Telemedicine Improves Care in Kentucky Nursing Homes
Posted in General on July 18, 2013
New advances in telemedicine promise to reduce nursing home neglect in Kentucky.
Tools like two-way video, text, Skype and e-mail allow nursing home residents to consult with doctors from the comfort of their rooms.
More than 36 million Americans are using telemedicine in some way, according to one report, and up to 70 percent of doctor visits can be handled over the phone.
Telemedicine is especially useful in nursing homes, where some residents have difficulty physically getting to the doctor’s office.
Medicare beneficiaries are covered for only one telehealth visit per 30-day period for skilled nursing facility services, pursuant to a rule from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
Health care providers want to increase that number.
The American Telemedicine Association has asked CMS to cover more than one televisit per month in skilled nursing facilities, citing plans to create a national broadband network dedicated to healthcare.
Telemedicine Benefits in Kentucky Nursing Homes
Here are some advantages of telemedicine, from U.S. News & World Reports:
- Convenience. Video links, web chats and phone conversations give seniors easy access to health care providers.
- Less time in the waiting room. Telemedicine eliminates the need to waste time sitting in a lobby.
- Cost-efficiency. Doctors typically charge less for a telemedicine consultation than an in-person visit. Telemedicine can also reduce travel expenses and improve access for patients in rural communities.
- Expedited transmission of test results. E-mailing an MRI or X-ray to a specialist for a second opinion can improve care.
- Privacy assurance. Telemedicine complies with HIPAA laws that prevent disclosure of private medical information.
Speak with a qualified Kentucky nursing home abuse lawyer if you think your loved one is not getting proper medical care.