The opportunity: Equipping healthcare workers with new solutions to help them better serve patients
The adoption of telehealth technology solutions has been ramping up for more than a decade. That incremental growth brought opportunity, but government regulation often put the brakes on new technology. With 2020 fast-tracking the use of telehealth solutions, that growth will soon hit warp speed. To take advantage of the opportunity, you need to understand how the changing regulatory environment has unleashed demand for new technology solutions.
The changing regulatory landscape
In 2020, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services removed nearly all of the previous regulatory roadblocks for telehealth tools and procedures. This was due partly to COVID-19, but the introduction of new-generation solutions also played a part.
So what exactly is telehealth? The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) defines it as the use of electronic information and telecommunications technologies to support and promote long-distance clinical health care, patient, and professional health-related education, and public health and health administration.
Telehealth technologies include videoconferencing, the internet, store-and-forward imaging, streaming media, and both landline and wireless communications. As a result of COVID-19, HHS has taken steps to make it easier to provide telehealth services. In fact, HHS has officially changed its rules and now encourages health care providers to adopt and use telehealth as a way to safely provide care. Telehealth is now permissible for routine health care such as wellness visits, medication consultation, dermatology, eye exams, nutrition counseling, and mental health counseling. More importantly, many kinds of technology and platform solutions are HIPAA, FDA, and/or ADA compliant.
Additionally, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has significantly expanded the list of covered telehealth services to include emergency department visits, initial nursing facility and discharge visits, home visits, and therapy services.
The bottom line:
• Government policy has changed significantly, enabling more telehealth solutions.
• The federal government has made tens of billions of dollars available for technology upgrades to meet new telemedicine and telehealth needs.
• Doctors and hospitals can get better reimbursement from Medicare and Medicaid if they show that they are outreaching to patients and doing “preventative” care. In fact, Medicare and Medicaid have doubled the number of reimbursable services tied to new tech platform delivery.
• Telehealth utilization has increased nearly 400% since the start of COVID-19.
• Increased Telehealth will also lead to increased IT and Cybersecurity needs, creating even more revenue opportunity for integrators.
“Telemedicine has progressed about 10 years in just three months,” said SYNNEX healthcare specialist, Tara Hutsell Brown, at the SYNNEX Healthcare Day, part of the SYNNEX LAVNCH Days series.
Brown pointed out that 75% of hospitals are now utilizing telehealth substantially above pre-COVID-19 levels. Additionally, 90% of all hospitals plan to continue utilizing telehealth after COVID-19, according to the American Medical Association. And best of all: telehealth visits could account for $250 billion next year – approximately 20% of what is typically spent on outpatient and home health visits.
Using new-generation collaboration tools, SYNNEX is leading the charge to take medical care beyond the walls of healthcare facilities. Just one example: three of SYNNEX’ top vendors, Logitech, Poly, and AVAYA, are working with SYNNEX customers to offer collaboration solutions that include conference cams, headsets, speakerphones, and video, audio and videoconferencing solutions. These solutions are easy to adopt in the clinical workflow and are convenient for healthcare providers and patients.
Another SYNNEX vendor, Ergotron, has seen unprecedented demand for their healthcare carts as the need for flexibility and mobility has increased. And Ergotron has partnered with a variety of other SYNNEX vendors to provide bundled solutions for telehealth, as well as mobile and thermal imaging.
In addition to many telehealth solutions available and in-stock, SYNNEX also has resources to assist with filing for government funds. And customers now have access to new vendor toolkit — an online collection of resources from SYNNEX vendors supporting healthcare and telehealth.
Get in touch with the SYNNEX team today to learn more!