Telehealth is an essential delivery system that has to be adopted by the Health Care Organizations. For example, in rural regions, the delivery of the health care systems is struggling to maintain enough number of clinical staff so as to provide health care services to the escalating patient populations. The improvement of the telehealth is currently affected by various issues such as health administration policies and inadequate medical specialists. About 20% of the United States population lives in the rural regions. 10% of the medical specialists and 9% of the physicians live in the rural areas (Brian et al. 2008). The percentage of the physicians and specialists is not enough to provide enough health care services to the escalating patient population. Similarly, lack of enough specialists and physicians not only affects rural patients but also affects the urban patients. The success of the telehealth is not majorly hindered by the inadequacy of the specialists and physicians but hindered by the stiff health care administration policies. The paper discusses various health administration policies that play a role in hindering the success of the telehealth in the health care settings.
Telehealth, Health Administration Policies, physicians, specialists, security, laws, protocols, guidelines, reimbursement, HIPAA security and privacy.
Telehealth is a technology that involves the use of communication technologies in delivering health-related information and services that improve patient care, health education, and administrative activities (Telligen, 2014). Telehealth technology is being publicized to improve the access to the health care, thus reducing transportation costs and escalating convenience to patients in accessing the health care services. Access to the health care is a problem in areas where patient-to-physician ratios are insufficient or regions where there are insufficient medical specialists to meet the need of the patients. In such a setting, it has become a key aspect of the complicated approaches to developing the delivery of the health care services in the medically challenged areas in both urban and rural areas. When patients access medical care, their acute conditions can be treated, thus helping in managing several cases of chronic conditions emerging in our society (Brian et al. 2008).
Telehealth is an essential technology that can help in reducing different problems being faced by the access to the health care. However, the success of the technology has been hindered by the health administration policies. The health administration policies that are hindering the success of the telehealth technology include the prescription of the laws, development of the guidelines and protocols, reimbursement, and HIPAA security and privacy. The core components of the subject matter are the named health administration policies. Understanding the core components discussed in the paper will help us to appreciate that the core components play a role in hindering the success of the telehealth technology.
Description of the problem
There are various factors that hinder the success of the health administration policies. The hindering factors can be grouped under long-term and short-term according to the effects on the telehealth technology. To start with, the success of the telehealth technology is being hindered by not complying with the State Prescribing Laws and Licensure. The stiff health administration policies have made telehealth providers not to comply with the multiple States Laws that are frequently burdensome and confusing. Lack of complying with the policies has led in hindering the success of the telehealth technology. Lack of complying with the States Laws is regarded as a short term problem because the problem can be resolved by clarifying the laws, and clarification will need a short time to change the mind of the physicians and medical specialists (Telligen, 2014).
Also, the success of the telehealth technology is being hindered by the lack of highly developed guidelines and protocols for the working of the technology. Protocols and guidelines are essential accepting the practices related with telehealth. Developing guidelines and protocols for the telehealth technology can be regarded as a long-term problem because it takes time to develop guidelines and protocols for the health care providers. Lack of greater reimbursement and coverage also play a role in hindering the success of the telehealth technology. Lack of reimbursement is hindering many health care providers who are working on improving the telehealth technology. Reimbursement problem can be regarded as a short-term issue that can be resolved within a short time. Besides, HIPPA security and privacy has contributed to the lack of success in the telehealth technology. HIPPA security and privacy can be regarded as a long-term issue because it takes time to control the revealing the private information of patients due the ignorance of the health care providers (Devon et al. 2010).
Analysis of the problem
The success of the telehealth technology is being hindered by various discussed factors. Physicians and medical specialists are the concerned people to understand the reason for the lack of success in the telehealth system. For example, some specialists will suggest that they are not persuaded by the clinical effectiveness of the telehealth technology for many indications. Also, medical specialists suggest that lack of success in the adoption of the telehealth is caused by the biased towards keeping the benefits of the technology for only the rural beneficiaries. Also, the success of the telehealth is confronted with the increased fear of costs with the development of the telehealth benefits (Brian et al. 2008).
HIPPA security and privacy has contributed to the lack of success in the telehealth technology since many medical specialists and physicians reveal customers private information, which is prohibited in the health care setting. However, there are much inclusive concerning the efficiency, preventable hospitalizations, and cost savings from the adoption of the telehealth services. Telehealth HIPPA security and privacy problems are not essentially dissimilar than those affecting the medical specialists and physicians providing health care services in the telehealth setting. However, with telehealth technology, security and privacy problems take on great importance provided that the technology is delivered by the electronic way, and that information concerning health is stored electronically (Brian et al. 2008). Based on the telehealth, there are ample opportunities for the authorized third parties to get patients personal information.
Decision, Criteria, and Alternative Solutions
Solving the issues that are hindering the success of the telehealth technology required various systematic steps. To start with, the problems can be solved by looking at the root cause of the issue. Depicting the root cause of the issue will help in identifying the best approach to solving the issue. For example, the problem of reimbursement can be resolved through application of tangible costs that will motivate medical specialists and physicians in improving the working of the telehealth technology. Lack of complying with the State Laws can be resolved by allowing the medical specialists to pay specific attention to the State Laws, which required the physical examination before the telehealth provider may prescribe any drug. The solution has a disadvantage in such a way that the requirement is hard to meet medical specialist operating in multiple states. Some medical specialists have no knowledge of the requirements of the telehealth technology.
Lack of developed guidelines and protocols can be resolved by highly developing guidelines and protocols that telehealth lacks. Highly developed guidelines and protocols have an advantage of fostering greater acceptance of the telehealth technology. Also, highly developing guidelines and protocols helps in providing uniform standards that regulate the use of the telehealth practices. Besides, lack of reimbursement and great coverage can be resolved by providing widespread reimbursement and coverage to allow medical specialists who consider improving the telehealth technology (Telligen, 2014).
Recommended Solution, Implementation, and Justification
The discussed recommendations in solving the issues related to the success of telehealth are essential for patients, medical specialists, and physicians. The issues that are impacting the progress of the technology can be resolved by engaging with the payers and regulators in a coordinated approach to assisting fashion a coherent reimbursement means to telehealth. Also, the issues can be resolved by addressing the importance of the technology, and helping the medical specialist in solving various problems they experience when they are interacting with their patients. When all the solutions are put in practice, all the issues impacting the progress of the telehealth will be resolved, thus improving the health care settings.
In conclusion, there are various factors that hinder the progress of the telehealth. However, the issues have solutions that can help patients and medical specialists in overcoming different issues in a health care setting. When all the discussed solutions are incorporated in the health care setting, the issues relating with telehealth will be solved, thus leading to the success of the technology in our society.
Brian, E. D., Julie M. H., & Julie J. M. (2008). Using Telehealth to Improve Quality and Safety. AHRQ National Resource Center for Health Information Technology. The AHRQ Publication.
Devon M. H., Linda G., & John C. G. (2010). Health Information Technology: The Benefits and Problems. National Center For Policy Analysis. Policy Report No. 327.
Tulligen (2014). Telehealth: Start-Up and Resource Guide. Version 1.1. Health Information Technology; Regional Extension Center.
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