The expansion in telehealth services to address the coronavirus pandemic needs to continue, Sen. Tina Smith (D-Minn.) said on Friday at a virtual Axios event.
Specifically what she said…
Patients and providers have described telehealth as a lifeline, Smith said, especially in the need for mental health care, which has exploded during the pandemic.
Telehealth offers an avenue for addressing the uptick in depression, anxiety and suicidal ideation, “not as a complete substitution for in-person care but as a way of making care more accessible.”
The ability to speak with providers in the privacy of one’s own home especially helps those struggling with the stigma around mental health care, according to Smith.
Innovation in telehealth must continue after the pandemic ends, and “what we need to make sure is that those higher reimbursement rates on par with a personal visit don’t go away,” Smith said.