Nearly six in 10 (57 percent) of Medicare health plan members aged 65 and over said they are unsure if their health plan offers telemedicine, while another 31 percent said that telemedicine is not offered by their plan, according to a recent survey.
Today at Health 2.0, Teladoc rolled out the first tangible fruits of its acquisition of Best Doctors: a new mobile app for clients of both services.
"For over 20 million people today, Teladoc [delivers] healthcare that drives better convenience, better value, and better outcomes," Nita Stella, vice president of product strategy, said during a demo of the new app at the conference. "Now with our recent acquisition of Best Doctors, we have an opportunity to expand that mission to also enable access to the patients that have treatment questions, or seek a second opinion or other services to a network of over 50,000 providers that have been identified as the best in their field. Through this access, we’re excited to launch our new and improved Teladoc mobile application and website, which will be launched later this month.”
Daniel Trencher, SVP of Product and Strategy for Teladoc, told MobiHealthNews that Teladoc’s focus on acute care telemedicine and Best Doctor’s focus on medical second opinions is a powerful combination because of what’s referred to as the population health pyramid, a way of visualizing the cost distribution in healthcare.
“Teladoc has historically really targeted conditions at the bottom of that pyramid — higher volume, lower total dollars and in the acute space,” Trencher explained. “Best Doctors has attacked the top of the pyramid, so the most complex cases and costly cases that impact a smaller percentage of the population but really drive a lot of healthcare expense. And bringing the companies together really allows us to target the middle as well.”
Best Doctors and Teladoc had a number of enterprise customers in common even before the acquisition, and some customers of just one service will likely adopt the other as the two companies continue as a merged entity. This app will be rolled out to the members of some of those joint customers.
When a customer logs onto the app, they’ll be given two options (with a third to be added shortly after launch). The first, “Request a visit”, will take the user to an experience very much like Teladoc’s existing telemedicine app, which can guide them to either a phone or video visit for acute care, beahvioral health, or dermatology.
But the other two options are new and utilize one of Best Doctors’ primary assets: It’s vetted list of medical specialists around the world. On launch, the app will have a “seek a second opinion” option. The user will fill out a short survey in the app. Then, either immediately or at a scheduled time in the next 48 hours, a nurse will call them and do a more detailed intake. Then Best Doctors will set up a consultation with the appropriate specialist.
The final option, which will roll out as an update a little later, uses Best Doctors’ database to help the user find a high quality specialist near them for a first opinion.
These features are major parts of what Best Doctors has been doing all along, but notably Best Doctors has never before had a mobile app. Teladoc will also be launching a Best Doctors app for enterprise customers that use Best Doctors but not Teladoc.
The Teladoc app has one other neat feature. Using Geofencing, the app can tell when a user enters an urgent care center and send them a push notification reminding them that telemedicine is another — possibly cheaper — option.
Having Teladoc and Best Doctors’ existing services in one app is a meaningful step in the companies’ merger, but still an early one. Ultimately, Teladoc will look for more synergies to integrate the two business models, with the goal of covering that whole spectrum of care.
“The vision is to have services that can help meet the needs of patients throughout the course of their lives and for different types of patients across the spectrum,” Trencher said.Read More
The University of Mississippi Medical Center now bears the title of National Telehealth Center of Excellence.
The federal Health Resources and Services Administration bestowed the title on UMMC in recognition of its 14 years of providing telehealth care, especially for those with little access to both primary and specialty services.
The recognition carries with it an initial $600,000 in funding, with the opportunity for an additional $2 million over two years — money that “will help UMMC to build the infrastructure for research in telehealth and allow us to bring a national leadership to this emerging special area of medical practice,” Dr. Richard Summers, UMMC professor of emergency medicine and associate vice chancellor for research, said in a news release.
The designation also allows UMMC’s Center for Telehealth to serve as a national clearinghouse for telehealth research and resources, including technical assistance to other telehealth providers.
Thanks to The Clarion Ledger for this information.
Telemedicine lies in the forefront of innovation for the healthcare industry. Using a combination of telecommunications and technology, healthcare can be provided from a distance, providing essential coverage to people in rural communities, among others, who may not have ready access to medical facilities.
