With the roll-out of value-based care programs that focus on patient outcomes, health systems and health plans are using telehealth in a proactive way, reaching out to patients facing transitions in care, closing patient gaps in care and tracking treatment adherence for patients with chronic care management plans. Telehealth assists to create care management and coordination plans that help both the patient and the practitioner. Even with the proof of many benefits being realized, multiple barriers still exist for full adoption of telehealth including:
- Coverage and payment limitations
- Infrastructure limitations
- Limited access to technology to deploy telehealth
- Policy and operational issues
- Privacy and security risks
Even with barriers, telehealth continues to provide options that did not exist in the past. According to a recent fact sheet published by the American Hospital Association, 76% of U.S. Hospitals connect with patients and consulting practitioners at a distance through the use of video and other technology. Almost every state Medicaid program has some form of coverage for telehealth services, and private payers are embracing coverage for many telehealth services. The Medicare program recently expanded coverage for telehealth services for stroke patients and substance abuse treatment in response to statutory changes.
Many of the hospitals and health providers that are engaging in some form of telehealth are also impacted positively by the 340B Drug Discount Program. Telehealth services are often restricted to patients located in rural areas and in specific settings such as a hospital or physician office. These rural area hospitals and rural health clinics are also the settings in which the 340B Program is providing great value. In certain circumstances, 340B savings can be extended to practitioners who are engaging in telehealth but must be intertwined properly to meeting all compliance requirements. When properly used together, these two programs can provide great health care at an affordable cost to patients that have limited access to it.
If you would like to learn more about how telehealth and the 340B Drug Discount Program can be used in conjunction to increase patient care, please contact us to speak with one of our 340B experts.