Apr 20, 2020
Logan chats with Terri Seppala, CEO and President of Telehealth Associates, about the use of telemedicine to deal with the COVID 19 pandemic as things are changing by the day — and hour. Seppala has been in the telemedicine space for many years and says that her company provides services to a wide variety of organizations. Providers, including specialists, are now able to assess, triage, and treat patients in the comfort of their own home. Patients prefer this approach because of the stay-at-home recommendations during the pandemic and because telehealth can provide 24/7 access. Telehealth has reached a turning point largely because it is being talked about in every sphere, Seppala notes; also, it is marketed heavily, and reimbursement policies have changed. She strongly believes that if you are a health provider and you are not in the telehealth sphere, you will eventually become irrelevant, and those who are practicing via telemedicine will become “virtualists” who believe that medicine can be practiced in different ways. Now, more than ever, patients can be treated by an interdisciplinary team, which could include physical therapists, social workers, nutritionists, and can lead to higher quality encounters. Seppala also says that some of the biggest changes in telemedicine due to COVID 19 pandemic have been regulatory changes regarding HIPAA and reimbursement, but it remains to be seen whether these changes will become permanent. The conversation closes with a discussion of technology in the telemedicine space and the importance of medical practices incorporating this technology and setting goals in this area. This episode is sponsored by Ora, www.oraclinical.com; Bridge Patient Portal, www.bridgepatientportal.com; Telehealth Associates, www.telehealthassociates.com; and Software Advice, www.softwareadvice.com.