Of all the challenges everyone is facing in 2021 with the continuation of the pandemic, the healthcare system is scrambling still to catch up after being thrust into virtual platforms. The sudden explosion into virtual heath created a divergent chaos for all with each person having a varying degree of technological experience with these online platforms. Between text messages with care providers, photos, zoom calls or google meets, it created a deficit in how to bill for certain services and is now beginning to right-size itself with a means to properly enforce billing codes, services and payouts to providers. With everyone now getting a handle on the glitches technology can cause and a means to navigate, it is expected for telehealth to continue its rise in the healthcare field and be a permanent fixture in some health plans.
Another issue the pandemic has caused are the significant data breaches. In 2020 alone there were over 500 cyber breaches, leaking sensitive information. With all the advances in telehealth, and the sudden burst into online services, it contributed to the unfortunate security breaches. Healthcare companies have implemented multi-factor authentication when accessing their web-based portal or services, along with stronger firewalls to ensure these breaches depreciate. Practices who have acquired the HITRUST certification are less susceptible to security breaches.
No doubt 2020 and now 2021 has been a whirlwind at best, but the good news is that it’s slowly waning and leveling out for all involved. Telehealth will still be a strong component in the coming years and with the advances in proper codes and billing, it will be more streamlined and effective in safeguarding the patient and their sensitive information.