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Jul 1, 2020 10:02PM
The Future of Telehealth
No area of health care has evolved as rapidly during the COVID-19 pandemic as telehealth. As providers, payers, and elected officials consider the next steps for health care, preserving and expanding the progress made in telehealth is a top priority.
The U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions held a hearing on June 17 titled "Telehealth: Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic." The committee invited a panel of four experts to testify, including Dr. Karen Rheuban of UVA Health System. In addition to being a pediatric cardiologist and professor of pediatrics, Dr. Rheuban is the Director of the UVA Center for Telehealth, which was renamed in her honor in 2016. She is also Chair of the Virginia Department of Health (VDH)/VHHA COVID-19 subcommittee on telehealth. She was introduced by U.S. Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA), who serves on the committee.
During her testimony, Dr. Rheuban stated, "The simplest and most important action needed is for Congress to authorize the Secretary of Health and Human Services to make permanent many of the telehealth policy changes enacted during the public health emergency. In addition, Congress should provide support for further broadband deployment…to reduce geographic and demographic disparities in access to care. Also needed is increased funding for the HRSA-funded telehealth resource centers and for innovative models of virtual continuing education programs for health professionals to improve outcomes."
Goals expressed by the Senate committee members include improved health equity, better geographic and demographic access to care, expanded access to behavioral health and substance abuse services, and use of remote patient monitoring for chronic conditions. Among the concerns expressed are patient privacy, broadband access, price transparency, pay parity, and potential impact on workforce.
Watch the full committee hearing here https://www.help.senate.gov/hearings/telehealth-lessons-from-the-covid-19-pandemic
... and read Dr. Rheuban's written testimony here. https://www.help.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/Rheuban.pdf
Source: Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association
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2015, DCIS/IDC, Right, 3cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+ (IHC)
1/14/2016 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel)
1/14/2016 Herceptin (trastuzumab)
2017, IDC, Stage IV, metastasized to liver, ER-/PR-, HER2+