While there have been significant strides in providing frontline clinicians with quality information, these clinicians still lack the tools they need to play an active role in controlling the costs of the care they provide. To date, only small steps have been taken at most health care systems (for example, clarifying the costs of specific tests during the test-ordering process), and new clinical analytics systems that offer better insights into costs and efficiency often aren’t integrated into day-to-day clinical care.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has released a proposed rule that would allow its healthcare providers to treat patients anywhere through telehealth, regardless of state laws. Health IT Now Executive Director Joel White states, "this proposed rule will be instrumental in breaking down geographic barriers that, for too long, have prevented our nation’s heroes from accessing the care they need where they need it.”
Lynn Martire, professor of human development and family studies at Penn State and affiliate of the Center for Healthy Aging, says family intervention approaches - such as working together to make dietary changes - can be an effective strategy for improving chronic illness management.
Studies show living in a densely populated city doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll have better access to healthcare services. That’s one reason a group of researchers wants to shift the discussion around telemedicine from a focus on geography to how quickly patients can get an appointment.