While it’s been around for several years now, the past year has definitely seen a rise of telemedicine, both in the awareness of patients and in the adoption by healthcare providers. Says Ann Mond Johson, CEO of the American Telemedicine Association, “COVID-19 has allowed telehealth to prove its value as a safe, effective and necessary care delivery option that can provide quality care to patients when and where they need it. Telehealth is also helping to address several challenges that have been exacerbated by and will continue long after the pandemic, including a severe provider shortage and a growing gap in access to care for rural communities and our most vulnerable populations. Telehealth did not create these problems but offers a cost-effective solution to a failing healthcare system.”1
While there are those who are just now becoming familiar with telemedicine, there are those healthcare organizations who realized the value to the patients long before the COVID-19. John Capezzuti, COO of Altrua HealthShare, embraced the model for the health share’s Members in the years preceding the pandemic. “At Altrua HealthShare, we’re always looking for models that provide the best care for our members with an eye toward technology, safety, and convenience,” he says. “And as a dad of three little girls, I knew that time spent in waiting rooms, the possibility of cross-contamination from other patients, and the challenge to work and life schedules could be easily resolved through telemedicine. I was excited to be able to offer this option to the Altrua HealthShare membership. And once the pandemic hit, it took on even greater significance.”
Such healthcare entities with powerful reputations as Johns Hopkins have now fully embraced the telemedicine model. Johns Hopkins lists the top benefits of telemedicine as comfort and convenience, control of infectious diseases, family connection, primary care and chronic condition care, and better assessment.2 And the pandemic, while not only driving up utilization rates for telemedicine, has also proven the efficacy of telemedicine as a valid form of health care.
With all that the healthcare industry has experienced in the long month of the pandemic, telemedicine has become a bright spot of innovation moving forward. In a recent survey, almost half of those surveyed said they have used telemedicine in the past year, up 40% from previous years. “Today’s healthcare providers are seeking modern, impactful ways to maximize patient engagement, improve outcomes and enable more timely, efficient connections between patients and their trusted physician,” says Michael Morgan, CEO of Updox. “The experience must be consistent whether the visit is virtual or in office. Consumers have spoken to say this will be an expectation post-COVID.”3
For more information on Altrua HealthShare and how members are able to utilize telemedicine, visit:
Learn more about the unlimited telemedicine service Altrua HealthShare provides!