This is a complex story even if you understand the medical system in the US and have been following what has been happening in terms of disease management (DM) and physician payment regimes controlled by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) (previously known as the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA)).
Fortunately, the strands are expertly picked apart by consultant Vince Kuraitis of Better Health Technologies in his blog e-CareManagement. The upshot is that telehealth should be getting a serious boost from a large scale project called the ‘Medicare Medical Home Demonstration Project’ (MMHD):
“The number of physician practices that will participate in the demonstration is estimated at 400; we estimate this will result in approximately 2,000 individual physicians participating. Each practice is estimated to serve 200 beneficiaries resulting in about 400,000 beneficiaries that could participate over the course of the demonstration.”
Before plunging into Vince’s posting, you might want to take a crash course in the context. If so, read the item headed Chronic Disease Management Megatrends which you will find down the left hand column on his site.
I’m also flagging this item as being in the ‘terminology’ category in view of the advancing use of the term ‘medical home’ which, due to this project, will only grow in currency. Why Americans have to medicalise everything is a bit of a mystery. It must be a cultural thing. Once upon a time they only medicalised people then, of course, along came ‘auto clinics’ for the diagnosis and cure of cars, then were ‘money doctors’ to care for your… er, money, and on and on. Now, just when you thought it was safe to stay at home, they medicalise, sorry, medicalize, that!