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Lessons Learned from 2020 Provide a Springboard for Increased Telehealth Adoption
In 2020, telehealth was on the top of a mountain. The virtual visit became a universally understood concept and for the first time in history, patients experienced the convenience of having the doctor’s office brought into their home. However, common themes are emerging that could bring us back to an in-person-dominant care model, including the threat of lower reimbursement for telehealth visits compared to in-person. The choices we make in the next few months will determine the landscape for telehealth in the US for at least a decade. For telehealth to survive, we must create logical, financially sound reasons for providers to pivot long term. Simply saying that telehealth is the right thing to do or that patients demand it does not seem good enough as we look at our future. Patients, healthcare providers, payers, suppliers and innovators all have a role, a choice to make telehealth part of the solution. During Telehealth Awareness Week (September 19-25), the ATA is bringing together patients and consumers, healthcare providers, policy makers, payers and other key stakeholders and advance the role of telehealth in U.S. healthcare.