Updated Oct 29, 2021 - Axios Events

Watch: A conversation on innovations in senior health care

On Friday, October 29th, Axios health care reporter Tina Reed explored how technological advancements are transforming the way seniors access and receive health care, featuring Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.) and American Telemedicine Association Board Chair Dr. Joseph C. Kvedar.

Sen. Jacky Rosen highlighted how caring for an aging loved one impacts their families, the current efforts in congressional legislation to improve senior health care, and adaptations being made to ensure rural areas have sufficient broadband to access telehealth services.

  • On expanding access to telehealth in rural areas: “We have to be sure when we talk about seniors that they have access if they’re in rural or underserved communities, we need to get providers out there and we need to give them telehealth and even telephone. That’s really important and we need to expand the providers that are there.”
  • On the important role of telehealth during the pandemic: “We know that it’s kept people alive. It’s helped people who are homebound, it’s helped people who can’t go with COVID they’re at risk because they have other diseases, high risks, they haven’t been able to go into an office.”

Dr. Joseph C. Kvedar illustrated specific innovations in technological gadgets for senior care, how to distinguish between valuable technology and useless health apps, and how to design health care tech tools for senior use.

  • On evaluating if a health tech gadget is useful or not: “The other barometer is are there good, solid clinical outcomes, usually from clinical research or clinical trials, but sometimes from real world evidence that point us to an outcome that we can hang our hat on as valuable. That helps me separate junk from non-junk.”
  • On telehealth in health care delivery moving forward: “For seniors, Medicare is pivotal, and right now Medicare is allowing for any senior citizen to get telehealth wherever they are...as long as their doctor is licensed in their state. It wasn’t always that way, it used to be that they had to be in a certain geographically narrowly restricted living area and had to travel to a clinic, and the doctor on the other end had to be in a clinic as well. So that’s a law, it’s been forgiven now for the pandemic, but we want to get it changed.”

Axios SVP of Events & Creative Strategy Kristin Burkhalter hosted a View from the Top segment with Better Medicare Alliance president and CEO Mary Beth Donahue, who explained how Medicare Advantage is factoring innovations in senior care into their plans.

  • “With this common understanding of medical and social needs, not just medical but social, really has Medicare Advantage being able to ensure that beneficiaries are getting the support they need for their healthy lives.”

Thank you Better Medicare Alliance for sponsoring this event.

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