From the day, Covid19 has gripped the world in its claws, the health care sector has drastically undergone a change. Virtual mode of operation has become the new path to procure and deliver medical services to all the citizens of the world. But it is noticed that Covid19 related telehealth rules for out-of-state providers if made permanent, may lead to unintended results such as fraud and limited patient access. Kaiser Health News has examined three grave outcomes that would be the result if telehealth becomes a constant factor in the US health sector.
- The first outcome that the citizens might face is a limitation for weak patients. People who are having limited internet access or tech literacy, especially old people and non-natives, might be left out of the widespread expansion of telehealth.
- There is a chance of an increase in fraudulent practices. Telehealth fraud cases have “gone through the roof”, in the words of Mike Cohen, Investigating Operations Officer of HHS. The percentage of scammers has increased manifolds trying to steal patients’ identities and sell them on the black market.
- Scams are also found from the sides of prominent healthcare providers. Some providers have been overcharging for appointment, billing for services that weren’t given or are not registered or licensed in the US.
- Mike Cohen also added in his remark, “ our sense is that telehealth fraud is more widespread than we envisioned. If we are going to make this permanent, we need to make sure there are guardians to ensure programmatic integrity and also patient safety”.