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


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  5. Tony S.

    Telemedicine is the only way to consult with a physician without catching the deadly respiratory diseases they blame on cigarettes in the literature without providing all their patients medically necessary antibiotics for their medicine cabinets. SSA has found a unique way to abuse telemedicine by attempting to incorporate telemedicine calls on their list of videotaped interviews and other technological and professional communication infringements, ie. their lawyer administrative law judges (ALJs) medical gangsters vying with psychiatrists for command of the antidepressant killers, who publicly and privately fail to read and write like US judges. Let me dictate that in general SSA must learn to read and write the neutral citation of the Social Security Act with the people, as actually represented nationally only by me. The lawyers need to be fired from ALJ and replaced with licensed social workers to cut down the psychiatry with medical doctors and maybe do the people some good with spare change for the poor. Government social workers, like all government officials, must cite the law and SSA must not deny that they social workers. Most of the medical transcriptionists have been laid off and non-contagious doctors email their results. One former telemedicine physician now wears a mask when treating patients and gets paid a lot more for the added risk, but can’t cook a cigarette tolerant meal. It will be weeks before my hacked up gastroenterology book gives birth to a medical textbook on children, ob-gyn and pediatrics. I’ll be sure to share it with this blog posting in search of reviewers when it is done. Medical books take two months, six books seems right for this school year. For the time being I hope you uphold the 3% COLA and 2.5% health annuity of the Social Security Amendments of January 1, 2016 http://www.title24uscode.org/ss1.htm

  6. Gayla S.

    I have mixed feelings about telemedicine. On the one hand, it would make appointments easier for me because it is difficult for me to go anywhere. On the other hand, I have been misdiagnosed a number of times by physicians who physically examined me. Some of the medical mistakes cost thousands of dollars out-of-pocket and have ruined my health. I can’t imagine the increase in misdiagnoses if the doctor isn’t even in the same room.

  7. tammy

    “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”.

    hasn’t worked yet, in fact all I get is criticism, sarcasm and belittlement from being on your blog. absolutely no one has offered any help or advice to assist in fixing the issue I have, but they sure are fast to criticize. Lots of cyber bullying going on, must make people feel really big to pick on a disabled girl with cerebral palsy. I only pray that no one else has to go through life like me, every day is a struggle. I would love to work but I cant find anyone who will hire me because all they see is my physical disability. I actually have an abscess in my brain and if I move around too much, I risk the blood vessel popping again and then we would not be having conversations about anything. I have mobility issues, the entire left side of my body does not function. It is symmetrically smaller than the right side of my body. I cant use the left side of my body at all and subsequently, I have mobility issues.

    As if my self esteem wasn’t already at an all time low, I can count on checking the blog for helpful information, only to find people telling me that everything is my fault and what a horrible person I must be by pointing out facts in the rule. I must admit that I had high hopes of finding someone on this blog who could offer some help, but all I have found was people who enjoy tormenting disabled people.


    I am 45 years old, a mother of three older children and physically disabled ( I was born with cerebral palsy ). I’ve never collected one red cent of money from the Socialist Security System, even though I have applied several times and they find me disabled.

    Technically, I am an “adult disabled child” (please look this up, it is NOT SSI or SSDI) but have never been able to secure any benefits whatsoever from the Socialist Security system, even under that program because I got married to an “Able bodied person”. The Socialist Security system is too busy paying benefits to some people who scam the system and worrying about adult disabled children (who they pay benefits to off of a parents record) marrying an able bodied person. This gives them the justification to cut off benefits to the adult disabled child because the husband (in theory) can now support the disabled person. This theory works great, if your husband is rich and you have no need for money but what it actually does, is to force two adults (one disabled one able bodied person) to live off of one income. In the real world, the socialist security system is forcing adult disabled children to only marry other disabled persons (and NO able bodied persons) at the threat of loosing any and all benefits that they are entitled to.

    If you are a physically disabled person (an adult disabled child) and you happen to marry an “able bodied person” you will be loosing out on a lifetime of benefits, all because of a one word “rule” that prohibits you from marrying an “able bodied person”. Best of all, they never tell you about their “Rule” so that they can justify cutting off any benefits that you may be due.

    Because you are physically disabled (adult disabled child) and you choose not to marry another adult disabled child or disabled person drawing off socialist security, you WILL LOOSE ANY AND ALL BENEFITS FOR LIFE. This means that the SOCIALIST SECURITY system is TELLING YOU WHO YOU ARE ALLOWED TO MARRY and who you are
    NOT ALLOWED TO MARRY! It is a discriminatory act “rule” and should be ILLEGAL!

