Update: A Deeper Dive Confirms Telemedicine Use Waxes and Wanes Along with COVID-19

Update: A Deeper Dive Confirms Telemedicine Use Waxes and Wanes Along with COVID-19

Recently, we shared data indicating that use of telemedicine appears to be on the decline following a brief period of increased utilization. Now an article published by JAMA Network confirms that those fluctuations tracked along with the COVID-19 pandemic, while also shedding light on who was drawn to virtual visits when in-person care seemed too daunting to some patients. Specifically, data from the IQVIA National Disease and Therapeutic Index showed that 77% of telehealth “visits” …

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Is the Pandemic Telehealth Boom About to Go Bust?

Is the Pandemic Telehealth Boom About to Go Bust?

It’s always been hard to get a good read on how telehealth would ultimately fare in the urgent care industry. There have been proponents who argued that anything that increases access to medical care—which telehealth does, undeniably—would ultimately be good for the patient and any operator smart enough to seize the opportunity. Others have argued (also logically) that a virtual visit can lack some of the nuances that are so essential in making the right …

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Thinking This Is a Good Time to Try Telehealth? Don’t Leave Yourself Open to Cyberattack

Thinking This Is a Good Time to Try Telehealth? Don’t Leave Yourself Open to Cyberattack

Regular readers of JUCM News know telehealth has been on the rise among urgent care centers for the past year. It’s been so popular across the healthcare spectrum during the pandemic that the federal government just extended certain waivers, such as approving the right of patients to “see” providers in states other than their own, during the current public health emergency. If you’re thinking this would be a great time to dip your toe in …

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Telehealth Has Been Booming During the Pandemic—so Waivers Have Been Extended

Telehealth Has Been Booming During the Pandemic—so Waivers Have Been Extended

Telehealth accounted for 5.6% of medical claims in October 2020—compared with 0.18% of claims in October 2019, according to FAIR Health’s Monthly Telehealth Regional Tracker. Given that cases of COVID-19 are climbing again, it’s unlikely the volume of virtual visits and ensuing claims will go down anytime soon. Consequently, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has extended COVID-19’s status as a public health emergency, and with it key waivers for telehealth until April …

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What One Early Adopter Has Learned About Telehealth—and How It Could Help You as the Pandemic Stretches On

What One Early Adopter Has Learned About Telehealth—and How It Could Help You as the Pandemic Stretches On

1.      Telehealth has expanded access to better and faster care 2.      Digital care is safer during the pandemic 3.      Telehealth’s clinical quality is excellent 4.      Digital tools support the direction healthcare is headed 5.      Many doctors tried telehealth and liked it 6.      Security, privacy, and fixing technical flaws are ongoing priorities 7.      Technology should be kept simple, but should be comprehensive What has your experience been with telemedicine? If you have anything to add to …

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The Message is Becoming Clearer: Get on the Telehealth Train or Get Left at the Station

The Message is Becoming Clearer: Get on the Telehealth Train or Get Left at the Station

Many employers sent workers to do their jobs at home last spring. A lot of them are finding that things are going just fine that way and considering whether to make remote work a permanent option that could save money on facilities. Similarly, many patients tried (and liked) telemedicine for the first time over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic—begging the question of whether that will become a preferred option that threatens traditional brick-and-mortar healthcare …

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A Surprise Finding in a Study of Telemedicine and Children

A Surprise Finding in a Study of Telemedicine and Children

One of the fears about use of telemedicine in urgent care is that providers might be inclined to overprescribe antibiotics, thereby stoking the already-dangerous trend of antimicrobial resistance. However, a new study conducted at Children’s National Hospital and published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine suggests that telehealth could actually help improve antibiotic stewardship. The study reflected 55,000 visits to a single hospital in 2018. Researchers tracked prescribing for bronchitis, sinusitis, pharyngitis, and upper …

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Take Note: Even Emergency Rooms Are Turning to Telemedicine to Cope with the Pandemic

Take Note: Even Emergency Rooms Are Turning to Telemedicine to Cope with the Pandemic

Adoption of telemedicine has been a controversial subject in urgent care. While some operators have seen its benefits by way of increasing access for patients—and, over the past few months, in reducing risk of COVID-19 transmission—others have expressed concern that patients may “self-diagnose” and demand prescriptions without the benefit of a full examination. Whichever camp you fall into, be aware that even emergency rooms are now experimenting with virtual care. Tenet Health Central Coast in …

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Some Urgent Care Operators Have Found Telemedicine Useful in the Pandemic—so What’s Next?

Some Urgent Care Operators Have Found Telemedicine Useful in the Pandemic—so What’s Next?

Many urgent care operators who couldn’t see the value in offering telemedicine services when patients could visit them on site at-will have changed their thinking since the COVID-19 pandemic took hold. Too many patients decided they could wait, or forego care completely, rather than take what they saw as a risk in visiting a healthcare facility. As it turned out, telemedicine gave those operators a chance to stay connected with patients and provide care where …

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Virtual Care Is a Hit with Patients Who’ve Tried It During the Pandemic—and They Want More

Virtual Care Is a Hit with Patients Who’ve Tried It During the Pandemic—and They Want More

If you’ve been following JUCM News or the “snapshot” surveys the Urgent Care Association has been conducting, you know that urgent care operators have been trying out telemedicine in greater numbers since the pandemic took hold in the U.S. The whole concept was new for many patients, as well—but according to a study by Accenture at least 60% of patients who have used virtual care tools recently say they would like to use technology to …

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