I am a registered dietitian who has seen my patients use telehealth services throughout the Covid-19 pandemic and even today. I cannot overstate how vital this option has been for me, my patients, and the parents of my younger patients. Telehealth has been a great tool for dietitians like me because it has improved access to care. I can see patients while they are in college, I can see patients who have limited access to transportation, and I can easily include parents of my younger patients.
Unfortunately, the prevalence of eating disorders exploded during Covid-19 and telehealth allowed me to meet this increased need. Eating disorders are a medical condition and also a mental health issue. Fortunately, the mental health telehealth services needed to combat this disease have also been included in the expansion of coverage we have seen throughout the pandemic.
Many of my patients are covered by an employer and I have seen the difference this access to care has made for my patients. The services of a dietitian are not a luxury. The services I provide to my patients help them improve their health and prevent disease. Beyond preventative care, they are also a necessary component in the treatment of diabetes, weight management, and cardiovascular disease. Fortunately, this is recognized by insurers, highlighted by the need for these services, and others, throughout the pandemic. I hope to see this trend continue, especially among employers who already provide coverage to more than 177 million Americans.
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