Health and Wellness Informatics News

HHS Sec. assures secure usage of telehealth for the long run

Senior health officials of HHS and VA hinted their support for telemedicine along with ensuring its proper usability.

Both the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary and Veterans Affairs Secretary indicated their telemedicine support in their recent public appearance. When states decided to move to enact their specific laws on the usage of telehealth expansion, questions remain constant on federal response.

Xavier Becerra of HHS, during a Washington Post, confirmed their supportive attitude and ability to utilize telemedicine in greater ways. He added they aim to make it available for all Americans universally. Becerra reiterates at the ‘Post’ event that the Biden administration aids the recent moves in Congress. The movement claims to safeguard access to telemedicine even after the pandemic.

When discussing the danger of telemedicine exacerbating inequities, Becerra says, “not under my watch”. He continued, “You should have access to whatever technologies we as government through our taxpayer dollars make available, and so that’s why we want to make sure we do this the right way and that there’s accountability on both ends of the system.”

He also says that they are trying to assure the quality of the additional services and treatment.

Becerra, however, avoided weighing directly on whether doctors will be able to work outside their states. He rather added the difficulty in terms of accountability and fair treatment on going farther away from their provider and patient. 

When it came to broader technologies, beyond the usage of telehealth, he pointed out the role of digital health tools. He claims those tools can help to strengthen the U.S. public health infrastructure.

As per Becerra, COVID-19 pointed the loopholes that existed in the U.S. public health system. It is the result of being the most technologically advanced healthcare globally but failing to distribute it equally, he remarks. 

Meanwhile, McDonough, the VA secretary, shares his experience in adopting telemedicine facilities. He, on his side, says, “We want to maintain it because it’s the ease of access for vets who don’t need to be seen in person.”