Telehealth, Remote Patient Monitoring, Care in the Home: Ten Questions for Healthcare Leaders

March 30, 2023
2 minutes
Phil Gibbs

While the pandemic accelerated the adoption of telehealth, remote patient monitoring (RPM), and care in the home, healthcare leaders now face the challenge of transitioning from emergency implementation to system integration. While the pandemic called for a herculean response, the reality is that emergencies often make change easier than during more routine times. Healthcare leaders now find themselves grappling with what often seem like impossible questions.

Here are ten such questions: 

  1. How can we develop a strategy and make investments in telehealth and new models of care delivery when we do not know if the emergency reimbursement and regulatory measures implemented during the pandemic will continue?
  1. How do we maintain physician buy-in for telehealth and keep them from reverting to pre-pandemic practice patterns? 
  1. While we seem to be heading toward a hybrid delivery model, how do we know the appropriate mix of in person, facility-based care versus virtual and in-home care?
  1. How do we address the concern among healthcare leaders that telehealth will add cost when in every other industry sector digital delivery of services has reduced cost?
  1. Since healthcare still is primarily fee-for-service, how do we address the financial implications of telehealth and especially the potential impact of moving billions of dollars of care out of the hospital to the home?
  1. How do we counter the view by some in our organization that telehealth will lead to fraud and abuse, including overuse?
  1. How do we improve rather than amplify health equity issues as we expand virtual care use cases?
  1. To what extent should we think of new entrants like Teladoc and eVisit, as well as large retailers with telehealth initiatives like Amazon, Walmart, and BestBuy, as threats to incumbent healthcare providers?
  1. How do we assure that we have the infrastructure and systems in place to support telehealth, RPM, and care in the home?
  1. How do we manage the transformation from an overnight expansion of virtual care—what we did during  the pandemic—to a more strategic, mature, hybrid model of care delivery?

The one question we don’t have to ask is, “How hard is this?”. Transformation, especially in a complex environment, is just hard. The underlying theory is that the complexity of the answers and solutions must match the complexity of the environment. Simple answers are a waste. The only way simple will work is when we simplify the environment, i.e., simplify the payment and regulatory environments.

If you have other questions, and there are many, or answers to any of the above questions, join us for a monthly Telehealth.Studio peer learning virtual event the second Tuesday of the month, from 9:00 AM to 10:00 AM CDT, starting Tuesday, July 12. Click here to register.