Telemedicine Still Struggles to Catch on in Urgent Care

Some urgent care insiders view telemedicine as a natural fit for our industry—an opportunity to give patients even more convenient access to competent healthcare providers, thereby increasing engagement and resulting in more care for more patients. Others just don’t see how it would be applicable, or fear that remote visits could result in overprescribing (especially for antibiotics and pain medications). Judging from data just released through the Urgent Care Associations 2021 Summer Benchmarking Report, widespread …

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Telehealth Adoption Has Been Slow, but Some Operators Are Profiting

Telehealth Adoption Has Been Slow, but Some Operators Are Profiting

Telemedicine has been hyped as a savior for both patients with poor access to quality local healthcare and operators who want to increase revenue by providing that care. Business has not exactly been booming for most, however, possibly due to lack of awareness among the public or slow adoption by payers. As competition for patients heats up among various segments of the provider landscape, however, there may be a bigger push to capture patients who …

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Telemedicine Meets Occ Med Rehab in New Concentra Initiative in California

Telemedicine Meets Occ Med Rehab in New Concentra Initiative in California

Workers who need to rehab injuries can now do so without schlepping to a physical therapy practice under a new initiative just launched by Concentra in California. The “telerehab” program hooks up employees with workers comp claims with Concentra therapy clinicians from home or work, with the intention of improving compliance and speeding recovery and return to full function on the job. Presumably, the program will be expanded to others states if it’s successful.

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Telemedicine Enables Faster Testing for Bloodborne Pathogen Exposure

Telemedicine Enables Faster Testing for Bloodborne Pathogen Exposure

OSHA says employers have to evaluate for bloodborne pathogens immediately following possible exposure via needle-stick or specific eye, mouth, other mucous membrane, nonintact skin, or parenteral contact with blood. “Immediate” can be tricky on the jobsite or for first responders and clinical personnel, however, so U.S. HealthWorks is trying to facilitate faster access through a new telemedicine program. The company has an app that facilitates access at any time, any day and includes comprehensive medical …

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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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Employer-Offered Telehealth Will Continue to Grow in 2018

Employer-Offered Telehealth Will Continue to Grow in 2018

Availability of telemedicine offered by larger employers in the U.S. is close to reaching a saturation point, as 96% of large employers are expected to offer it in their array of health benefits in states where it’s allowed next year. In stark contrast is the fact that only 8% of workers at one out of five of those companies’ workers are taking advantage of it, according to the Large Employers’ 2018 Health Care Strategy and …

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Smartphone Diagnostics Could Make Telemedicine, Lab Testing More Accessible

Smartphone Diagnostics Could Make Telemedicine, Lab Testing More Accessible

Telemedicine is gaining traction in many walks of medicine, though some providers still may be concerned they don’t know how to get started. In addition, many practices are looking at ways to offer more tests on site. The next wave of smartphone capabilities could be the next step forward in both respects. Researchers at the University of Illinois have developed a device capable of processing samples of blood, saliva, or urine remotely using the light …

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Confusion and Delay Over Healthcare Bill Present an Opportunity for Telemedicine

Confusion and Delay Over Healthcare Bill Present an Opportunity for Telemedicine

Rancor over how—or even whether—to replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA, or “Obamacare”) doesn’t stop everyday people from needing good, immediate care they can afford. Urgent care often fits the bill, but even that may not be convenient enough for some patients; a new study from the Health Resources and Services Association (HRSA) shows that 20% of Americans live in rural areas—where only 11% of physicians practice. In such situations, telemedicine could be the best …

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Another Application for Telemedicine: Adolescent Concussions

Another Application for Telemedicine: Adolescent Concussions

Add adolescent concussion to the growing list of conditions for which telemedicine can be useful, in terms of effectiveness, cost, and satisfaction scores, according to data presented at the annual meeting of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. Researchers employed a nurse practitioner-led, remote assessment of young athletes (13–18 years of age) with concussions, in conjunction with in-person athletic trainers. The most common positive feedback involved the accessibility of the program from any location, notably …

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Now That We’re Used to Telemedicine, How About ‘Text-Med’?

Now That We’re Used to Telemedicine, How About ‘Text-Med’?

The ink is barely dry on agreements allowing more telemedicine than ever before, but there are indications that some corners of the healthcare marketplace are already moving on toward The Next Big Thing: text-based medical encounters. A Denver-based startup called CirrusMD has pulled together $7 million in capital it plans to devote to expanding what’s thought to be the industry’s first “text-first” workflow. CirrusMD has cut its teeth on working with large health systems and …

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