The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has produced an explosion in the use of telehealth. In the United States, video visits that had previously not been reimbursed by government-sponsored payment programs became reimbursable.
In addition to the obvious need to be “in person” for a phlebotomy, electrocardiogram, or other procedure, concerns have arisen about whether some diagnostic testing (eg, cancer screening) or another vital health care maintenance procedure (eg, scheduled vaccination) may now be underutilized because it is now comparatively inconvenient.
Other aspects of practice management, such as completion of forms, scheduling, and follow-up, are being moved to “virtual” platforms, which will gradually make remote care more complete and sustainable.
It remains to be seen whether the changes to policy and to reimbursement implemented during the pandemic will be reversed with return to a post-pandemic “new normal” or will be made permanent,