American hospitals are relying on telehealth more and more to handle the increasing demands of the coronavirus outbreak. But, online health services are now becoming strained from that demand.
On Tuesday, President Donald Trump expanded telemedicine coverage nationwide for Medicare patients, and gave states the authority to cover telehealth services. That means many patients can now connect with health care providers digitally. Last year, about three quarters of hospitals in the U.S. used telehealth technology.
STAT news reports telehealth providers are now faced with a huge backlog because there aren't enough physicians to cover all the appointments.
Not only that, but some companies are having to rush to upgrade technical systems that weren't meant to handle the increased number of appointments.
The U.S. is using telehealth as a way to avoid overcrowding hospitals here, a problem officials are battling in Europe. That way Americans who are worried they might be sick can follow public health advice to stay home, but still receive care.
Contains footage from CNN.