Doctor on Demand CEO: COVID has changed the telehealth industry
The coronavirus pandemic has created unprecedented opportunities for growth
in the telehealth industry, including treating mental health and chronic conditions like diabetes, Hill Ferguson, the CEO of Doctor on Demand, told Axios at a virtual event on Tuesday.
What's changed: "Everything from reimbursements, paying providers for telemedicine in places where that wasn't possible, lowering interstate licensing laws that was prohibiting physicians from treating patients over interstate boundaries has been relaxed, patients are now aware of telemedicine at much higher rates than they were before," he said.
Mental health: "Most people feel more comfortable talking to a therapist from their home," he said, adding that patients can avoid "having to go out into an office environment where you might be uncomfortable."
Physical health: The industry is learning that "much more can be treated virtually than was assumed before," Ferguson said, noting that more physicians are embracing telehealth visits after viewing the option as "substandard" before the pandemic.
The bottom line: "Now, with everyone being used to living in a pandemic ... using telemedicine to get care has become the norm. And so we're treating a lot more of everything," he said, including diabetes and mental health issues.