Telehealth revolutionized doctor’s visits. Could a hybrid model bring post-pandemic convenience and equity?

by Punya Bhasin

As the pandemic raged out of control last March, hospitals and medical offices felt the same disruption as other industries. In-person visits were sharply curtailed, and operations were upended by a shift to promising, but largely unfamiliar technology.“I’ve been a doctor 32 years. And I never thought I’d be doing it,” said Dr. David Talenti, president-elect of the Pennsylvania Medical Society. Like many of his colleagues, Talenti was able to continue his northeastern Pennsylvania practice via telemedicine.

At first, it seemed like a blessing just to be able to connect with patients. And as the pandemic continued, doctors saw unforeseen benefits in the disruption. Patients no longer have to drive to clinics or waste time in a waiting room. Access has expanded for patients in rural and underserved communities — and there are fewer cancellations. 

Talenti, a gastroenterology specialist, also noticed that since they’re sitting in

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