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Healthcare Post-COVID: Telemed Will Endure. Masks? Maybe Not


Maybe it’s crass to find the silver lining in a pandemic that has killed more than 2 million people worldwide and caused devastating economic disrepair. But more than a year after COVID-19 arrived in the U.S., American doctors say there are reasons to believe one legacy of this pandemic is that healthcare might be better in the years ahead. Virtual care visits, a new focus on social and economic inequalities, better hygiene among the general public, more efficient prenatal care, and better end-of-life preparedness are all upshots of COVID that could improve our lives.

“Some changes are here to stay, no question,” says Dr. Adnan Munkarah, executive vice president and chief clinical officer for Henry Ford Health System. “Telehealth will absolutely be part of how we deliver care in the future.”

Virtual care, which has skyrocketed during the pandemic because of the importance of social distancing, was a concept batted around for decades. The American Telemedicine Association, for example, was founded almost 30 years ago. Yet until COVID-19, insurance companies usually refused to cover appointments conducted via phone or video. In addition to private insurers making adjustments, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed bills last summer to expand telehealth in Michigan by mandating […]

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