine Continues To Expand Within The Government

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Telemedicine platforms such as ClickAClinic are expanding health care many patients across the country.

Members of the military have been seeking convenient, affordable health care for years and telehealth could play a huge role in assisting them meet their needs. In early February the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs for the U.S. Department of Defense, Jonathan Woodson, M.D. issued a memorandum making significant, beneficial changes to the Military Health System (MHS) and their policies regarding telehealth. The memorandum mentions that the MHS has been seeking additional options for providing health care. The Assistant Secretary has also been in support of telemedicine and was the keynote speaker of the 2014 American Telemedicine Association (ATA) conference. In 2011, the Service Members’ Telemedicine and E-Health Portability (STEP) Act was implemented, removing the requirement that military members and their families must be in a military facility to receive health care. While this act did help many patients, it did not apply to TRICARE providers and it still did not allow patients to be seen in their own home; even while utilizing telehealth. This new memorandum will remove these barriers; utilizing telemedicine will help military members and their families have access to quality heath care. On February 24th the Creating Opportunities Now for Necessary and Effective Care Technologies (CONNECT) for Health Act was introduced to the senate floor. Even with all these acts and legislative efforts to expand telehealth, there are still some barriers. Washington appears to place more focus on telemedicine reimbursements rather than access. In order to bring telehealth to its full potential, commercial payers as well as the government need to act more quickly in order for patients to get the care they need. With telehealth in the spotlight of the health care industry, things are looking very promising.

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