By Dante’ Daniel, Public Policy Manager
I hope our AC Community is doing well! I am penning this blog just as an opportunity to reflect. I am just asking for 2 – 3 minutes of your time to think about the following questions and how you’ve experienced it in your own life.
- Has anybody ever cancelled that routine medical appointment that was only two miles away, but it took 45 minutes to actually drive there (Ex. Washington D.C. traffic)?
- Traveled 1–2 hours to go to that specialty clinic just for the doctor to see you for 15 minutes?
- Traveled 45 minutes from the suburbs (where parking spots exist) to the metropolitan area (where parking spots are hard to come by) and come back from your medical appointment to a parking ticket?
- Drove 30 minutes to your medical appointment, but 15 minutes of that 30 minutes was circling the parking lot for an open spot?
- Physically injured yourself two days before that medical appointment you waited a month for?
Can you relate? I can because these are all my personal experiences. Attending a medical appointment was an all-day task and at the time this did not coincide with being a full-time student and employee. So, what did I do in the disinterest of me? Not see a doctor for almost two years (yeah, I know, horrible)! My next time seeing a doctor would be an emergency room visit. Father time wins!
Since then, I have improved my attendance, but this is more so due to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) allowing telehealth appointments because of the pandemic. The ability to simply meet with my physician from home/work allotted me an increase in accessibility, patient autonomy, and flexibility. When needed to submit labs or bloodwork my physician simply submits an order and I go at my convenience.
Unfortunately for me and many others I’m sure, the telehealth option is a temporary policy under the recently expired Public Health Emergency and will soon be phased out. In response to this, the Amputee Coalition and 80 other signees have recently signed on to a comment letter urging CMS to continue to provide and expand on clear telehealth coverage policies.
We are hopeful we are heard, but we also want to hear from you. When I say “we” it is solely an assumption. Please let us know your thoughts by responding in the Advocacy Community on AC Connect. If you haven’t set up your free account, join today!