COVID-19 and its implications on governing healthcare
We see COVID-19 having vast implications on governing healthcare. Our first trend concerns regulations of telemedicine, interoperability and data protection.
COVID 19 Implications on governing healthcare
Trend 1 - Regulations of telemedicine, interoperability and data protection
Already before COVID, countries like Germany were driving the digital transformation of their healthcare systems for the good of patients. These are some of the expected consequences:
- Patients will have easier access to healthcare apps and video consultations
- All pharmacies and hospitals will need to connect to the healthcare digital network by 2021 to allow a better exchange of data
- Insurance funds will be able to promote the development of digital innovation
- The data protection law will be adjusted accordingly
This trend has accelerated with COVID, as several countries are reducing the barriers to digital health, and it is believed to stay after the peak of the infection.
Medicare has expanded its coverage of telehealth and will probably keep some of the measures after the COVID emergency.
- Medicare now pays for telehealth services "in all areas of the country in all settings" at the same rate as regular, in-person visits
- Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has loosened requirements on e-prescribing of controlled substances
- Insurers are reducing or eliminating cost sharing, broadening coverage and expanding in-network telemedicine providers
- Health systems have rapidly adapted to implement new telehealth programs or ramp up existing ones