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2015: The Year That Telemedicine Becomes Available to All Americans?

Election Day is almost here. On November 4th Americans will turn out to vote for the local, state, and federal candidates whom they believe will best represent their interests. And those interests for many, should be the future of their healthcare. One that CloudVisit(SM) Telemedicine believes will be in the limelight is the full integration of telemedicine and telepsychiatry via online video sessions into the broad array of health care services that should be available to all Americans.

"Telemedicine used to be the thing of science fiction, but thanks to digital media, today it's a fact of life," says Daniel Gilbert, president and CEO of CloudVisit Telemedicine.

American adults (age 18 and up) use the internet and/or their smart phones more than two hours every day. Many already use telemedicine solutions to work with their healthcare providers.

What's next for Telemedicine?

"We believe 2015 will be the year that government flattens the obstacles to country wide access for patients: lack of sufficient broadband in rural areas; Medicare's outmoded rules prohibiting the majority of reimbursements; and, divisive politics that get in the way of bipartisanship," says Gilbert.

Several factors are pushing momentum toward putting in place the necessary regulations and legal constructions for telemedicine to become available nationwide. Seventy percent of American adults have access to high-speed broadband connections at home. Broadband access is a prerequisite for telemedicine to work for both patients and providers. It is becoming evident that telemedicine can reduce the costs of health care, while at the same time improving patients' access to quality care, and positive outcomes. As we have seen with our CloudVisit Telemedicine clients, the demand is increasing for telemedicine services, particularly for providers' patients who need ongoing support. Growth in the telemedicine market reflects patients' wishes that health care services keep pace with technology to create better access, engage them in their own care, all with the level of convenience that telemedicine services bring.

The future of Telemedicine Legislation

Also moving in favor of telemedicine reaching its full potential is the current legislative cycle. The run up to the next presidential election is only a year away. Therefore, the coming legislative session will be the last before all eyes are on the candidates.

Lawmakers will want their constituents to feel well served by the people they elected, and telemedicine embodies all the elements that both sides of the aisle may be able to agree on:

Constituents are having positive experiences using the technology; it enables lowered costs while increasing patient access; and, it has nothing to do with the Affordable Care Act. Assuming neither party needs to walk away from the issue, there is tremendous opportunity for lawmakers from both blue and red states to work together to make full telemedicine access a reality.

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