Growing old calls for the kind of preparation to stay healthy and comfortable. But there are those who, without assistance, are unable to leave their homes for regular appointments to their doctor. Luckily, as the world steps into an age obsessed with instant communication, the silver lining of telemedicine has emerged and a new bill seeks to provide easier access to these resources.
According to the Longmont Observer, Colorado lawmakers are considering a bill (HB 20-1092) that would extend medicaid reimbursement to telemedicine. Telemedicine refers to remote visits between a patient and doctor and they can significantly cut travel and wait times. All that is required is a smartphone or computer and a digital appointment.
These telemedicine “visits” can be especially helpful for those patients who may be contagious or are susceptible to those who are, as well as those with chronic conditions like diabetes or high blood pressure and an established doctor-patient relationship.
Currently, centers are not reimbursed, as they do not meet the definition of a face-to-face visit.
While no estimates regarding additional costs have been issued, Polly Anderson, vice president for strategy and financing with the Colorado Community Health Network, believes the measure will reduce overall expenses since more people will have access to primary care.
It is important to keep tabs on how medicaid changes and affects those who have it. With the digital age rapidly bringing us all together in more ways than just face-to-face, laws like HB 20-1092 are meant to extend access to those in medical need. With telemedicine access covered by medicaid, regular checkups could be more easily accessible for the elderly.