In May, HRS published a blog post highlighting the role of telehealth in combating the social determinants of health such as physical environment, economic stability, education, and food insecurity. Today, HRS dives into the benefits of telehealth in treating chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in rural communities with high rates of poverty.
On May 7, four congressmen introduced the Better Respiration through Expanded Access to Tele-Health (BREATHE) Act into the US House of Representatives. The BEATHE Act proposes a three-year pilot program allowing qualified respiratory therapists to use a telemedicine platform to deliver healthcare services to select Medicare recipients with COPD.
As the aging population grows, the number of people living with chronic diseases will continue to rise. Because medical advancements have increased the lifespan of these individuals, there is a consistent need for healthcare efforts directed toward disease management. By addressing the morbidity and mortality associated with chronic diseases, healthcare providers can improve quality of life and reduce hospital readmissions for the aging population.
Telehealth has the potential to change the way patients are educated about their conditions. By using virtual modalities to educate patients, healthcare providers can improve accessibility and efficiency of care.
Research studies have shown a significant reduction in hospitalizations and use of other acute healthcare services for patients using telehealth. With a high cost of COPD and COPD exacerbation, hospital systems have turned to telehealth to help improve outcomes.
Anne Carle, RN, Telehealth Clinical Coordinator at Cornerstone VNA shared with HRS a wonderful patient success story. In her own words, read her story below about caring for George Robinson, a patient who was able to manage COPD with the use of telehealth.
Ohio Living Home Health & Hospice, a leading agency serving 48 Ohio counties, is using innovative technology to keep patients healthy and at home.
Katherine Berger, MS is a Transition Care Manager/Admissions Liaison at Cornerstone VNA. Berger was trained as a counseling therapist and worked for 15 years in education. I had the pleasure of chatting with her about her role and her experiences introducing telehealth to patients before hospital discharge.
As the aging population grows and as chronic diseases become increasingly prevalent, healthcare must be accessible beyond hospital walls. Patients living with chronic disease are often not hospital bound. They can, and typically prefer to, live at home. The boundaries of healthcare must adapt to care for these individuals.