    Even though I am permanently and totally disabled, if I marry an “able bodied person”, somehow that marriage makes everything ok and I am no longer considered disabled (in the eyes of the socialist security system). Magically (because I married an able bodied person), the pixie fairies come down and cure my disability, because now I can just go out and find gainful employment, no one will discriminate against my physical disability and everything will be grand, right? Somehow magically, marrying an able bodied person makes my physical disablility dissappear and now I am cured, right? WRONG!

    The issue is a special “Rule” that the Socialist Security System uses to discriminate against “certain” people. If you are a “physically disabled person” (AKA-certain people) and happen to marry an able bodied person, then the SOCIALIST SECURITY system will use special “Rules” to legally discriminate against you and deny you benefits, even if you appeal online.

    The SOCIALIST SECURITY system has caused me a lot of economic hardship all because I married an able bodied person. The SOCIALIST SECURITY system thinks someone who is physically disabled (permanently and totally disabled) marries an “able bodied person”, that somehow magically they are cured of their physical disability and two people can survive off the able bodied persons income. WOW, talk about a bunch of bureaucratic idiotic thinking, that somehow this would not cause a financial hardship….. amazing.

    The rules that the Social Security Administration uses to legally discriminate against persons who are “Adult Disabled Children” who happen to marry an able bodied person, are discriminatory. This is loosely referred to as the “marriage penalty” but I call it exactly what it is, a legal form of discrimination.
    I firmly believe this rule, is an act of bias, prejudice and discrimination against people who (by no fault of their own) are born disabled and happen to marry an able bodied person

    Please write your Congressional Representative and tell them to end this modern day form of Legal Discrimination. In this day of fairness and equality, there are still some people suffering from an outdated and oppressive bureaucratic rule.

    (PS. notice how the only thing any of these SOCIALIST SECURITY workers ever say are quotes of the rules or processes, like a worker drone. They are unable to address any topics that fall outside of their rule books). Typical bureaucracy and bureaucratic responses, like trying to argue over lost change with a vending machine!

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  9. Joanna

    Telemedicine is an alternative to reach a Board-Certified Physician for common, non-urgent conditions (i.e. sore throat, allergies, pink eye, constipation, asthma, bronchitis, ear infections, joint aches/pains, skin inflammations, etc…) when you are not able to reach your physician during a normal work day, during a holiday, in the middle of the night or while traveling…and you need to speak with a professional about your condition instead of running to the emergency room (which is much more costly). Telemedicine is a service that you would not use for chronic conditions but for non-emergency medical issues and is an “alternative”. A person is able to use telemedicine anytime, anywhere including nights, weekends and holidays. Also a great alternative when you are unable to leave your home or work. Keep in mind that all telemedicine visits are reported to your primary care physician that insures continuity of care. You may also obtain a prescription using telemedicine if one is needed but this service is not used for your maintenance medications. Many insurance plans includes telemedicine for a copay that is most often less than a doctor visit with insurance. Another option is there are many stand-alone telemedicine plans for families that are very affordable with $0 cost consults.

    We are beginning to see a lot of other medical services added to telemedicine, such as behavior health visits, counseling, etc… but they do have a higher cost.

    I see many benefits to using telemedicine especially for a young family with children for those non-life threatening situations. Face it, this is a new concept, and most of us don’t like change. I, for one, think telemedicine will be a wave of the future.

  10. joe

    I think insurance companies paying telemedicine virtual house calls great idea because doctor see things might see otherwise. I remember now gone doctor him telling me that patient kept taking meds and following instructions. he confused why patient wouldn’t improve. one house visit saw state of patient’s refrigerator. per doctor everything was replaced like magic patient got well and stayed that way.

    he(the doctor) expressed concern that doctor younger age missing much doctor his age etc took doctor bag to house visit. I believe most hospitals should be required to offer telemedicine. second thought my state has telemedicine video call to all 75 county seats have one distant doctor office so now physician assistant etc nurse one sites doesn’t know patient has now get consultation 150 miles yes patient need transported to major hospital because nurse etc caught dangerous early stage. I also thought in response bio weapon etc exposure that rather create code black hospital situations control diseases limit exposure larger populations center. by default increase shortness of major illness out break. think India were have major completely antibiotic
    restant illnesses. help isolated folks beyond help reduce numbers of folks getting Ill. think this Ebola etc. fly’s from small part of world to small town America. because telemedicine video doctor realize can send staff fully protected to small town keeping patient zero isolated therefore out of control illness keep from spreading because all exposed individuals isolated given world class health care by telemedicine video. massive reduce affect of flying illnesses. unfortunately reality we(Medicare etc) citizen only flight or two away from major illness being small part of world coming to LA, NYC airports etc.

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