The global telemedicine market, Grand View Research noted in a report released in April, is expected to reach US$113 billion by 2025, up from US$24.9 billion in 2016, a compound annual growth rate of 18%. The research firm stated that the key drivers are the increasing numbers of chronic conditions and the rising demand for self-care. The "enhancing application of Internet, virtual medicine and rising demand for centralization of healthcare are expected to save on cost incurred, which is one of the critical success factors attributing for the growth of telemedicine market," research firm noted.
A recent KPMG-commissioned survey found that about one-third of healthcare providers are using patient monitoring and video services "to improve patient engagement and access to care and more of these programs are likely to come." While the study conducted by HIMSS Analytics found 31% of healthcare organizations were using video-based services and 34% provided remote monitoring, growth is foreseen as an additional 44% expect to add video-based services and 48% are planning for remote monitoring.
There is growing acceptance of telemedicine. A recent Harris Poll survey found that 65% of consumers who had a primary care physician said they were open to seeing their doctor by video. Among parents with children under age 18, over three-quarters, 78%, expressed interest.
Thanks to Streetwise Reports for this information.Read More
New laws to improve cybersecurity in the healthcare industry and to remove barriers that impede the expanded use of telehealth technology are among the legislative acts being sought by the Healthcare Information Management and Systems Society, which publicized its “wish list” during National Health IT Week.
In the face of massive amounts of patient information being stolen by hackers, and with providers facing financial, reputational and patient safety ramifications, HIMSS is offering a series of cybersecurity policy recommendations to members of Congress.
The nation’s leading healthcare IT professional association is asking the Department of Health and Human Services to appoint a security champion. The agency does have Christopher Wlaschin as its chief information security officer, but HIMSS believe a champion more power is needed.
HIMSS recommends that Congress enact legislation to raise the HHS CISO position to be a peer of the agency’s CIO, with the CISO having responsibilities to establish goals and priorities for cybersecurity.
These goals could include plans for effective response to threats, educating providers, vendors, insurers and other stakeholders on holistic security measures; working with organizations in other industries; and increasing the number of cybersecurity personnel in the healthcare industry.
The organization also calls on lawmakers to enact the CONNECT for Health Act of 2017 to remove Medicare restrictions that prevent reimbursing most providers for telehealth services and remote monitoring of patients using telehealth technology.
Thanks to HealthData Management for this informationRead More
More than half are already seeing success with improving outcomes and patient satisfaction while uncertain fate of the ACA appears to be making telemedicine more important.
Hospital executives are increasingly prioritizing telemedicine for delivering care services as the industry shifts from fee-for-service to value-based care.
Fifty-one percent of the executives and caregivers Reach Health surveyed, in fact, said telemedicine is a high priority and 36 percent ranked it as a medium priority. Only 13 percent responded that telehealth is a low priority today.
For its report, the “2017 U.S. Telemedicine Industry Benchmark Survey,” Reach Health also asked 436 executives and caregivers which telemedicine projects are already highly successful. More than half ranked improving outcomes, engagement and satisfaction as such, while 26 percent responded that efforts to reduce costs are highly successful and 18 percent said the same about reducing readmissions.
Thanks to Healthcare IT News for this information.Read More
Millennials are turning out to be the biggest proponents of telehealth services and mobile health applications. Telehealth services use technology such as computers and smartphone apps to connect physicians and healthcare providers with patients for diagnosis, referrals and treatment.
At nearly 80 million strong and growing in numbers, millennials are the largest generation living and working in the United States. Born between 1981 and 1997, they are generally more tech-savvy than baby boomers. Millennials want easy access, lower cost and convenient healthcare services that fit their busy lifestyles.
More than 50% of millennials are parents with young families. Healthcare providers are recruiting millennials for telehealth pediatric care that can be conducted from the comfort of the family’s home. Services offered include emergency diagnosis, referrals, periodic check-ups and ongoing parental education.
Thanks to Marlin Business Services Corp. for this information.Read More