Evidence that Telehealth Can Work Clinically Is Mounting

Evidence that Telehealth Can Work Clinically Is Mounting

Patients and insurers were quick to sing the praises of telehealth due to its convenience and relatively low cost. Healthcare providers and facilities have continued to be skeptical, however, given the dearth of evidence that it’s a safe way to assess and treat patients while bringing in adequate revenue. While those arguments have scared many urgent care operators away from giving it a try, mounting evidence that telehealth can work might start changing some minds. …

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Telehealth May Be Going Retail—But Is That Good for Patients?

Telehealth May Be Going Retail—But Is That Good for Patients?

Shoppers at H-E-B grocery stores were presented with a whole new product recently: telehealth “visits” with offsite healthcare providers. The chain is partnering with Reliant Immune Diagnostics, which has placed their MDBox telehealth platform in select H-E-B locations. For a charge of up to $50, shoppers can answer a few questions about their symptoms on MDBox before being connected to an off-site provider. That provider then makes whatever diagnosis they think is appropriate—and “writes” a …

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Telemedicine May Offer New Opportunities to Reach Kids in the Community—and Even in School

Telemedicine May Offer New Opportunities to Reach Kids in the Community—and Even in School

It’s hard on everyone—teachers, parents, and certainly children—when a student feels ill in the middle of the school day. And if the school nurse thinks the patient needs more care than she provide, Mom or Dad has to leave work and get their offspring in to see the pediatrician ASAP. Children in the Salamanca City Central School District in New York don’t even need to leave the campus to be seen by a physician or …

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Profitable or Not, Cost Savings May Demonstrate Value in Virtual Care

Profitable or Not, Cost Savings May Demonstrate Value in Virtual Care

One of the business arguments against telehealth is that no one has demonstrated it has strong revenue-building capabilities, to date. That’s still the case, but Intermountain Healthcare has quantified that cost savings can be realized with virtual medicine rooted in urgent care. As detailed in an article recently published on HealthLeaders, the average total cost of virtual care for a specified selection of presentations was $429, compared with $661 for on-site visits. (Compare both with …

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Telemedicine Continues to Sink In—But to What Effect?

Telemedicine Continues to Sink In—But to What Effect?

It’s undeniable that telemedicine is one of the most widely discussed, evolving topics in medicine today. What is less clear is how it is likely to affect the general public’s approach to healthcare and actual clinical outcomes, and what impact it will have on office-based settings (including urgent care). An article just published in The American Journal of Managed Care (AJMC) confirms that the ability to dial in for a medical encounter is resonating with …

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Telehealth Appears to Be Catching on with Consumers—and Some Clinicians

Telehealth Appears to Be Catching on with Consumers—and Some Clinicians

The newly released results of a consumer survey on telemedicine indicates a majority of Americans are open to using telemedicine when needed. Granted, the research was conducted by American Well, a telemedicine company with a heavily vested interest in seeing the concept take off; nonetheless, it echoes a growing trend among some urgent care operators like Righttime Medical Care. According to the American Well data, 66% of respondents are willing to use telehealth. Among those, …

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Call Centers Send a Lot of Children to the ED. Why Not Urgent Care?

Call Centers Send a Lot of Children to the ED. Why Not Urgent Care?

Depending on who you ask, telemedicine is either the next step forward in the evolution of patient care—and one that will foster revenue growth in the process—or gimmicky technology that will drive unnecessary prescriptions and end up diluting in-person visits. JUCM News readers have read valid rationale from both perspectives. Either way, though, it’s a growing phenomenon that urgent care patients are noticing, and getting curious about. Some telemedicine calls are handled by call centers. …

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Should the FCC Spend $100 Million on a Telehealth Pilot? Its Commissioner Thinks So

Should the FCC Spend $100 Million on a Telehealth Pilot? Its Commissioner Thinks So

The Federal Communications Commission is considering a $100 million pilot program to expand the use of telemedicine for low-income Americans in rural areas. Your belief that it’s either an investment in the future of healthcare or yet another boondoggle likely rests on your opinion about telemedicine itself. If you read the point-counterpoint discussion on the subject in the June issue of JUCM, you know there are strong arguments on both sides of the question. Either …

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American Well Buys Avizia—with More Attention to Urgent Care Expected

American Well Buys Avizia—with More Attention to Urgent Care Expected

Healthcare merger-mania hasn’t forgotten about the telehealth business, as American Well revealed that it will acquire Avizia. The appeal for American Well will be to expand its acute care offerings, as Avizia’s hospital-based business reflects more than 40 clinical specialties, including telestroke and telebehavioral health services. At the same time, Avizia said it expects that the newly expanded company “will offer…[an] enterprise telehealth platform for urgent care, chronic disease management, acute care, and postacute care.” …

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Could Telehealth Usher in Treatment of Broader Complaints in Urgent Care?

Could Telehealth Usher in Treatment of Broader Complaints in Urgent Care?

Infectious disease is not an area one would expect urgent care to play an important role, typically. If a patient in a rural county needed to “see” an ID at an urban teaching hospital, though, a virtual visit facilitated by the local urgent care center might be the patient’s best shot at getting the care they need in a timely manner. That kind of value has been demonstrated in a new study of infectious disease …

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