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November 11: Today on the Community channel, it’s an Interview in Action live from CHIME’s Fall Forum with Lyle Berkowitz, MD, CEO at Keycare. Bill and Lyle discuss Keycare, an Epic-based virtual care solution that sits between health systems and virtual care providers. How does it integrate into your digital front door? What are Lyle’s thoughts on the current state of telehealth?


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Welcome to this week Health Community. My name is Bill Russell. I'm a former CIO for a 16 hospital system and creator of this Week Health, A set of channels dedicated to keeping health IT staff current and engaged. Today we have an interview in action from the 2023 fall conferences of CHIME in San Antonio and HLTH in Las Vegas, and we want to thank our show sponsors who are. In our mission to develop the next generation of health leaders and they are Olive, Rubrik, Trellix, Medigate, and F5. Check them out at this and here we go.

All right. We're with Dr. Lyle Berkow. CEO of Key Care. I'm, I'm looking forward to this conversation. Last time we talked you were it was right at the beginning of the pandemic.

Yep. Right. So everyone was trying to figure out, well, first of all, we were trying to figure everything out, how we were gonna do drive through clinics, how we were gonna do remote work and whatnot. But one of the big topics was telehealth. Yep. And so I really appreciate you coming on that show. We'll do a longer conversation on the state of telehealth, but for this 10 15.

I really wanna hear about Key Care. I don't usually, do this and really just talk about the product and whatnot. But it's interesting that you took the CEO role and it's an interesting proposition. Tell us a little bit about Key Care.

Yeah, so Key Care is a new type of virtual care company.

What we've set up is a platform that sits between health systems and virtual care providers, and probably the. Special sauce we have is that platform is epic , we actually have our own instance of Epic upon which we've optimized it for virtual care. We've optimized it to serve health systems.

And so to a health system, Key Care is a partner who can bring a tech enabled virtual care workforce that could theoretically do everything from urgent care and primary care to specialty support. But we can do it all on our epic. And we take the epic to epic interoperability features and ensure that the patient has a really easy, consistent experience and that the quality is, good because the data is shared between the two instances.

Built on an epic instances is interesting cuz it opens up all of that interoperability that that team has built across that entire platform.

Right? I mean, really you can look at us as, a, again, a virtual care. That's on Epic. And so if you're particularly in Epic Shop it makes it a lot easier to say, Hey, if we're gonna outsource, if we're going to partner with someone and help build a virtual care team, let's work with someone who's using the same technology so that we can benefit from all the interoperability.

So you have a team of virtual care providers as well.

So we contract with a variety of different virtual care providers, so we actually. A sort of a two-sided type marketplace. So do the health systems a platform, if you will? Yeah, we, well, to the health systems, what they're looking for is a partner to do virtual care to the virtual care groups.

We are a platform upon which they can work with us and, and we can, create a fully functional EHR for them that's interoperable into all these health systems.

So what are the, things that you're able. Talk to a provider about, based on the Epic platform, what are some of the things that we enable?

So to the health system side? Yeah. So health system, it is the most obvious one is 24 by seven 50 state urgent care access. So health system can partner with us so that when their physicians providers can't do that coverage, we can become overflow. Maybe it's outta state, maybe it's overnight, maybe it's during the day just because.

But they know they can trust us to take care of the patients. We'll have access to their data, so we'll make better decisions. And when we're done, boom, the note goes back via cure everywhere, and automatically a inbox message can get sent into the health system even directly to the pcp. So that they're aware of what went out.

How do I integrate your services with my digital front door? They can come onto my site, they can schedule appointments and those kinds of things. We now have mobile apps so they can do those things. Can we integrate that really nicely or

you don't even have to integrate. It's built into Epic using a new functionality they created called Telehealth anywhere.

So to the patient, if they go into health system website and into MyChart and they request an on-demand urgent care visit, for example. If your doctors aren't available, are you the key?

If there's an agreement between

Key Care and so we set that agreement and if we've turned on Telehealth anywhere in both sides then the providers who are working on key care can show up for urgent care.

Similarly, on the scheduled side, your schedulers would be able to see providers working on key care when they're making appointments. So, hey, we don't have any therapists or psychiatrists available in the next three months. Our partner, Key care has some, and so we'll schedule in with those



that, that was gonna be my next question. Yeah. What areas do you cover?

So currently we're, we're live with urgent care. We're gonna add on behavioral health and we're looking at a whole host of different folks we're talking to virtual care groups that range from maternal care to cardiac rehab to dieticians, to remote patient monitoring.

We can actually partner with all. And put them onto our instance and make them available at economy scale to the health systems. How long has Key Care been around A week Just came outta stealth in August. So that was really the, the first time we even announced that we were available, and that was just with our first partner that went live right at the, the end of July.

It's a really interesting concept. Epic becomes the platform. So you really have thousands of developers working for you right now, because every, every time they come out with a new thing, you're integrated into it.

Yeah. I've, I've outsourced most of my technology to 10,000 people in Verona, Wisconsin.

