“Telemedicine may just be the biggest trend in digital health in 2015,” wrote Skip Fleshman, partner at Asset Management Ventures, in an article for Forbes. He noted that in his work, he has spent “a lot of time crisscrossing the country chatting with leading healthcare providers and insurers about their technology needs – by far the area they are most interested in is telemedicine.” According to Fleshman, Andrew Watson, the Chief Medical Director of Telemedicine at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center has this to say: “Telemedicine is moving like lightning. We’re able to do so much more than before.”
“While traditional communication channels remain popular among patients, the next generation of patients want innovations for how they connect with providers and share information,” the report said.
A bill requiring health plans in Colorado to provide health care services delivered through telehealth has passed through the House. House Bill 1029, sponsored by Rep. Perry Buck, R-Windsor. The bill would provide coverage for telehealth in any area of the state. Buck has called the bill “revolutionary” for the delivery of health care in the state.
Mississippi’s congressional delegation has been at the forefront of efforts to increase use of telehealth. The federal lawmakers are in effect looking to the Mississippi state legislature as a model. Mississippi already has in place state laws that require insurance plans and Medicaid to pay for these services. These measures led the nonprofit American Telemedicine Association to put Mississippi at the top of an elite group of seven states for which it awarded an “A” in terms of coverage for health care delivered at a distance.