Unpacking a Telemedical Takeover: Recommendations for Improving the Sustainability and Usage of Telemedicine Post-COVID-19

Qual Manag Health Care. 2022 Apr-Jun;31(2):68-73. doi: 10.1097/QMH.0000000000000329.


Telemedicine technology and regulation have been steadily growing over the last 2 decades. Prior to the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the availability of telemedicine in health systems and coverage of telemedicine were variable. Sudden and improved access to telemedicine was propelled by the COVID-19 pandemic, during which governments, insurers, and health systems ramped up telemedical utilization with short-term exceptions and waivers. As in-person care opportunities open back up, the presence of telemedicine is not receding and thus its widespread adoption needs to be facilitated outside pandemic-specific conditions. Long-term funding for telemedicine acquisition, centralized electronic health records, extended waivers related to telemedicine coverage and use, a Medicaid expansion that involves parity in telemedicine and in-person care, a nationalized licensure system, and an assessment of what types of care settings can and cannot utilize telemedicine are necessary recommendations to improve the sustainability of telemedicine after the pandemic.

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19* / epidemiology
  • Electronic Health Records
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Pandemics
  • Pregnancy
  • Telemedicine*
  • United States