On January 31, the HHS secretary declared a public health emergency in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. To help with federal, state and local efforts to flatten the curve, the healthcare industry has significantly ramped up its use of telehealth to provide medical care to patients on a virtual basis. Prior to the pandemic, telehealth was not used with regularity on a large scale, in significant part due to the inconsistent payment policies of third-party payors. However, health plans and regulators have taken a number of significant actions in the past two months to encourage the use of telehealth, which has, in turn, led to fast, wide-scale adoption by healthcare providers.
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