May 1, 2020 - 9:00 pm
In response to your recent editorial “Once illegal, telemedicine takes off during crisis”: If there’s anything positive to take out of the spread of coronavirus in the United States, it is the value of telehealth services and remote patient monitoring, as more Americans seek access to quality care options that don’t require them to see a provider in-person. But difficulty in obtaining quality care was a reality in rural areas long before the current public health crisis. Once we slowly begin to recover from the coronavirus, we cannot neglect the need to expand care and services to these areas.
For many who live in rural America, including the outlying parts of Clark County, physically getting to the doctor can be a major factor prohibiting them from receiving necessary care or treatment. Telehealth services, which are now commonly covered by insurers, can fill the gap. Working with providers and insurers to find solutions that deliver quality, affordable care to patients regardless of geography should be a policy priority, and the Legislature should make it easier.
Crises such as the one we currently face often reveal the strengths and weaknesses in our system. In their response, lawmakers, health care providers and insurers all should work together to ensure all patients can access quality care.