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  • Greg Smith

Telehealth: Julio Avael on Bridging the Gap for Medicaid Patients with the Support of Managed Care

Julio Avael

In recent years, Julio Avael notes that telehealth has emerged as a transformative force in healthcare delivery, providing convenient and accessible care to patients across the globe. One particular group that stands to benefit greatly from telehealth is Medicaid patients. Medicaid, a joint federal and state program, serves millions of low-income individuals and families, including vulnerable populations with limited access to healthcare services. While telehealth holds tremendous potential to improve access for these individuals, the responsibility of incentivizing providers and marketing telehealth services to Medicaid patients falls upon Managed Care plans.

Julio Avael on Telehealth Expanding Access to Medicaid Patients

Telehealth, the delivery of healthcare services through digital platforms, enables patients to access care remotely, eliminating the barriers of distance, transportation, and limited healthcare infrastructure. For Medicaid patients, many of whom face financial constraints, transportation challenges, or reside in medically underserved areas, telehealth presents an opportunity to overcome these obstacles and receive timely care.

Geographical Barriers: Rural areas often lack healthcare providers, forcing Medicaid patients to travel long distances for medical appointments. Telehealth eliminates this burden, allowing patients to consult with healthcare professionals from the comfort of their homes, thereby reducing travel time and expenses.

Transportation Challenges: Lack of reliable transportation can be a significant hurdle for Medicaid patients, making it difficult to attend in-person appointments. Telehealth appointments remove the need for commuting, ensuring that patients can access care without the worry of transportation constraints.

Specialist Shortages: Certain specialties, such as mental health and dermatology, are in short supply in many areas, making it challenging for Medicaid patients to receive timely care. Telehealth bridges this gap by connecting patients with specialists remotely, enabling them to receive specialized care that might otherwise be inaccessible.

Julio Avael on The Role of Managed Care Plans

Managed Care plans, which oversee the delivery of Medicaid services and aim to improve quality while controlling costs, play a crucial role in maximizing the potential of telehealth for Medicaid patients. To ensure effective utilization and widespread adoption of telehealth, Managed Care plans must take proactive steps to incentivize healthcare providers and promote telehealth services among Medicaid patients.

Provider Incentives: Managed Care plans should establish reimbursement models that encourage providers to offer telehealth services. Offering competitive reimbursement rates for telehealth visits will incentivize providers to invest in the necessary technology and training, ultimately expanding the availability of telehealth options for Medicaid patients.

Provider Education and Training: Managed Care plans should support providers by offering educational resources and training programs focused on telehealth. By equipping providers with the knowledge and skills required for telehealth delivery, Managed Care plans can ensure that Medicaid patients receive high-quality care through digital platforms.

Marketing and Awareness: Managed Care plans should collaborate with healthcare providers to market telehealth services directly to Medicaid patients. This can be achieved through targeted outreach efforts, informational campaigns, and leveraging existing communication channels. Raising awareness about the availability and benefits of telehealth will encourage Medicaid patients to utilize these services and access care more readily.

Technology and Infrastructure Support: Managed Care plans should assist healthcare providers in adopting and implementing telehealth technologies. This includes providing financial support for the acquisition of necessary equipment and ensuring the availability of reliable internet connectivity in underserved areas.


Telehealth holds immense promise for increasing access to healthcare services for Medicaid patients, particularly those facing geographical, financial, or transportation barriers. However, its successful integration into the Medicaid system relies on the active participation of Managed Care plans. Julio Avael notes that by incentivizing providers, facilitating education and training, and promoting telehealth services to Medicaid patients, Managed Care plans can enable the widespread adoption of telehealth, ultimately improving health outcomes and enhancing access for vulnerable populations.

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