Use of telehealth could save billions (again)

Jason Goldberg, president of Ideal Life (Canadian health information company), writes in September’s Managed Health Executive about recent U.S. Congressional legislation that will provide direct Federal funding for telehealth, today largely up to the states’ Medicaid programs. There’s an unsourced estimated $197 billion in savings over 25 years–which would be a much needed but small offset to the Congressional Budget Office’s nine-year (2010-19) $239 billion in estimated additional deficit contained in the current House healthcare reform bill.  The best parts are the deft outlines of the progress being made in telehealth technology re mobility and highlights of key studies. Goldberg scores the industry on over-promising, under-delivering and making devices that only a techie could love.  The suggestions for smart implementation by providers (simplicity of use and multiple communication platforms as key) are worth posting in R&D departments.