Obstetrics is a discipline that studies and takes care of pregnant women. Along with childbirth, and the postpartum period. Over the past few years, various obstetrical services have been accomplished using telehealth.
Telehealth services deliver medical care to patients residing in remote and isolated areas. These services are provided by a joint partnership of telehealth companies and private hospitals. There are multiple uses of telehealth that attract the patient towards this new-age technology. Providing primary care, psychiatric help, pediatrics, obstetrical care, and medical follow-up. Mental health treatment, behavioral therapy, nutritional counseling, and medical advice are also some of the telemedicine types.
How do telehealth services work for pregnant women?
Implementation of telehealth technology has been limited in the obstetric service due to high expenditure on equipment, inconsistent reimbursement, and unavailability of the internet in rural areas. Doctors review all the medical reports of pregnant women through an electronic medical record (EMR) platform in a PDF format. Hospitals and telemedicine companies can have a private platform, software, or application to save the data. This can only be shared by health care providers. One feature put to use in telehealth services is, not all information can be stored in the electronic medical records platforms. Recording of video chat, saving texts, and digital remote monitoring device data has been restricted. Pregnant women connect to obstetricians and gynecologists via video conferencing and software. Multiple mobile applications are also developing to ease the course of treatment.
Telehealth insurance for obstetrics
Insurance coverages extended to all geographical locations
Prenatal and postpartum services are safely delivered to pregnant women through telemedicine services. Earlier companies used to provide insurance only to those people residing in remote areas seeking medical help via telehealth. As telehealth services have been exceedingly helpful during the global pandemic, providing claims for telehealth services irrespective of the residential area can be a suitable developmental procedure. Now, many insurance companies guarantee coverages of telemedicine services regardless of geographical locations.
Comparing the expenditure
It has been ensured that reimburse telehealth visits are available at the same cost. However, similar to the in-person visits, waive place of provider, and in-state requirements. Insurance companies provide coverage of audio-only and emergency department visits of pregnant women as well. Patient monitoring in remote areas is essential and should be made by health care practitioners. Telehealth services have been an excellent option to extend medical help in remote areas. Few types of research indicate that telemedicine reduces high-risk obstetrical monitoring visits. Hence, the technology-based medical help reduces in-person visits of physicians and gynecologists. This also enables better pregnant and postpartum services.
Development of DME equipment
Amid the coronavirus outbreak, state telehealth services are trying to implement measures to expand durable medical equipment (DME) to ease the work of doctors. With the advancement in DME equipment, physicians, obstetricians, and gynecologists will be able to monitor the bodily changes in pregnant women. This is possible through home blood pressure cuffs, blood glucose monitors, and pulse oximeters. The equipment that can provide at-home health services to pregnant and postpartum women is extremely reliant. Telehealth coverages vary from one insurance plan to another for DME services.
Communicating updated policies
Improvement in insurance plans for providing obstetrical services to pregnant and postpartum women via telehealth is essential. Imparting accurate information about prescription policies to obstetricians and gynecologists regarding telehealth services is necessary. Initially, in-person visits of healthcare providers are essential to teach expecting mothers and their family members working and use of technical devices. Teaching them how to use an at-home body monitoring system can enhance the workflow. Therefore, limitation utilization management policies for obstetrical services are a thoughtful measure.
Futuristic development in telehealth insurance plans for obstetrics
Patients residing in rural areas, older populations, and illiterate individuals can not fully access telehealth services. However, insurance companies are likely to increase reimbursement rates for audio-only visits post coronavirus outbreak.
Insurance companies obtain records from the attending physician of the patient. Therefore, in telehealth services, insurance companies need to rely on the electronic medical records of the patients as multiple physicians, obstetricians, and gynecologists can attend a single case.
Handwritten prescriptions of drugs, refills, or reports serve as a barrier of evidence to insurance companies providing telehealth coverages. Therefore, it is essential to develop underwriting programs for providing fully functional telehealth insurance policies.
There is an increase in the obstetrical services that execute using telehealth. Telemedicine services provide prenatal and postpartum services to women using this technology. However, many types of research suggest that telehealth is a risk-reducing technological development for pregnant women. After the pandemic, many insurance companies guarantee coverages of telemedicine services regardless of the geographical locations of the patients. Improvement in providing technical support such as home blood pressure cuffs, blood glucose monitors, and pulse oximeters are the focus to increase the percentage of the population using telemedicine services.