Study: Investment in telemedicine low due to inadequate systems, reimbursement
Telehealth – or Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) – investment within the healthcare industry remains low due to lacking systems and insufficient payer reimbursement and other limitations, according to a recent study released by Spyglass Consulting.
Spyglass interviewed more than 100 healthcare organizations that are involved in telehealth initiatives of various kinds. According to the results, many organizations have a keen interest in telemedicine due to expected benefits in monitoring patients with chronic conditions. Many of the early adopters of the technology are in fact managed care organizations, those that are fiscally responsible for their patients throughout all aspects of care, Spyglass said.
The study did find that 65 percent of the organizations interviewed had plans to make limited investment in RPM, though largely focused on specific groups such as high-risk patients that are expensive to treat.
Further, investment plans were seen to be fairly limited, according to the study, because many of the systems offered are viewed as too expensive and can be difficult to integrate with a hospital’s existing technologies. Other limiting factors are low payer reimbursement, licensure issues, and uncertainty regarding return on investment.
Interestingly, most organizations have found two-way video conferencing to be an unnecessary component of remote patient care that is costly and has limited clinical benefits, according to the study.
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