Right. And they're really good at that. Right. And I've got a full stack, meaningfully certified ehr. I don't have to, as a CEO, worry about that. They also have really come a long way in their telehealth function. So it's as good as, or better than anything else out there. And that is both, video as well as asynchronous care technology that's available.

So our job is to make sure we optimize it. And I find that a lot of health systems haven't necessarily optimized as much as I think we can, cuz we'll be so focused on it.

Well, what does the sales look like? Is it more consulting where you come in and you sit down with them and go, All right, let's take a look at your telehealth program.

How have. Set this up, What's the workflow? What's the user experience? Is it that kind of thing? Or is it more, you're finding they're already there and you're just integrating it?

So they all are doing virtual care, right? So they're either doing it already with Epic, and then we just become, staff, a virtual care augmentation tool.

So if they say, Hey, we want more of this. The patient demand is up here. Our supply is here. We need you guys to fill that gap. It's as simple as. Or they've, maybe have outsourced to a different third party vendor and feel they'd rather keep everything under the same epic umbrella to make, again, the experience more seamless for both their patients and their providers, because their providers really want to see everything in their system.

That's, that's interesting. What is this? That was one way of asking the same question, and I'm gonna ask it a little differently, which is for the last couple years, you've been really focusing on the telehealth space. how are we doing? I mean, are we, obviously we've all stood it up, but are we really optimizing it at this point?

So, telehealth has been around for, since the start of, of healthcare, since the start of phones, et cetera, so the issues are much more around, when should we be using it and how do we pay for it correctly? I can't necessarily help with all that, but I can make it a lot easier.

for Health systems who wanna partner. I, don't even consider us a telehealth or virtual care company. We're really a population health enablement company because our ultimate goal is to go to a health system and say, health system, you do amazing stuff. In your four walls. You take care of cancer, heart disease, broken bones, pregnancies, et cetera.

But your patient population also sometimes need relatively routine stuff and they want it as convenient as. possible And that's not necessarily where you should be focusing your time and energy. It's not what you're necessarily best at. What if I can help give you this virtual care team that comes in and supports your patient population, allows you to expand how many patients you take care of, and open up access for the office based doctors to see the more complex stuff.

We'll take more of the routine stuff. , I'm calling it the new rcm, Routine care Management Let us work with you. Let us do some. of that Take the load off of your physicians on the routine stuff, my Triple R threat, routine, repeatable rules-based care. That's the type of stuff that you should be essentially automating and delegating and virtualizing, and if we can help you with that, you can focus on being there for the patients who really need you in the offices.

You're focused on the provider space, not necessarily the whole healthcare market at this point.

So as it turns, When we help health systems, we help the whole health market because health systems can contract with employers and payers and do a lot of other things as well.

Well, the reason I ask that question is, so as an, employer, we have United Healthcare.

Mm-hmm. , and if you go to their website for my employees, I'm like, hit the website. They go, Hey, I could do a virtual visit right here. Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. . Well, that's not with the provider down the street. That's with somebody that United Healthcare has sort of established and. They have in essence, put themselves in between themselves and the, provider.

It's, it's confusing for patients cuz they're all these front tours. I'm a health system guy. I, I think health system incredibly important. , and by the way, I'm not alone. Employers, when asked recently said 85% said they strongly want to offer virtual care that's connected to an office-based setting.

Right? And so what we're doing is helping the health systems widen their digital. So they can go to their patients and say whatever you need, urgent care, middle of the night. You come to us, complex cancer problem, come to us. We'll figure out where you go. Whether you need a virtual that we partner with, whether you need one of the top doctors in our offices.

Let us be your front door and help you figure out what you need when you need it throughout the continuum so you don't get splintered into all these different. And part of what we're gonna be able to help them do is we give them the superpower by giving them this access through their front door, they can then go and start contracting more directly with employers and even with payers.

This is one of the things we've been talking about for a while, at least on the show with interviews, is, just this concept of the health system becoming the trusted partner. Mm-hmm. , they're the trusted partner for healthcare. Mm-hmm. , right? If I have anything wrong with me, I'm going to the hospital period and it's discussion.

But how do I become the trusted partner for that minor incident? The minor thing, I want to talk to a doctor, I wanna talk to a nutritionist. Right. All, all those things that are a part of health. Mm-hmm. But we find it easier to go external to the health system than internal.

That's exactly it. What we're trying to do is say all that hyper convenient, easy. That could and should be done through the health system. But if they don't have the time, ability to do all that, let us help you do that. That's what we're trying to do is help them widen that front door so that they can offer the easy stuff conveniently, cuz that's never been their forte, right?

We all get frustrated health systems. What if it was, what if we knew everything could be done under the same umbrella? Fantastic.

Dr. Berkowitz, thank you. Free time.

You bet.

Appreciate it.

You bet.

Another great interview. I wanna thank everybody who spent time with us at the conferences. I love hearing from people on the front lines and it is Phenomen. That they have taken the time to share their wisdom and experience with the community, which is greatly appreciated. We also want to thank our channel sponsors one more time, who invest in our mission to develop the next generation of health leaders. They are Olive, Rubrik, trx, Mitigate, and F5. Thanks for listening. That's all for now. 📍

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