Florida’s Silver Tsunami
Improving the delivery of health care throughout the United States is an enormous and complicated task. One of the most daunting challenges is the lack of a one-size-fits-all solution. Because of the significant demographic, cultural and environmental differences between states, what may work in Connecticut is unlikely to work in New Mexico.
In scanning headlines recently, we were pleased to see an editorialist in Florida with a keen eye for his state’s health care weaknesses but also its opportunities. Writing for the Orlando Sentinel, Robert Weissert analyzes Florida’s growing vulnerabilities, arguing:
A “silver tsunami” is threatening to flood our health-care system, as Florida’s population continues to rapidly age. The state is also facing a shortage of primary-care doctors, an additional 1 million uninsured Floridians and an influx of Medicaid patients. Florida’s rural patients are at risk, as Florida ranks 48th in the nation for geographic disparities in health outcomes across our 67 counties.
Weissart astutely suggests the state turn to technology for help. Specifically, he suggests that legislators adopt a health care framework that incorporates telehealth. Telehealth, if properly implemented, allows patients to be monitored remotely and take greater personal responsibility for their health.
Back in July we wrote a blog post about the amount of money that can be saved by turning seniors on to telehealth. Weissart makes a similar analysis, and finds that a one percent reduction in hospital charges through the use of telehealth would save Florida’s taxpayers one billion dollars a year. Therefore, telehealth not only helps make healthcare more efficient and transparent, it also provides real taxpayer savings.
But telehealth isn’t something to be developed in the future. It exists today. At CNSI, we recently created and implemented an app called myHealthButton. This innovative solution helps patients securely track their eligibility, medical information claim status and more. The solutions are out there, and we encourage Floridians and other states to push their government to grasp them.
How could your state better embrace technology to improve health? Tell us your thoughts by commenting or finding us on Twitter @CNSICorp.