• Jeremy Miller

Telehealth Can Now Improve a Patient's Health by Analyzing the Voice of the Patient

As medicare continues to expand it's coverage of telehealth, it could be here to stay but will only be successful as long as the Voice of the Patient is heard.



Key Points

  • At least 10 million Medicare beneficiaries have used telehealth since early March, compared with about 13,000 weekly appointments pre-pandemic.  

  • Lawmakers and regulators are looking at making some of the current expansions permanent.

  • Among the issues that policymakers would need to address are the cost and quality of remote care, as well as determining which services are appropriate for telemedicine.


Overview

At the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, in the U.S., health officials issued a strong warning for seniors in complications of contracting the coronavirus.


For Medicare’s 62.5 million beneficiaries, who are mostly 65 or older and more likely to use medical services, this was more than an inconvenience or new threat. The only choice left was to either venture out and meet the doctor in person or to find an alternative.


Enter telehealth. As communities worked to stem the spread of the coronavirus through temporary business shutdowns and stay-at-home orders, lawmakers and regulators loosened policies to make remote health care through Medicare more broadly available during the public emergency.


At this point, at least 10 million Medicare beneficiaries have taken advantage of telehealth options and numbers are continuing to grow. As the usage increases so does the data and it is increasing at a dramatic rate.


“We have data about increased utilization, but we don’t know much about the beneficiary’s experience and what’s working and what isn’t,” said Lindsey Copeland, federal policy director for the Medicare Rights Center, an advocacy group.


Voice of the Patient

As more and more patients begin using telehealth options, the need for ensuring that the health of the patient doesn't suffer along with poor user experiences. There is a danger that the patient will be too afraid to visit the doctor in person and is having difficulty using the telehealth services. The telehealth industry is quite young and has been thrown into the spotlight.


The Voice of the Patient is incredibly important, just like it is in the commerce world. Ensuring that all of the touch points are measured and analyzing the overall success rate of a patient's experience. Most importantly, telehealth portals most use a user-centric architecture that supports the patient goals, has excellent search capabilities, with intuitive, simple interfaces and navigation. The Voice of Patient can be measured and acted on to build a strong user experience and digital platform.


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