More Women Turn To Abortion By Telemedicine As GOP Senators Aim To Ban It
A program called TelAbortion allows doctors to have video consults with women and then mail them abortion pills to take on their own at a time when many people are staying home. The New York Times reports the program is allowed to operate under an approved research study but is coming under more scrutiny by GOP lawmakers who have introduced a bill to ban telemedicine abortion. More reports on health IT are on more people turning to telemedicine and more surprise bills, as well.
The New York Times:
Abortion By Telemedicine: A Growing Option As Access To Clinics Wanes
Ashley Dale was grateful she could end her pregnancy at home. As her 3-year-old daughter played nearby, she spoke by video from her living room in Hawaii with Dr. Bliss Kaneshiro, an obstetrician-gynecologist, who was a 200-mile plane ride away in Honolulu. The doctor explained that two medicines that would be mailed to Ms. Dale would halt her pregnancy and cause a miscarriage. (Belluck, 4/28)
The Coronavirus Outbreak Could Push Telemedicine Into Mainstream
Telemedicine has been around for more than two decades, but its adoption among Americans has been relatively low. The coronavirus pandemic is quickly changing that. With millions of people around the country forced to stay home in lockdown and worried about potentially exposing themselves to the virus, many of them are turning to telemedicine companies' virtual consultation services. (Iyengar, 4/27)
Kaiser Health News:
Telehealth Will Be Free, No Copays, They Said. But Angry Patients Are Getting Billed.
Karen Taylor had been coughing for weeks when she decided to see a doctor in early April. COVID-19 cases had just exceeded 5,000 in Texas, where she lives. Cigna, her health insurer, said it would waive out-of-pocket costs for “telehealth” patients seeking coronavirus screening through video conferences. So Taylor, a sales manager, talked with her physician on an internet video call. The doctor’s office charged her $70. She protested. But “they said, ‘No, it goes toward your deductible and you’ve got to pay the whole $70,’” she said. (Hancock, 4/27)