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Dr. Dale Toney: As pandemic continues, access to health care more vital than ever for Kentuckians


Insurance plays a vital role for everyone in our health care system, whether you’re enrolled in Medicare, Medicaid, an employer-sponsored plan or one off the marketplace. But what happens if insurers refuse to cover the vital services you need to manage your health and connect with your doctors?

这一直是患者及其医生越来越多的令人担忧,但随着我们继续迎接Covid-19,仍然升级。最近来自肯塔基州的健康计划协会(Kahp)的舆论之作并没有做得很多,以减轻这些恐惧,并且坦率地坦率地位,无法在差不多的时候来。

As people across the country inundate lawmakers with concerns over losing protections that ensure coverage for preexisting conditions, insurers seemingly want to turn back the clock and make health insurance operate like the wild west. Such protections have become a valuable part of insurance coverage today and should not be thrown out to enrich the already substantial coffers of insurers, especially when we’re still amid a global pandemic.

Instead, we should be focused on bringing some good out of this terrible situation and modernizing health care to better meet the needs of people everywhere. Telehealth, for instance, has become a lifeline in this time of uncertainty. The Kentucky Medical Association has been reminding community members not to delay care, and telehealth can help. And, with our state’s positivity rate continuing to trend upward, we need to ensure it stays accessible.

Even once we move past this pandemic, telehealth will remain a staple of our health care system, as it gives Kentuckians an easy, convenient way to connect with their medical professionals. Whether you’re someone without access to transportation, living in a rural area or a busy working parent, telehealth is a great option when making it to your doctor’s office just isn’t feasible.

Of course, there will always be reasons to see your physician in-person—receiving your annual flu shot and other important immunizations, for example. But, in many scenarios, telehealth can be an effective alternative for Kentuckians across the commonwealth.

A recent KMA member survey noted a dramatic increase in appointments conducted via telehealth since the beginning of the pandemic. Approximately 74 percent of physicians indicated using telehealth, despite only 10 percent having used the service on a regular basis before COVID-19, with a majority planning to continue offering the service.

While we understand this pandemic has brought financial uncertainty for organizations and businesses across the board, we cannot forget why health insurance exists in the first place: to help patients access the care and treatments they need. Telehealth is now an important part of that equation.

我们受到从保险公司看到的积极变化鼓励,以应对大流行,包括对远程医疗的更多报道。现在,我们要求我们的民选官员在法兰克福,以确保健康计划不走回来已经在获得医疗保健作出了很大的区别是一件好事。除了Kahp本身之外,在她陈述的情况下,他们的执行董事的另一个社论都是如此:

“即使在正常circumstances, telehealth is a useful tool for many Kentuckians, especially those who do not live close to specialists or who have transportation obstacles. But in times like these, the benefits are even more significant. They have reduced the number of people in waiting rooms and the risk of exposure for health care professionals.”

现在比以往任何时候都更多,我们应该尽我们所能来鼓励肯塔基人留在他们的健康之上,与他们的医生和其他医学专业人士相连。肯塔基州的医生仍然致力于提供护理,以便我们的患者保持健康安全,就像我们过去八个月一样。这是我们在医疗保健行业的所有目标都应该致力于努力。

Dr. Dale Toney is president of the Kentucky Medical Association.


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