Virtual Care: Transforming the Way We See Our Providers

In this monthly series we are seeking out the transforming technology of Virtual Care. How does virtual care fit into what we know as telemedicine?  What are the newest innovations and products in virtual care? For telemedicine policy and reimbursement issues, read our regular reporting on Telehealth on RCM Answers.

Hashtags to follow for updates on virtual care:

To Listen:

From The Tate Chronicles, host Jim Tate’s (@jimtate) guests are Santosh Bhavani and Amit Mehta, MD, co-founders of MedNetwork, a full service platform provider for telemedicine on the blockchain. Their platform permits and supports the transfer, transmission, storage, interpretation, second opinion, and evaluation by artificial intelligence of medical data and medical images.

Industry News:

Northwell Health opens Emergency Telepsychiatry Hub, reducing ER wait times
Northwell Health (@NorthwellHealth) opened an Emergency Telepsychiatry Hub that provides remote, around-the-clock consultations for mental health patients in crisis coming to the health system’s emergency departments (ED) throughout New York City, Long Island and Westchester County. Telepsychiatry is an innovative, secure, online videoconferencing platform that connects patients with psychiatrists where and when they need them most.

Banner|Aetna Selects 98point6 as Virtual Primary Care Solution
Banner|Aetna (@BannerAetna), the Arizona health plan owned by Banner Health and Aetna, announced a collaboration with 98point6 (@98point6Inc), an on-demand, text-based primary care service that delivers personalized consultation, diagnosis and treatment to patients across the country. 98point6 combines board-certified physicians with innovative AI technology that delivers on Banner|Aetna’s mission to enhance the member experience and make it convenient and affordable for members to access high quality primary care anytime, anywhere.

AI-Powered Virtual Healthcare Available To Canadians
VirtualMED is partnering with HealthTap (@HealthTap), a US-based health technology company, to provide Canadians with easy access to high quality, AI-powered virtual care. No more waiting hours at the emergency room or weeks and months for a doctor’s appointment. VirtualMED members will have fast access to primary care, 24/7, from a team of licensed physicians on any internet-enabled device, complete with an AI symptom checker. If a diagnosis cannot be given through teleconsult, an in-person appointment is available within 24 hours.

New Survey by American Well Finds That Over Half of U.S. Physicians Expect to Use Video Visits to Care for Patients by 2022
A new survey out by national telehealth leader American Well® (@AmericanWell) finds physician telehealth adoption is at an inflection point. This shift in readiness is driven by physicians’ desire to improve patient access to care, improve patient outcomes and attract and retain patients. Coupled with a more promising reimbursement landscape and health systems’ vision to expand telehealth use, this shift in provider expectations around telehealth is set to fuel significant growth in the sector.

Virtual Care for Kids® Partners with El Paso ISD to Launch the Largest School Based Telemedicine Program in Texas
On-demand virtual pediatric doctor visits are now available to students in eleven El Paso ISD schools starting April 8th. Virtual Care for Kids, the first service of its kind in Texas made possible by Urgent Care for Kids (@Urgentcarekids), was selected as the first districtwide telemedicine partner for EPISD. This service provides student-patients through licensed nursing staff the ability to connect via video chat with a Texas-based pediatrician in minutes.

To Read:

How Virtual Care Enhances the Quality of Life – “Quality of life” is a term used frequently when discussing someone’s vision of their current and future state. The CDC acknowledges it is challenging to measure the term “quality of life” as this can be defined differently by nearly every individual, group, organization, and academic discipline. Health is one of the key dimensions of overall QOL, along with jobs, housing, schools, and neighborhoods, culture, values, and spirituality.

Addressing Staffing Shortages with Virtual Care – The aging of baby boomers means that older population segments will outnumber children for the first time in U.S. history, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. According to Jonathan Vespa, a demographer with the U.S. Census Bureau, “there will be 78.0 million people 65 years and older compared to 76.7 million (previously 76.4 million) under the age of 18” by 2035. By 2030, all baby boomers will be older than age 65 and 1 in every 5 residents will be retirement age.

How Virtual Care Can Impact the Institutional vs. Community Referral Stream – PDGM is top of mind for home health agencies as the Rule Changes will take place in 2020. As part of the preparations, many agency executives are beginning to evolve agency processes and practices which leverage their strengths as they related to PDGM’s changes. Under the PDGM, each 30-day period is classified into one of two admission source categories – Community or Institutional – depending on what healthcare setting was utilized in the 14 days prior to home health admission.


Several interesting articles on Virtual Care have been posted on GlobalMed, click on the links below to check them out.

Upcoming Events:

The American Telemedicine Association Events
ATA is a non-profit association based in Washington DC with a membership network of more than 10,000 industry leaders and healthcare professionals. We are a leading telehealth association helping to transform healthcare by improving the quality, equity and affordability of healthcare throughout the world. Find their next event.

AHIP Institute

Defining the industry according to the AAPF

Telemedicine is the practice of medicine using technology to deliver care at a distance. It occurs using a telecommunications infrastructure between a patient (at an originating or spoke site) and a physician or other practitioner licensed to practice medicine (at a distant or hub site).

Telehealth refers to a broad collection of electronic and telecommunications technologies that support health care delivery and services from distant locations. Telehealth technologies support virtual medical, health, and education services.

Virtual Care is a patient service model for healthcare providers.