AcuteCare Telemedicine Blog


Foundation Study Identifies Telehealth as the Cutting-Edge Future of Health Care

A new study, “Telehealth & Patient-Centered Care” conducted by Ron Bachman, a Senior Fellow at the Georgia Public Policy Foundation, provides a comprehensive analysis of the potential of telehealth and how policies in Georgia can accelerate, or inhibit, its benefits. Georgia has accepted the leadership role in the development, implementation and increased utilization of telecommunication technology in delivering quality, affordable and more accessible healthcare to its consumer-patients. Today, more than half of Georgia’s hospitals are capable of delivering virtual care to their patients and state law makers have passed legislation requiring private insurers to cover telehealth services.

Ron Bachman is one of the foremost experts on health care consumerism, consumer-centric Medicaid and Medicare, the uninsured population and mental health. His study found an estimated half a billion smartphone users worldwide will be using a health care app to connect to a healthcare giver by 2015. An emerging, technology-using generation is becoming increasingly comfortable with using mobile devises to access their medical care through smartphones, tablets and laptops. Entrusted with an increased responsibility for paying the rising costs of healthcare, these new consumers are embracing disruptive technologies to command lower cost, more convenient, higher quality, consumer oriented medical care. “It is impossible to stop a mega-trend,” says Bachman. “Telehealth is the cutting-edge future of health care worldwide. Telehealth, in its various forms, will provide convenient medical services because consumers will demand it.”

A full expansion of the benefits of telemedical services continues to be hampered by established, well-intentioned industry groups and governmental agencies. For decades, these market deciders have successfully influenced a healthcare delivery model that is the envy of the world. Their concerns and reluctance to boldly apply such wide ranging and disrupting technologies to a historically successful model is understandable. But Bachman argues that, “Too often existing self-interest groups, established guilds and status quo advocates can stifle disruptive innovations, the role government plays in providing oversight and clarity is important to prevent litigiousness and overregulation from holding Georgia, Georgia’s patients and physicians back in an era of growing needs and limited resources.”

The study concludes that health care consumerism and telehealth technology are here to stay and will offer tremendous benefits to both caregivers and patients. Kelly McCutchen, President of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation, said “The findings of Bachman’s study offer excellent opportunities to expand low-cost, quality health care to the poor and to rural parts of the state. Health care costs will bankrupt families and our country unless we find effective, high-quality solutions. Telehealth is exactly the type of innovation that can solve many of these problems, as long as we remain vigilant and ensure it is not shackled by overregulation.”


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