We Need Your Insights on Telehealth and Telemedicine

October 11, 2016 • By

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Last Updated: August 19, 2021

60thblog-oct-11What is the National Disability Forum?

The National Disability Forum is an open conversation where members of the public, community leaders, and Social Security employees come together to talk about the disability programs. Social Security uses these meetings to listen to you and your community leaders so we can learn what’s important to you.

Your input is important to Social Security. We use what we learn from you and your community to improve our rules and policies to help people with disabilities. The National Disability Forum does not replace Social Security’s normal rule-making process, but it does help us hear from you before we make any new rules. Learn more about the National Disability Forum here.

Our Next National Disability Forum will Focus on Telehealth and Telemedicine

Telehealth includes a variety of ways to use video and other technology to enhance healthcare and related information delivery.  Telemedicine involves clinical services provided by interactive communication, most commonly a video, between a patient and a practitioner at different locations.

We want to learn more about telehealth and telemedicine to determine if there are ways to use them to advance our disability programs.

What can you do?

You can help us by considering the following questions:

  • How can we use telemedicine or telehealth in the claims procedure to better serve individuals with disabilities?
  • How can telemedicine or telehealth help speed our decision-making process at all levels?
  • How else might we use telemedicine or telehealth to improve the administration of our programs, and what factors should we consider?

You can share your insights on these question by posting right here on our blog or at our IdeaScale online tool, or by registering to attend the forum on October 27. Social Security is here to help secure today and tomorrow, and together we can strengthen our disability programs.


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About the Author

Jim Borland, Assistant Deputy Commissioner, Communications

Jim Borland, Assistant Deputy Commissioner, Communications


  1. Elizabeth P.

    Useful if used wisely and as an adjunct to direct, hands on healthcare. Much can be missed when the patient is view indirectly. Also problems of access in rural communities without adequate technical support systems. Really opposed to this being the only care given without a practitioner being involved.

    • Susan C.

      I believe it would be a doctor/nurse practitioner/physicians asisstant who would be on a remote computer/robot who would talk to you like face timing/skype. That way they can also see you and talk to you just as if you were in their office. It won’t just be someone answering questions who has no means to treat you. I e-mail most of my doctors now and there is an option of whether or not you need a reply. So if it is just something about a lab or something you forgot to say at an appointment you can e-mail. Most of the time I have just had to add something I forgot, or ask for something they forgot or miscalculated.

  2. Bobby C.

    I have a couple of different chronic diseases which I take meds for. They do not cure, the Doctor’s said there is no cure. Ok, wow, I got diseases with no cure just control and maintain them for the best living experience i can have. I take many meds, 8 or more, I am on Oxygen 24/7. My problem is not having meds here at my house every month. Some of the meds they send 3 months worth. Others only 30 days. Why? That is a very hard problem. For me. Always making sure I order the meds, I like a system to do this say on the last Monday of the month. That will get all the meds here at my house on time. 2. I don’t want any thing on Mondays and Fridays and before noon. Why is that so hard? I am not 19 any more, I have a hard time with my breathing, I got to carry air with me everywhere and I got to set down, walking is a short time thing when I go out. I don’t get enough money to take care of my self. So I do without. What can you do for that? Like going to the store, to the dr. To get a hire cut go to shop for your tank parts can’t pay a number so what can I do I need some help some days a week a 4 or 5 hour day to help me say two days would do wonders, don’t have to be high dollar just early learner you know.
    Thank you, Mr. Robert C. Clayton

    • ata

      Controlled drugs have a 30 day script and maintenance drugs 90 days.

      • Susan C.

        Most insurance plans allow only a 30d supply. Most mail-order insurances will send 90d worth at a discount. Some medications may be cheaper for a 90d supply vs. a 30d supply.

  3. Bob K.

    Aside from one medication NOT covered, thus NOT covered by the secondary coverage, I find GoodRx.com to be very helpful. I can search for the best price in my area and save over $100 per month. As for doctors and walk-in clinics all hav e been coverd nicedly and timely. I would like to know more about about the “tele” form of doctor usage, especiallyy, as I am aging and access is getting more and more difficult.

