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Expanding Access Care

Expanding access to care, another theme of this year’s National HIT Week, is a topic that has received significant press over the past few years. Healthcare reform (the Affordable Care Act) was based on the concept that every American deserves access to affordable healthcare. And, with this year being a presidential election year, it continues as a central platform among politicians. 

Telemedicine is growing as a channel to expanding healthcare access. In May 2013, The New England Journal of Medicine reported that physicians in many specialties were starting to embrace telemedicine as a way to “expand their practice, reach new patients, and potentially improve the care of patients who have historically had poor access to medical services – especially specialty services.”

Here at KNB Communications, we work with several clients that are doing just that. Intelligent Retinal Imaging Systems (IRIS) is making it possible for diabetic patients to be examined for diabetic retinopathy via telemedicine from their primary care physicians' offices. AdvancedMD recently launched a telemedicine offering that is fully integrated with their practice management and EHR platform.

Perhaps one of the more interesting perspectives on how to expand access to care was presented in an article that looks at scope of practice. The piece focusses on how scope of practice has “taken on renewed importance in the past few years given the coverage expansion of the Affordable Care Act, the shortage of primary care physicians and mental health practitioners in sections of the country, the needs of an aging population, and the pressures to find ways of providing care less expensively without harming quality.”

We’d like to share that article with you, which can be accessed here.