The rapid growth of telemedicine is pushing healthcare providers to adapt their business models to provide more clinical care from a distance.
Earlier this month, Walgreens announced that it is expanding its telehealth offering, which allows customers to track their health and earn rewards, to a total of 25 states.
Demand by consumers for convenience and personalized care is driving growth. The global telemedicine market was a $14.3 billion in 2014 and is expected to reach $36.2 billion by 2020.
Here are five telemedicine trends to watch in 2016, according to healthcare law experts:
1. Expanding Reimbursement and Payment Opportunities
Both private and government payers, such as Medicaid managed care organizations and Medicare Advantage plans, will continue to expand telemedicine coverage.
2. Uptick in International Arrangements
More than 200 U.S. academic medical centers offer video-based consulting in other parts of the world, according to the American Telemedicine Association. In 2016, more U.S. hospitals and healthcare providers will look to form overseas partnerships.
3. Continued Momentum at the State Level
There are 29 states and the District of Columbia, that have enacted laws requiring health plans to cover telemedicine services. Next year, state governments to lead the way in telemedicine expansion with more legislation.
4. Retail Clinics and Employer Onsite Health Centers on the Rise
With telemedicine demand growing, both retailers, such as CVS Health and Walgreens, and employers will expand their onsite telemedicine service offerings.
5. More ACOs Using Technology to Improve Care and Cut Costs
There’s a need for Medicare Accountable Care Organizations to hit their incentive payment metrics coupled with the low adoption rate, so watch for greater telemedicine use among ACOs in 2016.
Go more in-depth with each telemedicine trend at The National Law Review.
Chivaroli and Associates Insurance Services is a full-service brokerage firm specializing in the custom-design and placement of insurance and alternative risk funding solutions for your healthcare organization.