Analyze the effects of contemporary health policy

Analyze the effects of contemporary health policy

Analyze the effects of contemporary health policy 150 150 Peter

N506M3-3: Analyze the effects of contemporary health policy on providers and consumers.

For this assessment, select a local or state health care policy or legislation that was enacted in the last 5 years. Then:

  1. Summarize the policy or legislation.
  2. Analyze at least one strength and one weakness of the policy or legislation.
  3. Discuss the impact of the policy or legislation for all stakeholders, both providers, and consumers.
  4. This assessment should be a 3- to 4-page Microsoft Word document, in addition to the title and reference pages.
  • Support your paper with a minimum of three scholarly references.
  • Respond to the questions in a thorough manner, providing specific examples of concepts, topics, definitions, and other elements asked for in the questions. Your submission should be highly organized, logical, and focused.
  • Your submission should provide a clearly established and sustained viewpoint and purpose.

Your writing should be well ordered, logical, and unified, as well as original and insightful.

Sample Paper

Summary of Policy/ Registration

One of the most recent health care policies that have been implemented in the state of Maryland is the Maryland Medicaid telehealth program that was enacted into law on October 7, 2019. The policy expanded telehealth to allow all distant site provider types (health.maryland.gov, 2020). All types of healthcare providers in Maryland can therefore be able to offer health services through telehealth technology, with the only requirement being to consult with their professional licensing board to check if such boards permit offering health services through telehealth within their scope of practice (CCHP, 2021). The Maryland telehealth program also did not have any geographic restrictions, which telehealth providers and patients being allowed to connect from any location. Initially, the telehealth program only targeted individuals insured through Medicaid. Through the Maryland Medicaid telehealth program, all the telehealth participants were allowed to be enrolled in the health choice managed care organization or fee-for-service programs (health.maryland.gov, 2020). All telehealth providers in Maryland were are also required to be enrolled in the Maryland medical assistance program. The Maryland Department of Health also provided reimbursement for remote patient monitoring among patients suffering from chronic conditions through the Medicaid telehealth program(CCHP, 2021).

However, starting from July 1, 2021, the Maryland Medicaid telehealth program was expanded to include non-Medicare insurance coverage. The program was therefore renamed the Maryland telehealth program will non-Medicare insurance coverage and reimbursement requirements being extended to include healthcare services that were provided through telehealth (health.maryland.gov, 2020). From July 1, 2021, Medicare health insurance carriers in Maryland were therefore be required to provide health coverage for telehealth regardless of the time in which health services were provided or the patient’s location. Currently, the Maryland telehealth program has been able to attract patients from Medicare and non-Medicare insurance coverage (CCHP, 2021).

Strength and Weaknesses of Policy/Legislation

One of the main strengths of the Maryland telehealth program is promoting convenience and accessibility to healthcare services. According to Gajarawala & Pelkowski (2021), only 74% of patients across the US prefer easy ways of accessing health care services compared to in-person interactions with healthcare providers. One of the main benefits of telehealth is to enhance convenience in the delivery of health care services. The addition of virtual care healthcare practice provides patients with a simple way to access care on demand without the usual wasted cost and time in most in-person visits (Kichloo et al., 2020). Through telehealth, patients who live in remote locations or patients who are homebound and do not have the means to leave their houses, or patients who are busy and find it hard to take time off from work can access healthcare virtually (Kichloo et al., 2020).In Maryland, the telehealth program has boosted access to healthcare services among underserved and marginalized populations. By allowing reimbursement from Medicaid and nonmedicaid health insurance providers and also offering reimbursement for healthcare providers who provide remote patient monitoring services for chronic conditions(CCHP, 2021). The Maryland telehealth program has been able to enhance equitable access to health care services. The Maryland telehealth program has also helped to significantly bridge the gap of healthcare access, especially between different social groups such as high-income and low-income earners.

