Posts tagged telemedicine

90% of Healthcare Providers Already Developing Telemedicine Options

According to a survey from Foley and Lardner LLP, 84% of C-level healthcare executives feel telemedicine is very important to their organizations and 90% have begun to develop or implement a telemedicine program.[1]

Part of the drive to telemedicine comes from the growing shift from fee-for-service to value-based reimbursement models.  This means healthcare organizations must improve care while lowering costs. Providers are quickly coming to realize that telemedicine deployment is effective in helping to achieve both goals.

There are four major areas where a telemedicine implementation can be especially beneficial:

Patient-Centered Care

As the healthcare industry moves toward outcome-based care, focusing on the entirety of a patient care plan becomes crucial. Telemedicine enables providers and payers to interact face-to-face with patients regardless of location. Providers can easily make video calls to patients and physicians to answer questions or discuss issues regarding particular patient cases. A telemedicine installation can also improve population health initiatives by providing better coordination between clinicians and patients.

Urgent/Specialty Care

A video deployment improves response time and the quality of care across multiple healthcare facilities or hospital networks. Lesser-used resources can be easily redeployed to better service patients in rural or urban areas. Deploying telemedicine carts in clinics and nursing homes can dramatically increase efficiencies for providers.

Home Care

A telemedicine deployment can reduce costs and make patients more comfortable by enabling healthcare professionals to provide quality care in the patient homes via video. Providers can better coordinate wellness and prevention programs by monitoring patients in their homes and patients can remotely discuss their health issues with a doctor or nurse.

Medical Education

Clinicians need to stay on top of the latest healthcare information but sending them to offsite seminars can be expensive. Using video, physicians and nurses can improve their medical knowledge and skills remotely in collaborative learning environments. Innovative training with content sharing, annotation, recording, streaming, and video lectures are all cost effective options with a telemedicine deployment.

The Reimbursement Obstacle

With so many obvious benefits, what is preventing more widespread telemedicine deployments? The biggest obstacle is still the issue of reimbursement. The F&L survey reports that 41% of respondents are not reimbursed for telemedicine services and 21% said they received lower rates from managed care companies for telemedicine than for in person care.[2]

Thankfully for healthcare organizations, this trend is slowly changing.

In 2013 Medicaid and Medicare began participating in the reimbursement of telemedicine services – a major breakthrough for the industry. However the legislation that enabled this reimbursement came from individual states, not the federal government, meaning the decision to opt-in on reimbursement was being made on a state-by-state basis.

Compounding the problem, those states that opted in only agreed to Medicare/Medicaid reimbursement for what it referred to as “rural areas.” That means there are only a finite number of areas where service delivery is a challenge that are able to receive reimbursement. As a result, nationwide reimbursement is still not available.

Addressing the problem

The reimbursement issue still remains a significant roadblock and removing it would require action at the federal level to subsidize telemedicine programs. Today the federal government provides some help in the form of grant programs funded by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). More states are enacting and funding programs for telehealth and using some of the federal grant money to build and augment those programs. As an example, Delaware just passed legislation that creates payment parity for telemedicine services that offer the same level of care and expertise as in-person visits.

Telepresence video collaboration systems from Polycom designed and implemented by AVI-SPL are helping raise the level of quality in healthcare while controlling costs. As the national healthcare conversation continues to focus on these two areas, it’s only a matter of time before government and private payers resolve the reimbursement challenge.

[1] 2014 Telemedicine Survey, Foley and Lardner, November 2014
[2] 2014 Telemedicine Survey, Foley and Lardner, November 2014

 

How Video Conferencing is Improving Healthcare

Telemedicine exampleCollaboration technology isn’t new to healthcare providers. But its value has increased considerably of late as the technology improves, health insurers realize the cost savings, and more doctors can be reimbursed for their telemedicine visits. In a Q&A on Polycom’s Public Sector blog, AVI-SPL account manager Scott Pfister explains the surge in video collaboration.

Read the interview with Scott on the Polycom Public Sector blog.

