Return of regulations: How will telemedicine adapt?

Telemedicine companies who have gained an understanding of federal and state regulations will continue to flourish, while those who choose to ignore them will likely fail, TechCrunch reported Jan. 24.

The COVID-19 pandemic saw an increase of startups diving into the telehealth industry. In January 2020, less than 1 percent of visits were conducted virtually. In 2022, that figure is estimated to be 38 times higher, according to the report. 

Since many telemedicine startups came into the industry when regulations were relaxed to increase healthcare access during the pandemic, these players may have to change their practices as regulatory oversight returns to normal.

Emergency legal waivers, for example, which allowed patients to see physicians who practiced in different areas of the country, are coming to an end. 

Almost 50 percent of U.S. states have lifted their waivers, which may lead to a new set of regulatory requirements for telemedicine, TechCrunch reported. 

This will change the telemedicine business model as companies will have to learn how to build their businesses in compliance with state and federal regulations.

Still, telemedicine is primed to meet the increased demand for healthcare. Telemedicine companies that guarantee user experience, medically specialized services and contain a variety of virtual care options amid tighter regulations can maintain their seat at the table with healthcare players, even after the pandemic ends, according to TechCrunch.

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