  4. Tawana B.

    What do you do when the amount you receive is barely enough to get by

    • tony

      It is going to be the new, Social Security disability scam. Medicare and Medicaid is already being scam. The pill mill doctors can operate in one state and prescribe medication to drug addicts in another state. Local authorities can no longer close shop for these pill mill/pain management clinic. Federal law enforcement would have to get involved.

      Medicare is being fraudulently billed from companies with an address in another country. Medicare is sending payments to countries like China.

      Just open up your wallet and give away free disability money like Medicare does with Telehealth and Telemedication.

      The fraudsters are way ahead of Social Security and waiting for you to open the door.

      • tony

        People committing fraud on SSI won’t need to go back to the United States to visit the doctor or summit recent medical records.

        Telehealth and Telemedication is the fraudsters paradise.

  5. Patricia S.

    I am all for it get a doctor who helps with your problems not tell you its in my head or that i am a druggy cause i need a different medicine changed some people just dont get it when they dont have what you have

    • Alex

      From my personal experience helping my elderly parents, they were taking excessive amounts of medication it seems that every time they left the doctor’s office they had a new RX to fill. My mom at one point she was taking over 13 medications daily.

      • Susan C.

        I agree, that a lot of people are overmedicated.
        Unfortunately, our healthcare system is set up in such a way that the easiest thing for a doctor to do is just prescribe you something to save time. But don’t just blame the system, blame Big Pharma who are inventing diseases so they can profit. Although diabetes is not an invention, it is increasing amongst all age groups and all big pharms, and our healthcare system has to offer is pills, and injections that treat symptoms and does nothing toward treating or preventing the disease. what about nutrition, avoiding sugar and HFCS they throw into everything to sweeten it because it is the cheapest sweetener out there. HFCS is a scourge upon our food system. (high fructose corn syrup). Sugar itself is highly processed–if you think about it it starts our as a stalk of cane and they process it so much it is granular. For a comparison think about something like a table leg becoming sawdust without a router or saw of any kind, but chemical and mechanical manipulation.
        If you have not read the book “Sugar, Fat, Salt” read about the processed food industry. Even cheese is highly processed, not just the kind in an individual wrap. the more fat they put in a product, the more sweetener they can put in without you tasting it. If you don’t read your labels and find all the different names for sugar, (besides fructose, glucose, sucrose there is cane sugar, maple flavoring, rice syrup, HFCS, fruit flavoring etc.) you are poisoning yourself. Do you know they have stripped the fruit out of fruit flavoring?

  6. ALM

    I am a telemedicine provider and have done so for years.
    We do not replace the family physician but are an option when she/he is not available or for second opinions.
    There are some patients who have NO physician due to a recent move and unavailability. We cannot take care of emergencies on phone or video. It is a niche.

  7. Michael

    Use telehealth to get access to experts in certain diagnosis instead of just using some random doctor who doesn’t understand your illness, especially for rare diseases.

  8. Janet K.

    People in rural areas of American typically lack adequate access to high speed broadband internet. Many telehealth tools require >25Mbps up and down. Most rural areas do not have access to these speeds. So along with the development of telehealth and other communication tools, we need to fund and install infrastructure to give people access to affordable broadband internet.

    • Aloha G.

      I wholeheartedly agree!

      • Sher C.

        I agree the whole system sucks and is totally unfair in so many ways. Programs, local help, state help etc… bend over backwards for people that don’t speak English or are any other color but white. But, when it comes to a white, hard working, American citizen in need of help that has come upon hard times it is an act of congress and then some to get it.

    • Robert W.

      That’s correct. I live in a rural area and have tried several internet providers and get the same answer–“You line in a fringe area and can’t expect to get higher than 1.5 MB”.

  9. Eldene J.

    Accept the fact that many people have Multiple Chemical Symptoms illness and cannot go out in the world to work because of the chemicals in the air. Medical doctors are finally starting to accept this diagnosis as a real illness.

    • Susan C.

