And this gives you access to the best physicians on the planet. Policymakers have also flagged the importance of centering the needs of at-risk populations in expanding access to telehealth, noting that both rural and urban people could be left behind in the virtual care revolution.
Twitter: kjercich Email: kjercich himss. Skip to main content. Global Edition. The organization awarded grants to four safety net organizations that aim to connect low-income and unhoused communities with virtual care. By Kat Jercich August 24, More regional news. By Jessica Hagen. January 17, By Jeff Lagasse. By Bill Siwicki. Want to get more stories like this one? Get daily news updates from Healthcare IT News. Top Story. Most Koreans want to continue using telemedicine in the future - survey.
Cornell Scott-Hill makes big strides with specialist telemedicine. White Papers More Whitepapers. Following evaluation by a physician, patients who test positive for or are suspected of having Covid and have non—life-threatening symptoms are given a Bluetooth pulse oximeter. They pair the device with their smartphone and use it to measure their blood oxygen levels daily for two weeks, sending the data to a centrally located nurse care team.
If the level is low, the center contacts the patient and conducts a clinical evaluation via phone or video. Patients deemed to remain at low risk for severe illness continue with home monitoring.
Those whose condition is severe or deteriorating are instructed to go to the ER. In its first 14 months the program handled just over 10, patients and allowed Intermountain to avoid more than 1, hospital admissions and save almost 4, hospital bed-days, freeing up beds for critically ill patients.
If all providers in the United States had been using such a program, hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations could have been safely avoided, tens of thousands of lives might have been saved, and significant cost savings would have been realized. Chronic diseases are the leading cause of death and disability in the United States, accounting for seven in 10 deaths. Many patients hospitalized with or killed by Covid had conditions such as obesity, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and chronic kidney disease.
A leading cause of stroke, and a major contributor to heart disease and kidney failure, is hypertension, or high blood pressure. That means half of all people with hypertension remain at an elevated risk of severe complications. For members of large multispecialty medical groups such as Kaiser Permanente, high blood pressure is a much more manageable problem. The traditional approach to managing chronic disease is intermittent and episodic. Once a doctor makes a diagnosis, he schedules follow-up office visits on a routine basis, usually every four to six months.
Most Americans are used to this cadence, but it makes no sense. Some patients with well-controlled chronic diseases might not need to see their doctor for a year, while others would benefit from monthly evaluations.
Blood pressure can be checked at home with a device digitally connected to the electronic health record system. The combination of telemedicine and wearable devices allows for more-frequent medication adjustments, resulting in faster and better disease control and fewer complications at a lower total cost.
Each year , Americans suffer a heart attack. The ubiquitous smartphone, capable of video interactions, can be a lifeline for underserved populations. When the pandemic forced the closure of in-person clinics and offices, psychologists and psychiatrists across the United States quickly instituted virtual visits. Telemedicine visits remained popular even after restrictions eased. Intermountain patients receiving their care virtually reported high satisfaction and were less likely to cancel appointments than were patients who had scheduled in-person visits.
Kaiser Permanente uses video to address disparities in urban areas. In it began rolling out a program across 21 medical centers for pregnant women battling addiction. But even women without internet access could join virtual sessions with a smartphone, as long as they had at least a 3G connection. Sometimes all they seek is assurance that their diagnosis or plan is appropriate.
Waiting lists for specialist appointments can be long. For example, even before the pandemic, patients in the United States often had to wait weeks to see a dermatologist.
At Kaiser Permanente, primary care physicians routinely use telemedicine to consult dermatologists—while the patient is in the exam room. Patients leave with a confirmed diagnosis, treatment plan, and prescription. When a patient does need to visit a specialist for a procedure, the appointment is scheduled after the virtual consultation; no in-person consult is required.
Patients with obscure or complex medical problems often find themselves living a two-pronged nightmare. Patients may bounce from one local physician to the next, wasting weeks or months sitting through useless appointments and enduring sleepless nights. Telemedicine offers a far better solution. Virtual technology can connect patients with the most experienced and knowledgeable doctors regardless of where they practice.
