Adoption of telehealth and alternative delivery methods is growing and could alter the health care delivery landscape, but it is still in the early stages. While there are risks that telehealth and alternative delivery methods are not worth the investment or may increase overall health care costs, a thoughtful but full adoption has the potential to improve patient access and health outcomes while greatly reducing health care costs. This Article addresses telehealth and whether it can help fundamentally change the game and achieve the “Triple Aim” of improving individual quality of care, improving population health, and lowering health care costs. Next, it addresses basic systemic challenges to achieving widespread adoption: longstanding health care regulatory laws that prevent more innovative delivery systems from expanding beyond their current “experimental” status, and reimbursement systems that undermine broad adoption, preventing expansion beyond limited niches. Finally, it concludes with a short review of pending legislation that would achieve modest reconciliation of the present conflicting regulations and unleash the telehealth industry for rapid growth.
To read the full article in the the Denver Law Review, visit www.denverlawreview.org/dlr-print-issues and scroll to Volume 95, Issue 2.