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AMA: Physicians support telehealth

AMA: Physicians support telehealth

CHICAGO – Physicians have embraced telehealth and they expect to use it even more in the future, according to a new survey from the American Medical Association.   

Nearly 85% of physician respondents say they are currently using telehealth to care for patients, and nearly 70% say their organization is motivated to continue using telehealth in their practice, particularly for chronic disease management and ongoing medical management, care coordination, mental/behavioral health and specialty care.   

“Physicians view telehealth as providing quality care to their patients, and policymakers and payers have come to the same conclusion,” said Gerald E. Harmon, M.D., president, AMA. “Patients will benefit immensely from this new era of improved access to care. This survey shows adoption of the technology is widespread as is the demand for continued access. It is critical that Congress takes action and makes permanent telehealth access for Medicare patients.”  

Congress recently extended the availability of telehealth services for Medicare beneficiaries beyond the current COVID-19 public health emergency, but additional action will be needed to provide permanent access.  

Also from the survey: Fewer than half of physician respondents report being able to access all of their telehealth platforms via their electronic health records, and more than 75% report their support technology does not automatically collect and deliver patient-reported data. Improving interoperability between platforms and support technology would improve and streamline telehealth services, according to the AMA.   

Additionally, only 8% of physician respondents report using remote patient monitoring at this time. Physicians perceive technology, digital literacy, and broadband internet access to be the top three patient barriers to using telehealth, according to the AMA. 

Going forward, the AMA will advocate for patient populations and communities with limited access to telehealth service, including but not limited to, supporting increased funding and planning for telehealth infrastructure such as broadband and internet-connected devices.  

Read the survey here.


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