 

Learn About Technology for Patient-Centered Care

Tomorrow, April 9 at 1 p.m. EST, join us for a webinar that looks at the technology that is transforming healthcare delivery. Dr. Deborah Jeffries, Polycom’s director of healthcare, will address:

  • Healthcare Trends and Challenges
  • Strategic Objectives
  • ACOs
  • Reducing Re-Admits
  • Collaborative video solutions

Dr. Jeffries will explain how collaborative technology supports innovations and goals in healthcare. Polycom’s collaborative video and voice solutions enable healthcare organizations to deliver:

  • Patient-centered care
  • Urgent/Specialty care (tele-stroke, tele-mental health, tele-dermatology)
  • Home health
  • Medical education

Register for “Collaboration Solutions for Patient-Centered Care.”

About the Presenter 

Dr. Deborah A. Jeffries is the director of healthcare for Polycom, a leader in collaborative technology solutions. Jeffries has 25 years in telemedicine, information systems, medicine, education and physics. She has taught pathophysiology and hematology at Merrimack College, and enjoyed her time as a teaching assistant at U.C.L.A. and the National College of Naturopathic Medicine, where she was a T.A. for X-ray, physiology, and pathology. Jeffries holds a degree in naturopathic medicine from National College of Naturopathic Medicine, a bachelor’s degree in physics from U.C.L.A. and completed the course work for a master’s degree in physics from U.C.L.A. While at U.C.L.A. she also received her teaching credential for K-12.

What Your Hospital Needs to Know About Patient-Centered Care

Today’s new healthcare model involves team-centered care based on preventing illness and promoting wellness for healthier populations — both at reduced costs. During a webinar hosted by AVI-SPL, Dr. Deborah Jeffries, Polycom’s director of healthcare, will look at the challenges of team-centered care and how to overcome them.

Polycom’s collaborative video and voice solutions enable healthcare organizations to overcome distance and interact with post-acute discharge patients and those needing urgent care. They also provide the collaboration technology necessary to facilitate patient-centered care by connecting patients, providers, and payers independent of location. With Polycom’s telemedicine solutions, healthcare providers have the tools to streamline medical call routing, population management, patient self-management and virtual waiting rooms. Attendees will learn about:

• Healthcare Trends and Challenges

• Strategic Objectives

• ACOs

• Reducing Re-Admits

• Collaborative video solutions

This webinar will also include examples from healthcare providers on the benefits Polycom video solutions for patient care and treatment.

Register for “Collaboration Solutions for Patient-Centered Care.”

About the Presenter 

Dr. Deborah A. Jeffries is the director of healthcare for Polycom, a leader in collaborative technology solutions. Jeffries has 25 years in telemedicine, information systems, medicine, education and physics. She has taught pathophysiology and hematology at Merrimack College, and enjoyed her time as a teaching assistant at U.C.L.A. and the National College of Naturopathic Medicine, where she was a T.A. for X-ray, physiology, and pathology. Jeffries holds a degree in naturopathic medicine from National College of Naturopathic Medicine, a bachelor’s degree in physics from U.C.L.A. and completed the course work for a master’s degree in physics from U.C.L.A. While at U.C.L.A. she also received her teaching credential for K-12.

White House Budget for 2015 Supports Telehealth

Polycom recently shared a post on its Public Sector blog about the proposed budget for next fiscal year that will be of great interest to healthcare providers. It notes that the White House’s 2015 budget includes 65.3 billion for Veterans Affairs. Here’s the highlight for the medical community:

According to a fact sheet distributed by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HiMSS):

$567 million (of the proposed budget is) for telehealth programs that include home health monitoring and extending care to Veterans located in remote locations. This funding request level is a $23 million increase over FY 2014 actual spending. This effort builds on the FY 2013 program that provided monitoring devices to 144,000 veterans with high-risk conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure.

 AVI-SPL integrates telehealth solutions by companies like Polycom for healthcare facilities around the world. Contact us through our online form or call us at 866-559-8197 to find out how we can help your hospital or clinic improve its care with video technology.