Telehealth: FSA Eligibility
What is telehealth?
Telehealth, also known as telemedicine, the use of electronic information and telecommunications technologies to support and promote long-distance clinical health care, patient and professional health-related education, public health and health administration, according to the definition set forth by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HealthIT)
Telehealth and telemedicine are often used interchangeably, but telehealth is the umbrella term for a wide range of services that may be medical in nature but not directly patient-focused. Telemedicine, rather is the patient-facing service that is primarily geared toward providing remote medical services to participants, such as patient portals, dietary monitoring, ordering testing supplies and medication and more, while telehealth can encompass both patient and group medical services, such as provider training, continuing medical education and more.
Why is telehealth used as opposed to traditional medical care?
Telehealth is a growing industry that is in a great position to provide remote medical services to individuals who live in rural or isolated communities, where proper medical advice and consultation may not be readily available. Telehealth is also a supplement to traditional primary care consultations, and this term can be used to describe private practice patient portals, virtual appointments with medical professionals, remote monitoring and many other applications (Mayo Clinic).Telehealth can be adapted to a wide variety of medical applications, but it is a vital service that can make medical services more readily available or convenient for those with limited mobility, time or transportation options, as well as making it easier to consult specialists who may live in different parts of the country. But most importantly, telehealth is a 21st century innovation that is dramatically improving patient-doctor communication and providing more information than ever for patients to take stock of their own health and improve their long-term care outcomes.