A nationally renowned expert in kidney cancer is located in a remote corner of Marin County, nearly miles from some KP members.
Newly diagnosed patients can meet with him virtually. During video consultations he educates them about their condition, using visual aids on a shared screen.
He walks them through the relevant clinical information, their radiological scans, and treatment options. He shares videos of the anatomy and the anticipated surgical procedure. Given the rapport thus established, nearly all patients choose to have him perform their surgery, despite the distance many must travel; the day of the operation is often the first time both parties are in the same room. Intermountain uses telemedicine to connect patients who have complex and often very costly neurological conditions with specialists.
Its Neuro Fast Access Clinical Team virtual platform enables them to receive treatment for migraines, low back pain, and neck pain from an expert at a low cost, in the process freeing up valuable clinical time for patients who require in-person treatment, such as Botox injections for nerve and muscle diseases.
By eliminating the barriers of time and distance, telemedicine can help address two serious problems for patients with difficult diagnoses and rare diseases. The first is misdiagnosis.
The second is long waits for a proper diagnosis and effective treatment plan. Doctors must often attempt an impossible balancing act with respect to quality, access, and cost. When they increase access to care, costs rise. When they cut costs, quality suffers. The rise of telemedicine during the pandemic spotlights a way to provide rapid access to affordable, high-quality care.
Increasing both the frequency and the scope of virtual care nationwide would transform American health, improving the lives of patients who get sick during nights and weekends, those with chronic and mental health issues, and anyone who could benefit from virtual specialty care. It could save tens of thousands of lives and hundreds of billions of dollars each year.
Two changes would accelerate the implementation of telehealth and make care more cost-efficient and effective.
The health care organizations ranked highest on quality in national surveys are large multispecialty medical groups such as Kaiser Permanente, Intermountain Healthcare, Mayo Clinic, and Geisinger Health.
All are built around teams of doctors who are linked through modern information technologies and work together in a coordinated fashion. According to the American Medical Association, more and more doctors are choosing to become employees rather than work for themselves.
In fact, the share of U. Most providers in the United States work on a fee-for-service basis: They are paid for each test, procedure, and treatment they provide. The model incentivizes them to offer services whether or not patients need them. Logically, doctors whose income rides on the quantity of services they provide will resist any model that reduces ER visits, specialty referrals, hospital admissions, or surgeries. An alternative to fee-for-service is a prepaid, value-based approach known as capitation.
Widely supported by policy experts, it pays a risk-adjusted fixed annual amount per patient for all services provided. Although fee-for-service still accounts for most U.
Telemedicine can help address two problems for patients with difficult-to-diagnose and rare diseases: misdiagnosis and long waits for effective treatment. The combination of an integrated system that uses telemedicine to provide superior care and a capitated pay structure explains why physicians in integrated prepaid medical groups embrace telemedicine solutions more enthusiastically than do community-based doctors.
The ideal model for the future of U. They aim to provide convenient, expanded access via telemedicine. They are rewarded on the basis of the quality of care delivered to defined patient populations and the cost savings achieved.
They bear the financial brunt of health care inefficiencies and have the most to gain from boosting quality and affordability.
Physicians are increasingly dissatisfied with the current system and open to alternatives. Before Covid forced the issue, they were generally apprehensive about virtual care. But their positive experiences with it over the past two years have made them more receptive to expanding its use post-pandemic. Businesses will need to band together to achieve economies of scale and identify the right leadership in the surrounding medical community.
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|Legacy humane society||The combination of telemedicine and wearable devices allows for more-frequent medication adjustments, resulting in faster telemedicine kaiser permanente better disease control and fewer complications at a lower total cost. This application of virtual care not only addresses medical problems immediately and around the clock; it also prevents unnecessary ER visits that can lead to inappropriate telemedicinr admissions and thousands of dollars in unnecessary expenses per patient. By eliminating the barriers of time and distance, telemedicine can help address two serious problems for patients permannente difficult diagnoses and rare diseases. Each yearAmericans suffer a heart attack. Instead of rewarding them individually for the number of patient visits, tests, and procedures they perform, as in fee-for-service models, organizations should incentivize overall group performance.|
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