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:

Conversations on Health Care® is a radio show about reform and innovation in the health care system. Each week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter interview a thought leader from the realm of health policy, health innovation, health technology and global health. On this episode they talk to Congressman James Clyburn (D-SC), House Majority Whip and the third ranking Democrat in Congress. He talks about the legacy of the Affordable Care Act in advancing health equity, and the need to strengthen the nation’s community health centers through a national broadband and telehealth initiative to more effectively deploy quality health care to all Americans.

Industry News:

MinuteClinic Expands Video Visit Offering to Michigan, Pennsylvania and South Carolina
CVS Health (@CVSHealth) announced that MinuteClinic, the company’s retail medical clinic, has rolled out its video visit offering in the states of Michigan, Pennsylvania and South Carolina. People in these states with minor illnesses, minor injuries and skin conditions can now seek care through MinuteClinic Video Visits, a telehealth offering. MinuteClinic Video Visits provide patients with access to care 24 hours a day, seven days a week from their mobile device or computer.

Treatment Technologies & Insights, Inc (TTI) Launches Free New Health App Putting Artificial Intelligence In The Hands Of Chronic Illness Patients
Wave App (@wavehealthapp) is now available for FREE on all mobile iPhone and Android platforms, as well as some wearable devices and tablets, for people with chronic illness or conditions to take control of their health and manage daily treatment. Wave App makes it easy to track and record important activities like symptoms and side effects, medications, sleep, and physical activity, while also allowing users to share health updates with their doctors, family members or care providers.

Amazon just launched a health clinic pilot program. It’s the latest sign the company wants to upend US healthcare.
Recently, Amazon launched the program on the website Amazon Care includes video and text visits with clinicians, as well as in-home care. The program is described as a new benefit for employees of the company and is a pilot project in the Seattle area. CNBC’s Christina Farr first reported on the launch of the program. An Amazon spokesperson confirmed that the company is testing Amazon Care and said the aim is to give employees quicker access to care without the need for an appointment.

XRHealth Partners with Allscripts to Provide Integrated Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality Platforms
XRHealth (@XR_Health), formerly known as VRHealth, an extended reality and therapeutic applications company, announced a partnership with Allscripts (@Allscripts) to provide an integrated VR/AR platform, leveraging Allscripts Open APIs. The Allscripts Developer Program partnership enables medical professionals to prescribe and monitor the progress of VR/AR therapies on patient health.

MDCallU Launches Affordable, On-Demand Virtual Healthcare for Texas Families
MDCallU announced the launch of a suite of 24/7 telemedicine services that will change the way Americans think about access to healthcare and mental health services. MDCallU is convenient, high-quality medical care, regardless of location, packaged for ultimate affordability for those who need quick care for the most routine ailments.

To Read:

Connecting Home Health Clinicians with Agency Specialists – The increasing aging population, along with the rise in chronic conditions, has placed a great burden of care on home health agencies. Many home health agencies do not have condition-specific specialists on-staff and/or readily available for in-home patient visits. For example, a shortage of wound experts means that many agencies may have limited (if any) wound nurses on staff despite the need for wound care management.

How a Communication Platform Can Support Recovery – The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) sponsors Recovery Month every September to educate Americans that substance use treatment and mental health services can enable those with mental and substance use disorders to live healthy and rewarding lives. 2019 is the 30th year and this year’s theme is “Join the Voices for Recovery: Together We Are Stronger.” This theme celebrates the gains made by those in recovery as well as the improvements made by those who are managing other health conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, asthma, and heart disease.

How Messaging and Video Can Help HF Patients in the “Vulnerable Phase” Post- Discharge – One of the three causative factors for hospitalization for heart failure (HF) patients includes factors such as patients’ lack of adherence to self-care due to poor understanding or confusion. Home Health Care Management & Practice reported findings which suggest hospitalizations and subsequent readmissions for patients with heart failure can be reduced by engaging patients and increasing their knowledge of their disease and their self-confidence.

Telehealth’s Missing Link: Training and Support – Recently we’ve talked about criteria when evaluating telemedicine platforms – how the right solution will be provider agnostic, compliant, and evidence-driven. These are the priorities we hear every day, whether we’re having a conversation with hospital CEOS, school district superintendents, or correctional healthcare officers. If your goal as a provider is to practice responsible, outcome-focused medicine, you likely understand the importance of a sophisticated virtual health platform.

Why Telemedicine, Why Now? – Modern healthcare can spark furious debates when it comes to chronic disease treatment, congressional bills or care delivery models. But almost everyone agrees on one thing: our current system has severe problems. According to a Gallup poll, 70 percent of Americans say healthcare “is in a state of crisis.”

Why Do Telemedicine Compliance Certifications Matter? – What are you looking for from your telemedicine platform? If I had to guess, I’d say you probably prioritize the ability to deliver responsible, evidence-based care. You likely also want an agnostic telehealth solution that gives you clinical control and keeps your patients with the doctors they already know and trust. But what about compliance? Specifically, the compliance certifications for the telemedicine equipment you use to treat your patients such as data-capturing devices?

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

Upcoming Events:

HLTH: Create Health’s Future

Telehealth: An RX for the Consumer Experience
Hosted by: American Telemedicine Association in conjunction with HLTH 2019 Create Health’s Future Event
When: October 27, 2019 9:00am – 12:00 pm
Registration information

Telehealth solutions include digital health, artificial intelligence (AI), virtual care, remote monitoring, and digital therapeutics (DTx), as well as ‘store-and-forward’ or asynchronous technologies that securely transmit data collected from wearables, sensors and other devices to help inform clinicians’ decisions throughout diagnosis and treatment. DTx, in particular, applies Telehealth technologies, alone or in combination with conventional drug therapies, to treat chronic conditions, change behaviors and reduce health care costs.

What are the trends, opportunities, technology-based interventions, and virtual tools and programs that hospitals, healthcare providers and life sciences companies are adopting to successfully leverage Telehealth digital health solutions?

Join ATA to explore how Telehealth and the emerging field of DTx are increasingly changing the way health care is delivered. Hear from Telehealth and digital therapeutics innovators and thought leaders, who will share insights into the most promising solutions and services that are enabling direct-to-consumer virtual care, remote monitoring and disease management practices, and deliver personalized medicine in real-time.

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.

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.