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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Texas is Finally on Board with Telemedicine

Texas is Finally on Board with Telemedicine

After stutters and starts, Texas became the last state in the U.S. to enact legislation allowing doctors to treat patients virtually. Proponents argue that it was sorely needed, as Texas ranks 46th in the country in the number of primary care physicians per capita—71.4 PCPs for every 100,000 residents, according to telehealth provider Teledoc; 35 counties don’t have a family physician at all. Teladoc actually started operating in Texas in 2005, but the state medical …

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VA Telemedicine Plans Are at Odds with Some Licensing Laws

VA Telemedicine Plans Are at Odds with Some Licensing Laws

Despite being ahead of the curve on telemedicine, the Department of Veterans Affairs is finding its progress hindered by licensing laws in some states. The “problem” is that sometimes virtual visits take place between a provider who is on federal government property and a patient who isn’t; this is especially dicey if the provider isn’t licensed in the state the patient is in. The VA says federal legislation would clear the path for providers to …

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