The COVID-19 pandemic has massively accelerated the adoption of telemedicine in America’s healthcare system – a tenfold increase over what was seen in 2019. Moreover, in response to social distancing guidelines and insurance companies providing more coverage, people are now flocking towards remote appointments rather than traditional visits with their doctor.
In an increasingly digital world, virtual mental health care services are becoming more widely available – particularly in rural areas. Specialists can complete thousands of visits per month on behalf of nursing home staff members, all through secure computer systems and after carefully reading each patient’s electronic medical record before every appointment.
With the onset of COVID-19, there has been an unprecedented demand for expert support and services at care facilities as seniors face immense stress during their aging process due to isolation and fear. To make these resources readily available, states have given more power to nurse practitioners while it’s also become simpler to bill both public and private insurance plans for mental health treatment; this is all made possible thanks to developments such as electronic medical records & video systems technology.
Even after the pandemic subsides, Medicare looks poised to continue enabling rural communities access to mental health care remotely. Remote services are often necessary due to a lack of resources in rural areas – resulting in increased support critical for those who need it most during times of uncertainty.
Telehealth visits provide invaluable assistance to care facility residents, allowing them and their families much-needed support during difficult times. However, those with dementia present a unique challenge as they may not understand the video feed technology or how it works. To help mitigate these challenges for patients and staff members alike, an attendant is typically required for appointments. In addition, mental health professionals can seek advice from facility personnel about treatments that best suit each resident’s needs.
Before telemedicine was mainstreamed in rural areas such as nursing homes, time-consuming transportation requirements and anxiety-inducing journeys disadvantaged many of its most vulnerable citizens, but now, appropriate treatments are no longer out of reach.