The subcommittees heard from several panels including representatives from Harvard Medical School, the Center of Health Information Technology and Innovative Care Delivery, the Maryland Insurance Administration, and the Maryland Department of Health.
Maryland Matters reports on data and trends shared by the panels:
Prior to COVID-19, Maryland’s five primary insurers covered 719 telehealth visits, on average, per month.
By April, the average had spiked to nearly 48,000 visits per month — with the state’s largest insurer covering more than 107,000.
June and July, the most recent months with reported data, saw a drop-off. But online visits continue to account for 85% of all doctor-patient appointments.
The article reports panelists noted the benefits of expanded telehealth such as the convenience of electronic visits and reduced spread of coronavirus between medical staff and patients. Panelists also discussed challenges such as complaints of inappropriate conduct by doctors including improper prescribing of medicine. Looking towards the future, panelists discussed how state and local laws could be changed to cover “audio-only” communication permanently as such telehealth interactions are currently only covered under COVID-19 related emergency declarations.
For more information:
Regulators Tell Lawmakers of Telehealth Growth, Benefits, Pitfalls (Maryland Matters)