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The Future of Telehealth Reimbursement: A Policy Analysis of Remote Patient Monitoring in Intensive Care Units

Rosentel, Ethan (2022) The Future of Telehealth Reimbursement: A Policy Analysis of Remote Patient Monitoring in Intensive Care Units. Master Essay, University of Pittsburgh.

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Telehealth has been one of the most revolutionary changes in modern medicine. It is the virtual exchange of real-time data to provide care for a patient, even when a caregiver is not in the same physical location. It has been a growing application of technology in healthcare for years, but its growth has recently been accelerated due to the COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19 has required innovative solutions for issues like monitoring infected patients from afar and
keeping up with providing routine screenings. Leveraging telehealth has allowed patients to receive attention from a provider without being near one and has allowed providers to monitor COVID-19 patients from a safe distance.

Telehealth was not immediately widely adopted because of the reimbursement policy associated with it and the implementation costs. In general, telehealth has been reimbursed at a level significantly below that of traditional care, if at all, and that is especially the case for tele-ICUs. The current standard policy around tele-ICUs does not encourage an investment in the technology. This essay examines the costs and benefits associated with use of tele-ICUs through a literature review and analyzes how a change in policy can have public health significance, impact stakeholders, and supplement healthcare in the US.

Tele-ICUs have the potential to be valuable and can be more sustainable in the long term than current options for intensive care. They have already shown potential to impact costs, patient outcomes, patient access, average length of stay, and more. While the literature does reveal reasons to be skeptical and a need for future studies, tele-ICUs could be the way to supplement intensive care medicine moving forward. Once the country moves past the COVID-19 public health emergency, it will be essential for the government to consider the contributions that tele-ICUs have made in the medical community and pass new policies encouraging continued implementation of them. Doing so will not only help improve care but also significantly impact public health and health equity.


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Item Type: Other Thesis, Dissertation, or Long Paper (Master Essay)
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Rosentel, Ethanetr18@pitt.eduetr18
ContributionContributors NameEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairCole, Evan S.evancole@pitt.eduevancoleUNSPECIFIED
Committee MemberTerry, Martha A.materry@pitt.edumaterryUNSPECIFIED
Committee MemberDrake, Colemancdrake@pitt.educdrakeUNSPECIFIED
Date: 16 May 2022
Date Type: Completion
Number of Pages: 42
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Health Policy & Management
Degree: MPH - Master of Public Health
Thesis Type: Master Essay
Refereed: Yes
Date Deposited: 16 May 2022 13:27
Last Modified: 16 May 2022 13:27


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