ICYMI: CMS Director Highlights Telehealth Benefits for “Equity, Quality, Access, & Sustainability”
CMS Director Meena Seshamani Highlights Health Equity and Financial Barrier Reduction Benefits of Telehealth, Need for Continued Access
Washington, D.C – In case you missed it, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Director Meena Seshamani discussed the benefits of telehealth in a recent op-ed published in Health Affairs, titled “Medicare And Telehealth: Delivering On Innovation’s Promise For Equity, Quality, Access, And Sustainability.”
In Dr. Seshamani’s op-ed, she highlights the important role that telehealth played throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Seshamani notes, “As a physician, I saw how my patients were able to use telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic to engage from their homes, increasing their access to care and improving their quality of life. Health for all communities cannot be advanced if patients’ unique needs and circumstances are not addressed,” referring to the increased usage among those enrolled in Medicare, as well as individuals from disadvantaged neighborhoods. Dr. Seshamani also emphasizes the importance of broadband access for the aforementioned groups to secure accessible healthcare via telehealth.
In her piece, Dr. Seshamani looks forward to what a future of telehealth protections may look like. Regarding the implementation of early-pandemic telehealth usage as a replacement for in-person healthcare, Dr. Seshamani comments, “beyond the pandemic, these innovations may be leveraged along with in-person care to help people stay healthy” and suggests “remote monitoring could provide information from outside the four walls of a clinic visit or hospitalization to present a more holistic view of a person’s health.” Her comments emphasize the benefits of expanded access to telehealth now and moving forward.
Increased access to telehealth helps patients, especially those within disadvantaged groups. Dr. Seshamani’s piece echoes TAFA’s calls for a future of safe, accessible health care for all patients, saying, “Evaluation of the lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic and the leveraging of new innovations must occur through the lenses of health equity, quality, access, and sustainability. The infrastructure and culture change resulting from the pandemic can and will enable the creation of a more resilient, responsive, and high-value health care system that better supports all communities.”
Read the full piece in Health Affairs HERE and learn more about how Congress can act to permanently protect telehealth access HERE.
ABOUT TELEHEALTH ACCESS FOR AMERICA
Telehealth Access for America (TAFA) is a public education campaign supported by leaders in health care committed to better care, expanded patient choice, and protecting access to critical telehealth services.
Learn more at www.telehealthaccessforamerica.org.