05 Jun, 2017

Is Telemedicine Transforming Healthcare?

 -Is Telemedicine Transforming Healthcare-

At Healthcare Providers Transformation Assembly today, we’re discussing the latest innovations changing the face of healthcare today.

One such innovation is Telemedicine, a favorite among many health systems.

What is Telemedicine?

Telemedicine is simply the concept of using digital technology to provide remote diagnosis and treatment of patients. Telemedicine is a relatively new concept, born out of the advent of the internet and evolving telecommunications devices. Developing at lightning speed Telemedicine is quickly revolutionizing the world of healthcare.

How does Telemedicine work?

Simply, doctors can link up with patients by phone, email, and webcam, essentially enabling electronic consults.

Patients are empowered to use telemedicine to communicate with doctors. By using other new electronic devices, they can also relay information about blood pressure, heart rate, and other vital signs to their doctors enabling patients to manage chronic conditions at home.

Doctors are also able to use this technology to consult with each other, drastically cutting down the time it takes to diagnose. This is especially impactful when split-second decisions are needed to catch heart attacks or strokes, for example.

Telemedicine also allows for care in places where medical expertise is hard to come by. Doctors Without Borders actually relays tough questions remotely 5 to 10 times a day from its physicians in Niger, South Sudan and elsewhere in the world to its network of 280 experts around the world, thanks to telemedicine.

What are the advantages of Telemedicine?

According to the American Telehealth Association, Telemedicine offers four fundamental benefits:

  • Improved Access – Telemedicine brings healthcare services to patients in distant locations. It improves access for patients as well as for physicians and health facilities to expand their reach, beyond their own offices.

  • Cost Efficiencies – Reducing or containing the cost of healthcare is a key benefit. Telemedicine keeps costs down by enabling better management of chronic diseases, shared health professional staffing, reduced travel times, and fewer or shorter hospital stays.

  • Improved Quality – The quality of healthcare services delivered via telemedicine are as good those given in traditional in-person consultations.

  • Answers Patient Demand – Consumers want telemedicine, as these technologies reduce travel time and related stresses for the patient.

Who pays for the Telemedicine?

Health plans are eager to cover virtual care costs, insurers have been more hesitant.

“It’s very hard to get paid unless you physically see the patient,” says Peter Rasmussen, a neurosurgeon and medical director of distance health at the Cleveland Clinic.

Although this is starting to change, with several US states changing legislation to favor telemedicine. 32 states have passed “parity” laws requiring private insurers to reimburse doctors for services delivered remotely.

 

How else is Telemedicine shaking up Healthcare?

Telemedicine is disrupting the traditional relationships between providers and payers. This has ignited the creation of medicine “megabrands” who are competing for patients in each other’s backyards.

Insurers such as Anthem and UnitedHealth Group are offering direct-to-consumer virtual doctor-visit services. Major health systems are making their physicians available for virtual follow-ups and chronic-disease management, as well as urgent-care visits, to new and existing patients.

More and more major health systems are implementing telemedicine technology, making their physicians available for virtual follow-ups and chronic-disease management, as well as urgent-care visits, to new and existing patients.

Johns Hopkins Medicine, Stanford Medical Center, Harvard-affiliated Partners HealthCare, and other academic centers are all also offering remote consultation services.

American Well hopes to become what CEO Roy Schoenberg calls “the Amazon of health care,” offering a marketplace of branded telemedicine programs from top hospitals including Cleveland Clinic who is working to create a “Cleveland Clinic in the Cloud”. This would enable patients across the country to gain valuable access to physicians without going to Ohio.

ABOUT HEALTHCARE PROVIDERS TRANSFORMATION ASSEMBLY

Healthcare Providers Transformation AssemblyThe Millennium Alliance is pleased to announce that application for our biannual Healthcare Providers Transformation Assembly is now open. Join leaders from North America’s leading Health Systems at The Ritz-Carlton in Dallas, TX to discuss how the industry is adapting to a healthcare customer-centric transformation.

As we are beginning to see what President Trump’s administration is planning for the healthcare industry, with the future of ACA and Obamacare unsafe, Trump Care does provide a significant opportunity for digital health players to continue the shift to a more retail-focused industry. Consumer demand for greater price transparency and cost savings remains strong.

Customer-centric policies will continue to be important. Businesses must address rapid innovation and competition from non-traditional players, but above all, they must continue to respond to empowered consumers as customer-centric transformation sweeps healthcare.

Through a series of executive education roundtables, keynote presentations, collaborative think tanks, educational workshops, and networking sessions offering insight into industry-specific topics and trends, will help you stay one step ahead.

This is not just another “Healthcare” event. Spaces are reserved for the best in the business. Apply for Millennium Membership today

 

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