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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Penn Medicine Adds Services and Resources in Launching New Telehealth Hub

Penn Medicine Adds Services and Resources in Launching New Telehealth Hub

With the opening of its new 24/7 Center for Connected Care, Penn Medicine now operates one of the larges telehealth hubs in the U.S. In addition to virtual urgent care services, the system houses Penn Medicine’s 15-year-old e-ICU, and a service that focuses on patients with chronic illness. It has 50 full-time employees. The move reflects growing use of virtual care across the country, as confirmed by data from Sage Growth Partners revealing that 56% …

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North Carolina Blues Dial Up Telehealth Offerings

North Carolina Blues Dial Up Telehealth Offerings

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is collaborating with MDLive to put more patients in touch with providers using remote hookups via an MDLive app, with an average wait time of less than 10 minutes. The insurer says it recognizes “the potential of telehealth to help providers deliver their services in a more cost-efficient setting…and facilitate value-driven care for patients.” That level of access is especially important in areas where ill patients would have …

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Telehealth Growth Highest in a Trio of Subsegments

Telehealth Growth Highest in a Trio of Subsegments

As telehealth continues to take root as a viable way to administer care, especially for patients in rural areas, a few subsegments are seeing sharper growth than others. Codes for specialty telehealth (which includes inpatient and outpatient care, ED visits, and postacute care consults) for Medicare beneficiaries were applied 191,000 times in 2015, according to new data from Advisory Board. In addition, the volume of telebehavioral health services provided grew 16-fold between 2012 and 2013, …

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Lessons Learned from Launching Telehealth Urgent Care Services

Lessons Learned from Launching Telehealth Urgent Care Services

Colorado’s UCHealth had some idea what it was getting into when it launched its urgent care telehealth program last year—but as with all new ventures, things unforeseen and unimagined have provided ample opportunity to learn. Now the company is sharing some of those lessons in the form of 7 Riddles to Solve When Launching a Telehealth Urgent Care Service in an online article from mHealth Intelligence. The company acknowledges they’re not making money on telehealth …

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Texas Medical Board Gets with the Program on Telemedicine

Texas Medical Board Gets with the Program on Telemedicine

The Texas Medical Board has laid down new rules governing how telemedicine providers can treat patients in the state. Gone are stipulations that a provider must see a patient face-to-face before being able to treat them remotely. The Board’s decision on that point is in concert with a new state law passed in May. The medical board’s decision could pave the way for around 28 million Texans to gain access to virtual care, including 3 …

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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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Nearly Three Quarters of Clinicians Use Telehealth

Nearly Three Quarters of Clinicians Use Telehealth

Less than 3 years ago, barely more than half of healthcare providers used telemedicine and related services. Today, however, that proportion sits ag 71%, according to two new HIMSS Analytics studies that analyzed inpatient and outpatient telemedicine. The data indicate that “hub-and-spoke” models, in which the flow of care draws patients from lower acuity outpatient settings to larger, more comprehensive facilities, are the most popular, accounting for 59.6% of provider use. (These are more common …

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Over Half of Kaiser Permanente Member–Physician Encounters Are Now Virtual

Over Half of Kaiser Permanente Member–Physician Encounters Are Now Virtual

Kaiser Permanente’s heavy investment in information technology seems to be paying off, as more than half of the insurer’s 100 million-plus member–physician interactions now take place virtually. Members have said they appreciate the convenience of being able to “see” a doctor outside the office, reflecting broader trends toward healthcare consumerism (especially among young adults). The fact that 95% of Kaiser Permanente members are covered on a capitated basis frees network physicians from worries other clinicians …

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Cost Benefit Becoming Key for Employers Eying Telemedicine

Cost Benefit Becoming Key for Employers Eying Telemedicine

Previous analysis of how viable telemedicine could become has focused on providing access for residents of underserved rural areas and cutting down on lost productivity time for employees. Now, with state legislatures around the country approving laws that demand parity for telemedicine, employers and payers are looking more closely at the economics of offering coverage for remote physician encounters. IHS Technology projects that annual spending on telehealth will rise to $2.2 billion in 2018, up …

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