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Telehealth and Integrative Healthcare: A Marriage made on the Internet

July 28, 2013

A marriage made in heaven is the age old adage to describe a perfect fit.

Telehealth and integrative healthcare is the perfect fit for the new age of health and wellness.

For the new age to manifest, we need to provide choice and access to both consumers and integrative health care providers. There needs to be a forum for them to meet each other.  Think Match.com.

The wide world of the Internet, the information superhighway, holds the key to introducing the highly efficacious, low cost practices within integrative healthcare to the cost/time conscious consumer.homeopath

Telehealth delivery systems allows the provision of healthcare services via telephones, remote patient monitoring, real-time interactive audio-video communications to assess, diagnose, consult, treat, educate or allow the care and self-management of a patient/client/consumer remotely.

Integrative healthcare practices are composed of both licensed CAM ( Complementary and Alternative Medicine) practices i.e., chiropractic and integrative practitioners, those that are nationally certified such as Certified Classical Homeopaths (CCH).

The sustainable solution to our healthcare crisis lies in engaging consumers via telehealth consultations in active involvement with their own care.

Shifting the point of care  to more “cost sharing” by the consumer is all the rage now as insurers move to higher premiums with higher deductibles leaving a huge gap before one can use their medical insurance.  This is the gap wherein the perfect marriage can occur.

First, the introduction. The law of the land, the Affordable care Act(ACA) provides for a new national healthcare workforce (Sec.5101).

Why a new workforce? 1)There is a devastating shortage of primary care doctors and that is slated to continue. 2) All that heals is not necessarily drugs and surgery.

There is a vast diversity of healing practices with evidence-based research and clinical outcomes over hundreds of years that are safer and less costly.

The integrative healthcare practitioners who are state or nationally certified and who do not hold state licenses are free to consult via telehealth across state lines with no barrier.

The preponderance of these practices are traditionally cash based. No middle man insurance company as a barrier to payment.

Cash based practices are transparent and competitively priced driving more consumer use of integrative practices and less medical care lowering overall medical costs and increasing true prevention and wellness.

Second, the Courtship. High premium-low deductible policies have a Health Savings Account attached which allows the individual to pay for their own care by a practitioner of their choice (somewhat) with their own pre-tax dollars. Presently, one can use HSA for chiropractic and acupuncture.  Not much choice but it’s a start. “Don’t be so picky”, as my Mother used to say.

Third, the Marriage.  You choose the practitioner that suits you best. You pay with your own money. You make conscious investments in your own healthcare. You are responsible.

The marriage of telehealth and integrative healthcare promises a lifetime of choice and access to meet your needs as you age gracefully. Anywhere!

 

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