As telemedicine continues to evolve, it will encounter resistance as it is a field that is so new. One of the foremost obstacles has been Medicare reimbursement alongside general governmental support of the industry. Thankfully, many members of congress are hunting for a large bipartisan effort in order to instill more confidence in their constituents. While there are several bills making the rounds in Congress that directly deal with telehealth and it is as yet uncertain which bill will become the vehicle for reform, they all enjoy wide bipartisan support.
The industry insiders and lobbyists have been pushing for increased Medicare reimbursement, believing it to be the path to immediate returns. As Politico notes, “Medicare’s restrictions are so tight that the program paid a mere $12 million for telemedicine last year.” While this is not the only regulatory change needed, proponents of telemedicine believe it to be significant.
Licensure is the other promising area for change. A bill circulating with bipartisan backers “would allow physicians to treat Medicare patients in all 50 states with a single medical license,” the Politico article says. While progress will come in small steps, the cumulative momentum will boost telehealth tremendously in the next year.