The use of telehealth was broadly expanded throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure uninterrupted care for patients, including those with chronic conditions. Many provisions for the use of telehealth were created as part of the government-enacted Public Health Emergency (PHE) to increase the ease of adoption and use of telehealth.
As we approach the end of the PHE, effective May 11, 2023, some of these flexibilities will expire in the months to come. This telehealth quick guide is intended to help physicians, practices and health systems navigate these changes. While telemedicine has historically referred to remote clinical services, telehealth can refer to a broader array of services using both synchronous and asynchronous technologies, including:
- Real-time, audio-video visits.
- Store-and-forward technologies.
- Online digital visits and/or brief check-in services, including verbal/audio-only check-ins.
- Inter-professional internet consultations.
- Remote patient-monitoring.
A detailed definition of telehealth and remote patient monitoring are in the AMA's telehealth resource center.
Telehealth is a crucial part of the AMA’s Recovery Plan for American Physicians. The AMA is leading the charge to permanently extend telehealth coverage and payment to ensure communities across the country can continue to access care when and where they need it.
This resource is being updated to help physicians, practices and health systems navigate the anticipated changes that come with the end of the PHE and provide ways to help ensure that telehealth remains a viable mode of care delivery beyond the pandemic.
If you have questions regarding the end of the public health emergency and what it means for the future of telehealth, join us on the AMA Physician Innovation Network to discuss with experts!
Value of telehealth
In collaboration with Manatt Health, the AMA developed a Return on Health framework to show the value of telehealth programs that can increase overall health and generate a positive impact for patients, clinicians, payors and society. Read more about how various health systems implemented telehealth programs to improve patient care.