We bring the world of
medical occupation & telehealth to your doorstep

Call Us

877-842-6833

Telehealth benefits: Should brokers join the movement?

There are several reasons to believe that telemedicine is on an upward trajectory.   May 1, 2017 | David Reid   With the way the industry is quickly gravitating towards technology, it’s a good time for brokers to consider adding telehealth coverage options for their clients. So much of life — work, family, entertainment — now takes place online, so it’s no surprise that health care delivery is increasingly happening online as well. In early 2016, the American Telemedicine Association reported that there were 1 million virtual doctor visits in 2015. The Association projected that that number would grow by 20 percent in 2016. However robust the growth rate, virtual visits represent a very small proportion of the 922.6 million recorded doctor visits in 2013 by the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey. Still, there are several reasons to believe that telemedicine is on an upward trajectory. In March 2016, Avizia, a telehealth platform provider, surveyed 280 healthcare providers and found that 72 percent of hospitals and 25 percent of physician groups offered some form of telemedicine.  And tellingly, the National Business Group on Health’s 2016 survey of 140 companies found that the majority of large employers (those with a workforce of 5,000 or more) offered some type of telemedicine benefit. The Group forecasts that by 2020, virtually all large employers will provide some type of virtual health coverage for their employees. A broader survey conducted by Mercer in 2015, which sampled 2,500 companies with 10 or more employees, found that 60 percent provided some type of telemedicine coverage, double the percentage that had done so the year before. Telehealth...

Digital Health: Gaining a Competitive Advantage

  Apr 21, 2017 | By Michelle Maskaly [1]   Imagine asking someone who their primary care physician is, and them responding by saying it’s their iPhone. That could be the future of digital health. Digital health is one of those industry buzzwords that make healthcare executives both excited and nervous. Excited, because it’s seen as innovative, cutting edge, and can create potential for new programs and ideas. Nervous, because of cost, regulations, and the reality that it could mean a complete overhaul of the way a pharmaceutical or healthcare company has traditionally done business. What’s driving the digital health trend? It’s actually very simple. The answer is, mobile devices. “We no longer go online, we live online,” said David Blair, head of industry–health for Google, during his presentation at eyeforpharma’s Philadelphia conference this week. “It’s no wonder you can’t list your iPhone as your primary care doctor.” If you think this isn’t the case, consider the statistic Blair cited–there are four-times as many Android devices activated every minute than babies born. He also explained that time spent online is up 33 percent in just four years. Patients are increasingly taking more control of their healthcare options, and as they spend more time on their mobile devices, they can, “swipe you out of the way, or click on you, and engage.” “There is a massive shift in point-of-care,” Blair explained. “We can provide care anywhere. We no longer have to go to a physical location.” Now that we know mobile devices are playing such a large part in healthcare these days, what’s the secret sauce to capitalizing on it? “Make...

Telehealth: A Vital Tool in the Home Healthcare Space

Health systems are using digital health tools and telehealth platforms to better care for patients after they leave the hospital, as well as those most at risk of returning. The platform adds critical value to a struggling home healthcare service line.   March 02, 2017 | Eric Wicklund– Editor, mHealthIntelligence   A North Carolina-based health system is one of several using telehealth to improve its home healthcare services – a critical move in light of expected cuts in home health reimbursements from Medicare. FirstHealth of the Carolinas, a five-hospital health system based in Pinehurst, N.C., reportedly saved almost $2 million by using telehealth to care for high-risk patients who don’t qualify for Medicare-funded home health services. The health system used a grant from the Duke Endowment to create a care management program for selected patients in its Medicare Advantage plan. Under the pilot program, launched in late 2015, the patients were visited by a home health nurse within 48 hours of discharge, then given an mHealth enabled tablet that allows them to track their own vital signs and send that data to FirstHealth. The digital health platform also enabled patients to access personalized health and wellness information and collaborate with FirstHealth on an ongoing care plan. According to health system officials, while the telehealth platform cost roughly $700 per patient for a 60-day care plan, rehospitalizations would have cost the health system more than $8,000 for each patient – none of which is covered by Medicare, and some of which could have cost the health system even more in penalties. “We looked at – for all the patients we...

Telemedicine saves time, travel costs, even air quality, new study finds

Findings confirm the benefits of telemedicine in terms of real savings to patients and to the environment By Heather Mack | March 22, 2017   While telehealth policies, technological advancements and utilization continue to grow, whether it actually reduces healthcare costs and improves outcomes is still a point of some contention. As the bulk of such analysis focuses on the bottom line of health plans and employers, researchers at University of California Davis instead are looking on how it impacts patients at a more basic level: driving costs. Spanning across two decades – and undoubtedly many fluctuations in gas prices and internet connectivity capabilities – the study, which was published in the online journal Value in Health, examines 18 years of UC Davis’s own clinical records from 1996 to 2013, evaluating inpatient and outpatient interactive video visits for 19,246 patients. Typically, the patient would still visit their primary care doctor, but they would then together consult a UC Davis specialist via video consultation. The cost savings were measured based on patient travel to a telemedicine center near there home versus traveling to UC Davis Health in Sacramento for specialty care. Collectively, telemedicine visits saved patients nearly nine years of travel time, five million miles and $3 million in costs. Of course, on a more granular, individual level, those numbers are a little more modest: over 20 years, one person could see a cost savings of four hours of driving time, 278 miles and $156 in direct travel costs. The study was regional, but California is a big state, and many rural areas are underserved not just by medicine but...