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Current evaluation methods of telehealth and post-pandemic permanent changes

Jan Elezian (jan.elezian@sunhawkconsulting.com) is Director, SunHawk Consulting LLC, in Denver, Colorado. Kimulet Winzer (kimulet.winzer@sunhawkconsulting.com) is Director, SunHawk Consulting LLC, in Phoenix, Arizona.

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic sent physicians and patients into a frenzy of needed direction, evaluation, and care. The risk of crowded emergency departments and waiting rooms with an inadequately understood, highly contagious virus provided an urgency for expanded telehealth services—and at a whirlwind pace. Virtual patient services, including telehealth, have been adopted with a speed and scale unprecedented in modern medicine. In the shadow of the prolific changes that have occurred, we want to take a closer look at the current telehealth arena. What should we keep? What’s working? What’s not working? Will past practices predict the future of telehealth? Will new technologies and innovations change the field? What is the compliance professionals’ role in expanding this seemingly popular method of healthcare delivery? Leaders in this space have shared that the genie will not go back in the bottle: The emergency protocols are being examined to determine what regulations and policies should be developed to move forward, and audits are close at hand to shape this mode of healthcare delivery.

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