One of the main shortcomings of the Maryland telehealth program is the ability of the program to discourage in-person consultations in healthcare facilities. The increased use of telehealth technology in patient care significantly undermines the personal touch of healthcare delivery and can also undermine the patient-provider relationship, which is the foundation of healthcare delivery (Burroughs et al., 2020). The use of telehealth can also undermine healthcare delivery by the fact that not all procedures can be performed digitally. The negative effect of telehealth technology on the patient-provider relationship and the loss of personal touch between healthcare providers and patients can contribute to poor outcomes among patients, such as misdiagnosis or incomplete diagnosis. A reduction in in-person consultation can lead to an increase in adverse patient outcomes, especially in instances where procedures cannot be conducted through telehealth technology (Burroughs et al., 2020).

Impact of Policy on Providers

One of the main impacts Of the Maryland telehealth program on healthcare providers has been the heavy resources associated with the implementation of telehealth in healthcare facilities. The implementation of telehealth requires technical training and the purchase of required technological equipment. Healthcare providers need to restructure the responsibilities of information technology staff to provide training on the use of telehealth technology among healthcare practitioners and purchase equipment necessary in the provision of telehealth services (Gajarawala & Pelkowski, 2021). Healthcare providers need to train medical staff such as practice managers and physicians on the new systems of delivery of care so as to ensure a solid return on investment. All the processes involved in the implementation of telehealth, such as the purchase of telehealth equipment, restructuring of its staff responsibilities, and training medical staff, require a lot of time and finances (Gajarawala & Pelkowski, 2021). Most healthcare providers in Maryland have struggled with the full implementation of telehealth programs because of the significant amount of resources both in time and money required to implement such programs. Most healthcare providers in Maryland have called for state assistance in the implementation of telehealth programs to help supplement their resources.

Impact of Policy on Consumers

The Maryland telehealth program has had a significant impact on health care consumers, including enhancing access to health care services. Marginalized and underserved populations in Maryland have been able to access healthcare services from their remote locations. The Maryland state health program has also helped healthcare consumers to save on time and costs associated with visiting healthcare facilities physically (CCHP, 2021). However, despite the numerous benefits of the Maryland telehealth program, one of the most significant negative impacts of the program has been contributing to reduced care continuity. In most instances, patients can utilize on-demand telemedicine services and are therefore connected with random healthcare providers, which has a negative impact on care continuity. When utilizing telehealth technology, a patient’s primary care provider might also struggle to access previous records of patients, which can contribute to the incomplete history of a patient (Kichloo et al., 2020). On the other hand, by encouraging service providers to shuffle, telehealth increases the risk of a physician not having adequate knowledge of a patient’s history or having adequate documentation related to care routines. The reduced care continuity caused by telehealth technology can contribute to negative outcomes among patients (Kichloo et al., 2020). As a result of the reduced care continuity, which can decrease the quality of healthcare services provided to patients, telemedicine providers across Maryland have been advised to rely on sound data solutions to maintain adequate and accessible patient records.

References

Burroughs, M., Urits, I., Viswanath, O., Simopoulos, T., & Hasoon, J. (2020). Benefits and shortcomings of utilizing telemedicine during the COVID-19 pandemic. Baylor University Medical Center Proceedings33(4), 699–700. https://doi.org/10.1080/08998280.2020.1792728

Center for Connected Health Policy (CCHP). (2021, October 11). Maryland State Telehealth Laws. CCHP. Retrieved February 19, 2022, from https://www.cchpca.org/maryland/

Gajarawala, S. N., & Pelkowski, J. N. (2021). Telehealth Benefits and Barriers. The Journal for Nurse Practitioners17(2), 218–221. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nurpra.2020.09.013

health.maryland.gov. (2020). Telehealth Program Information. Maryland.Gov Enterprise Agency Template. Retrieved February 19, 2022, from https://health.maryland.gov/mmcp/Pages/telehealth.aspx#:%7E:text=On%20March%2020%2C%202020%2C%20Governor,during%20the%20state%20of%20emergency.

Kichloo, A., Albosta, M., Dettloff, K., Wani, F., El-Amir, Z., Singh, J., Aljadah, M., Chakinala, R. C., Kanugula, A. K., Solanki, S., & Chugh, S. (2020). Telemedicine, the current COVID-19 pandemic, and the future: a narrative review and perspectives moving forward in the USA. Family Medicine and Community Health8(3), e000530. https://doi.org/10.1136/fmch-2020-000530