End the duopoly

How to bolster state’s health care workforce

Today’s health crisis has taught us many important lessons, but here is perhaps the most important of all: Our medical professionals need more support. They need additional resources and flexibility to do their jobs effectively. We must empower them to meet any challenge that comes their way, both now and in the future. What does flexibility look like? Taking advantage of technological advances, such as telemedicine, would allow doctors to serve patients remotely. Telemedicine leverages the internet and video calls to increase access to care and reduce costs, boosting patient satisfaction at the same time. And for hazards like COVID-19, it is a vital component in slowing the spread of infection. Pennsylvania is one of only eight states without a comprehensive legal structure governing telemedicine operations. That prevents providers from fully investing in the service and offering the savings and convenience to patients. Unfortunately, a legislative attempt to provide such a framework —Senate Bill 857 — was vetoed last month by Gov. Tom Wolf. While the telemedicine bill represented a huge potential step forward for Pennsylvania’s health care sector, this isn’t the end of the road. Wolf and state legislators should work together to prioritize patients over politics and […]

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