      What does “multiple chemical symptoms illness” have to do with this thread?
      Granted there are environmental illnesses and some people are more sensitive than others.
      All the polllution in the air, water etc. is not good for anyone.
      What about the food you eat? Do you eat organic? Do you eat cage free, grass fed eggs? Do you use grass fed butter? Do you eat grass fed beef? Do you eat only wild caught fish vs. farm raised? Do you avoid all medications and supplements? Do you wash your body an hair? Do you drink carbonated beverages? Unless you do all these things, plus, you are exposing yourself to contamination and pollution.
      But again, what does that have to do with this thread?

  10. Rhonda G.

    Needing part d, and have to wait til Next July.Seems unfair and in the mean time cannot get coverage , Please, I need suggestions. I would love to be included in the forum.

    • gwen W.

      it does seem unfair in light of the new presidential order that all persons have insurance and if you don’t then the irs will levy a tax on you…where does intervention and knowledge enter into the equation…these people need medical insurance or they will be burdened with hospital and doctor bills they cannot pay and probably never will be able to pay…

      rhonda gibson, look to free clinics, look to the makers of your meds for help in paying for the meds…some will help, some will provide free and some will ignore you…i kinda know a little about this…been there and have around $2500 in dr and hospital bills i don’t know how i’ll ever pay…what is it with insurance companies…where do they get the idea they can gouge the people in areas of necessary medical insurances and where is the presidential order for the ones who have to wait for their medical insurance to kick in…we need a total and complete revamping of the insurances especially for the disabled…

      • ata

        None of your comments concern matters pertinent to the forum. The fact that people are now learning that Obamacare is crap is not relevant.

        • Ice

          There are a lot of Part D plans that have a zero premium. Check out BCBS–I pay a zero premium for mine. If you just became eligible for Medicare you can sign up for a part D supplement.The Obama tax is only if you have no insurance at all.

        • Sam

          I happen think Obamacare was a life changer for so many people…have no idea what you mean by ‘crap’. Please do tell.

    • C.T.

      Why is parts b,c,and D..so much more expensive? I can only afford part A.i depend on my insurance supplements to recieve most of my general healthcare. I dont know what I’d do without silverscript.

      • Jenna Y.

        Thanks for your question. You may be eligible to receive medical assistance from the state in which you live. Visit the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) web page to find more information and to contact the social services office in your area. In addition, you can also visit the Medicare website to find out about programs available to help low income people with Medicare costs. We hope this helps.

        • Messan O.

          The right answer from the appropriate sources : The Government.

    • Marguerite R.

      Try calling AARP….
      And they got me a great part D
      At hardly no cost

      • Vonnee S.

        I also use AARP’s ” UNITED HEALTH CARE” and I couldn’t be happier with it…unless I could have a little more of my money at the end of the month. It keeps going up. My meager retirement doesn’t increase and when Social Security increases its just enough to pay for an increase in something else.

        • Rhonda K.

          COLA increase please of 10%.
          No more co pays and premiums for anyone making under $30,000.

          We need help now not more talk.

      • Susan C.

        There is no reason to Pay AARP an annual fee when you can find the information and the plans for free on Medicare’s website or a similar one that compares plans for you.
        All AARP wants to do is sell you all kinds of insurance. It is like buying something at the grocery store just because you have a coupon for it. If you don’t need it you don’t need to pay for it.

    • Tatiana F.

      If you only have Part A, you can enroll in a Part D plan between October 15 and December 7. You might be assessed a late enrollment penalty. If you don’t have either A or B, and missed your opportunity when you were first eligible, then you have to wait to enroll in Medicare A/B during the annual election period of Jan. 1 to March 31. Effective date would be July 1, and then yes, a month before you could get Part D effective July 1. But late enrollment penalties might apply. Contact your local SHIP. Check Medicare.gov for the telephone number

    • Susan C.

      Ms. Gibson, please look at the Medicare website. If you have not have prescription coverage or it was recently dropped, you should be able to sign up for part D at any time no matter when open enrollment is.
      In the mean time to get rx coverage always ask your doctor for samples and free “drug” programs from the manufacturers. If you search “rx help” you should be able to find programs as well. A lot of the big pharmacies have low cost programs for a large number of generic drugs, some with small membership fees and some with no fee.
      The penalty for late sign-up for part D is 1% a month for each month that you do not sign up. That is they will charge you an additional 1% of the charge for each month that you don’t sign up.

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