Now that 2022 is over, the anticipation (fear?) is mounting as to what lies ahead for digital health in the New Year. Will venture funding taper off, or will the market become more liquid in 2023? What changes in laws and policies will we expect? And public health emergency (PHE) exemptions? How will the end of WHO impact telemedicine services and patient care?
In a recent episode of health care slice During the podcast, Nathaniel Lacktman sat with host Jared Taylor, chair of Foley & Lardner’s National Telemedicine and Digital Health Industry Team and a member of the ATA Board of Directors. They discuss the current state of affairs and corner We talked about what happens around the corner.
Lacktman said the digital health industry has “moved from growth-only to sustainability.” Startups don’t expect startups to be profitable from day one, but they are looking for a direct path to profit.
Note: Venture funds typically have a lifespan of 10-12 years and a deployment schedule of 2-4 years. They have a fiduciary and contractual obligation to deploy funds raised from their limited partners for the purpose of investing in telemedicine and digital health companies. Of the billions of dollars raised over the past three years, Lacktman said: He continues: Limited his partners have a different sense of time and perspective, and Venture Fund his manager has a different sense of time and perspective. Despite the pressures investors can apply, the most urgent are often the founders themselves. Ultimately, the funds previously raised and allocated to investing in digital health should be there to give startups a sense of security.
When asked about the potential downturn in the telemedicine industry as PHE waivers expire, Lacktman said, “Ignore the reality that ending Medicare coverage for certain services will prevent doctors from providing those services. For example, voice-only calls are currently covered by the PHE exemption, but if eliminated as proposed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Service (CMS), a cohort of people who would not receive care will occur. However, the recent federal blanket bill signed by President Biden and backed by ATA Actions provides a temporary reprieve as many Medicare telemedicine waivers (including voice-only coverage) are extended until the end of his 2024. brought
While the pandemic and PHE didn’t create the telemedicine industry, they have rapidly accelerated the pace at which this technology is already being adopted. We have operated under so-called temporary exemptions for the past three years, many of which we now feel are fully integrated into the course of normal medical practice. These fundamental changes do not end just because your exemption has expired.
Outside of Medicare coverage, there may be more activity on state medical licenses. Most states have already eliminated their interstate license exemptions, but there could be more activity on state-by-state agreements on continued care exceptions for follow-up care.
Another area of focus is how the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) handles prescriptions for controlled substances via telemedicine under the Ryan Haight Act. There is a subset of patients who rely on controlled substances to prescribe critical medications. It is her DEA duty to make changes for patients who rely on this service.
Only time will tell what happens from here, but there is no denying that the telemedicine industry continues to grow and thrive.
listen in full health care slice Read the podcast episode here, or read the full transcript here.