October 11: Today on the Conference channel, it’s an Interview in Action live from HLTH with Frank McGillin, CEO of The Clinic by Cleveland Clinic, an innovative second opinion telehealth service that gives patients access to Cleveland Clinic expertise from the comfort of their home. What is its key role for patients, payers, and employers, and how does it contribute to reducing healthcare costs triggered by misdiagnoses? How has telehealth changed in the last 5-10 years? Frank also discusses the company's reach beyond the U.S. and its constant motivation to improve patient experience with the help of technology.
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Welcome to This Week Health Conference. 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 and events dedicated to leveraging the power of community to propel healthcare forward. Today we have an interview in action from the Fall Conferences on the West Coast.
Here we go.
Alright, here we are, another interview in action from the health conference out here in Vegas. I'm here with Frank McGillen, CEO of the clinic by Cleveland Clinic. Great to meet you, Bill. I'm looking forward to the conversation. So, this is a... Uh, second opinion service.
Is that accurate?
So our company is a, it's a joint venture between Cleveland Clinic and Amwell, it's a telehealth technology company. And our mission, our vision is all about unlocking access. To Cleveland Clinic expertise. How do we go beyond the walls and traditional footprint? Today, we do that with a virtual second opinion service But we also have vision and plans to expand beyond
Well, I'm thinking about it from a patient perspective. I get diagnosed with cancer and I'm in rural America and whatnot and I You just want to talk to somebody from the clinic. I mean, this is a great peace of mind, a second set of eyes. I'm not driving to another city, I'm doing this all virtually, I would imagine.
Yeah, we hear the word peace of mind a lot from patients who go through the program. And again, you put yourself in the center.
You don't know where to turn. You're scared. You know this is consequential. Where do you go? And we help really make that easy for them to access the right expert without leaving their home, without traveling, all so quickly. We're able to do it generally in less than two weeks from the first phone call or register on our website to the interaction with the complete employee position.
This is going to be an odd question, but how do you get access to all the records? I mean, the records are available.
So that's still really the bottleneck. Unfortunately, there's not universal access and interoperability. In many cases, if the hospital's EHR is connected with Cleveland Clinic, we can get records, instantaneously.
And other times we're still getting faxes and disks sent to us. So it's a little bit of dark ages.
It's still that way. So if I thought about your primary services are for payers, and probably employers. Is that accurate?
Absolutely. And those are really three As people come to see us.
Individuals who are just like, I need a second opinion. But we work with a lot of large health plans and with large employers look at this as an incredible benefit for their members, for their employees. But it's also a way for them to manage the health care costs. One in 10 individuals will be misdiagnosed in their lifetime.
There's some research that shows the cost of misdiagnosis is about 65 million for 100, 000 members or employees. So you can see that, getting that right diagnosis, avoiding a back surgery that is... That needed, we're getting someone on the right path to really help employers as well as health plans.
So what does it look like? I, as a, let's assume I'm an employer. I'm an employer and I wanna offer this benefit to my staff. Do I do it through a payer or do I do it directly?
So we're working, we partner with large payers. We also partner with health navigation companies, and we also contract directly with large and.
What we try to do is make it easy to integrate into their benefit offering. Because at the end of the day, you want to make it easy for that person to access the benefit. Because that unused benefit really doesn't have the impact it needs.
I would imagine for the payers, a misdiagnosis is bad situation as well.
That's probably why they were attracted to a service like this.
Well, if you think about, back surgery how much is overutilized and, you know, if someone could be using or physical therapy and maybe steroid injection is a more appropriate path, it saves a ton of time, but also from that individual who would have been going through that surgery, you're really saving a lot of heartache and pain.
So what's your background? How did you end up here? So my background is a combination of healthcare and technology. I've worked for large companies like Philips and and Johnson Johnson. About five years ago I decided to move more into the startup world. And I joined the clinic. For me, it was such an opportunity to take, this 100 year old brand, Cleveland Clinic, and the 3, 500 specialists who are just so good at what they do, and meld it with innovation.
So, it's been a lot of fun.
So, Cleveland Clinic is outside the U. S. clinic still a U. S. clinic? Base service?
No, actually we operate globally. So we're helping patients in South Africa. We're helping patients in China. We're also working with the state department and helping state Department employees or embassy employees throughout the globe when they get that diagnosis and they want to turn to someone for expert advice, we're there for them.
so we're on the floor. What will you generally be looking at, or who will you be talking to that's coming? Coming by this space during the week.
We're interested in talking to partners who are looking for ways to access expertise from Cleveland Clinic. We're also looking at technology partners who may be able to make that patient experience smoother, help us with some of the data interoperability questions we mentioned earlier.
In general, just how do we improve our access and make more difference in more people's lives.
It's interesting, you mentioned American Well? Yes. Is a partner in the company. So, how much can be done via telehealth today? Versus what we were doing, I don't know, 5, 10 years ago. I
think one thing the pandemic did open folks eyes to is
the fact that a lot of...
It made me more comfortable, right? The patients are more comfortable with it, I would imagine.
I mean, if you think about it, telehealth, the barriers were not technology. The barriers were adoption, and it was both consumers as well as clinicians. Consumers were like, eh, it's not as good. Clinicians, based on both reimbursement, as well as both tradition, were less comfortable with it.
And throughout the pandemic, everyone's gotten really comfortable with it. So, I mean, there's still, conditions where you need to see your physician, but there's others, chronic disease, as well as second opinions, that it really is easy, easier, potentially better to do it virtually.
So, second opinions.
They are seeing doctors at the Cleveland Clinic. Hired your own set of doctors.
Every physician who works in our service is a Cleveland Clinic physician. That's part of our promise, is the fact that there are other second opinion options out there. We were able to both access the best physicians, but since we have that tight relation to Cleveland Clinic, when we're trying to find the right cardiologist for you, or the right cancer specialist for you, We know who they are, we've got a relationship with them, so we're going to match you with the best specialist for your needs.
Plus, scheduling to get in front of those specialists is usually pretty hard. I assume you smoothed that whole process out.
That's part of what we, part of our brand promise is really making it easy. And, we've really taken innovative approaches. to make sure that we can get access to the specialists when we need them.
Part of it is how we work with the clinicians to make it easy for them.
So, how can people get more information?
You can visit our website, which is Clinic dot com. We've got information on our service and what we do.
one of the hardest things of being a CEO of a company is getting that URL just right.
So, Clinic by Cleveland Clinic.
Clinic by Cleveland Clinic. One word.
com. com. Great.
Bill, it was really nice meeting you. Thanks for taking the time. Thank you.
Another great interview. I want to thank everybody who spent time with us at the conference. I love hearing from people on the front lines. It is phenomenal that you shared your wisdom and experience with the community and we greatly appreciate it. We also want to thank our channel sponsors who are investing in our mission to develop the next generation of health leaders.
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