Telehealth alone won’t improve health care for the poor, Lori Uscher-Pines and Ateev Mehrotra argues in a research-based piece in the new Health Affairs. They examined the MAVEN Project and Direct Dermatology, both of which offer telehealth to primary care providers who can’t get local specialists to see their patients in a timely way, and found that while telemedicine offers promise, it can’t reduce the burden on dysfunctional health care delivery systems and may even stress them further. “Introducing telehealth into underserved communities generates new demand for services such as procedures or tests that can’t be done through video conferencing,” they write. “Telehealth requires integration into a well-functioning health care system that can address all the additional patient needs that telehealth generates.”
– Pacify Health, a pediatric telemedicine company, signed former Sen. Blanche Lincoln to lobby on issues related to the WIC federal grant program, which helps states pay for supplemental food, health care referrals, and nutrition education for poor children and expecting mothers. The filing also names Robert Holifield, Mac Campbell, and Hannah Lambiotte Smith.
– Maine’s new telemedicine regulations took effect this month. You can see them here.