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Healthcare and Language Access Series: Sam Lippolis Interview – Part 1

Healthcare and Language Access Series

With everything going on with COVID-19 and the impact, or rather, the pause it on life as we know it, what is normal, anymore? For starters, medical translation and medical interpreting are still essential and required by law.

Shifting to telework, caring for our children while we work remotely, juggling meals, chores, social distancing, etc. Part of this “new normal” turns its attention to how we will provide and receive medical care moving forward. Emails, phone calls, video appointments, and other tech-incorporated communication with doctor’s is what encompasses the term “TeleMedicine.”

TeleMedicine, is sweeping across the country. It is not an entirely new system of care, but with the global pandemic, clinicians as well as patients are focusing more on the virtual medium’s aid in providing medical access to everyone regardless of whether they are comfortable with or able to make to their appointments in person.

I sat down for part 1 of our conversation with Telehealth rapid implementation expert Sam Lippolis, to discuss the future of TeleHealth and what it means for patients as well as those in the medical field.

Sam Lippolis passionately describes how COVID forced healthcare providers to shift their thinking on telemedicine.

Sam Lippolis, TeleMedicine Expert

Why we are now hearing more about TeleMedicine?

Unfortunately, through the years, many health systems have had telemedicine (to include interpretation and translation of said services) as a completely separate methodology that wasn’t valued as a “clinical” extension of what they do. This detachment is not because they are intentionally trying to not provide the service, but physicians have not been trained to incorporate such a tool in conjunction with how they provide care.

Now we have a global pandemic that forces us to work around the literal physical limitations of being able to meet with our doctors’ face to face. This public health emergency allowed video visits to be paid for from a patient’s home, regardless of where you lived. This need for services opened the door up to allow the use of telemedicine directly to people’s homes by tearing down the funding barriers previously holding back Medicare and the private payers.

Where is TeleMedicine Going?

TeleMedicine is growing rapidly within the healthcare industry in various forms. With some practices and hospitals implementing smaller aspects of it in to their routines, such as video appointments, to more robust restructuring of providing care to patients.

“The motivation is how to keep people out of going to the doctor by keeping them healthy. If we have that approach, we can make a big difference.” 

As more advocacy builds for providing the funding to patients to have access to TeleMedecine services and clinics and hospitals receiving the reimbursement for such services rendered, the movement to reform global processes for receiving care can change the way we start looking at how we deliver and receive medical attention.

Below you can access the full Part 1 interview to learn more about the direction TeleMedicine is moving and some ways medical providers can  incorporate TeleMedicine tools.