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Tele-health isn't going anywhere. It's use is only going to increase. And our job is to make sure that when they call on us, the technology and the processes work for the healthcare providers and the patients. How have we done? How are we doing?


Today in health, it telehealth grade for 2021. And what to expect in 2022. My name is bill Russell. I'm a former CIO for a 16 hospital system and creator of this week in health. It, I set of channels dedicated to keeping health it staff current and engaged. We want to thank our show sponsors. They are fantastic. And they are investing in developing the next generation of health leaders, Gordie and dynamics, Quill health Taos site.

Nuance and Kern health, all great companies. Check them out at this week. All right today, we're going to pick up a story. I'm going to read a fair amount of this. It's really well well-written stories. Gabriel Perna, P E R N a. It was written on January 5th. From health

, health evolution summit has a media arm and they do a fair number of really good stories. Gabriel does a great job in this. So I will give you a fair amount from this article. Saves you the time of going out and finding it and reading it. , and hopefully it gives you the information you need to be effective in your role.

The title is tele-health mixed 2021 leads to questions about 20, 22 and beyond. Alright, trillion health and analytics firm found that telehealth utilization dropped across all states in 2021. Not a surprise compared to 2020. Averaging a 40.3% decline in monthly visits. And some states such as South Dakota and Wyoming, the drops were in the 50 to 60% range, 55 to 60% range.

Because he found that 13 to 17% of healthcare is happening via telehealth. Which is significantly higher than it was before COVID, but much smaller than it was during the earliest months. Of the pandemic when it was in the 30% range. , we, we know that we know generally. , what it is. I read that to give you the numbers so that you can use them as you go in and talk about it within your organizations, despite the drop-off in consumer utilization investors.

Have not waned in their enthusiasm for telehealth and digital health. According to rock health. There are more digital health funding in the first three quarters of 2021 than all of 2020, which itself was a record breaking year. There were more than 540 deals in the first nine months of 2021 versus five, 460 for the entire 2020 in total rock health predicts. There will be double the total investment in digital health in 2021.

Then there wasn't 20, 20 others are similarly bullish. It's hard to imagine. The trend will go away. Tele-health use is 40 times what it was before the pandemic. Consumer use of digital technology is three times higher than it was before. It's tough to imagine that we'll go back to zero, says NEPA Patel, CEO of well, right. A company which offers wellness, mobile health.

Platforms to employers, health plans and providers. That is one of the things here. He quotes a lot of telehealth providers who are going to paint this in a pretty good light. So we'll say Sean Duffy CEO of OMATA. Health has seen increased excitement surrounding his digital health company. While the investments may be a little overzealous.

That's fair. He says it's necessary to disrupt the healthcare industry. Also fair. In the five to 10-year timeframe, the funding surge of digital health is going to result in huge businesses that deliver extraordinary value. There's no question in mind, the path there almost doesn't matter says Duffy.

Okay. It goes on. However, not everyone is on board with imagining this virtual health future rock health found that satisfaction with live video telehealth. By consumers fell by 10 percentage points from 2020 to 2021. That's probably because of the amount of usage, it was a very niche before and now it's broadly available. And so, , it also got thrown into some areas that, , really didn't have well baked plans as evidenced by.

Gosh. I mean, zoom was the number one tele-health platform, and I guarantee you, you know, System before. , very few systems before the pandemic we're sitting there going, Hey, let's use zoom as our telehealth platform. But what they found is zoom was the easiest, the most effective platform to connect people with. And so that's why they went with it. So what you see is we were sort of MacGyvering tele-health we were sort of throwing it together.

, as the pandemic has go on, as the pandemic has dragged on rock health reports that consumers have begun viewing telemedicine as an alternative to in-person care, rather than a necessary replacement. It goes on in the beginning of COVID virtual was the dominant conversation piece. We've seen a kind of settling out of virtual, but we've also seen a material rise in the demand for near-site centers.

As we think about large self-funded entities wanting to take greater control of their medical spend doubling down on where the majority of that spend occurs has been critical in those strategic. , in those strategies. This is Doucet told health evolution. Again, we're interviewing a lot of people who are in this space while investors are funding at under seen.

Rates fast company noted that in a recent article, that many pure play telehealth and virtual health companies on the stock market have had significant declines in value. This year, this week, Castlight health, one of the first digital health companies. They went. , private, they were public. They went private.

, there are a few signs of turbulence. , are also occurring within the virtual health. , revolution. All right. They talk about the big winner, the big winner. , is, is, , mental health in the new normal tele-health and virtual health are going to have a place in delivering care. How much of a place that remains to be seen reimbursement for virtual care from CMS and other payers will certainly play a big role in determining how much tele-health is utilized.

Going forward. Experts say that some areas of healthcare such as wellness and mental health. I seem to be riper for disruption than others. According to McKinsey, a McKinsey report, psychiatry has the highest penetration for telehealth usage at 50%. And that's true across the board. And we've seen that.

, I want to skip a couple paragraphs here in the, in the first three quarters of 2021, the largest share of investment or $3 billion. Went into companies operating in the mental health space. According to rock health. One of the biggest deals. In the virtual health space in 2021 emphasized. The potential impact that technology could have within mental health.

Ginger and Headspace merged to form Headspace health and create a $3 billion. Mental health tech company, which is fantastic. , great companies. , we know that 50% of the world's population will have a mental health need in their lifetime. That's billions of people who could derive value from the platform. 10% of the enterprise have a dedicated behavioral health solution.

That should be a hundred percent or so. There's massive room for growth. We've built technology to do this at scale ginger CEO, Russell Glass, who we interviewed on this week in health. It, you can go back and listen to that again. Great solution. I like their, their, , their platform easy to use.

, they've great stories. People using it from a bathroom stall, escalated, , help as needed right there online within seconds. I again, a great use case for this. Similarly wellness is becoming an area where virtual health is thriving. According to one recent survey, 72% of employees who expect to be investing more in health and well being will do so completely or mostly virtually.

All right. So wellness programs are another one, but there are some challenges. So let's go onto those BI beyond mental health and wellness. There are other opportunities for virtual health and telehealth. To have an impact on health care, managing chronic disease, primary care, substance abuse treatment, and providing care for rural and underserved communities are a few potential areas for telehealth and virtual care usage. And you know where this is going.

Yet in terms of a rural care, there is work to do a recent analysis from the university of Michigan found that rural patients were under utilizing tele-health compared to urban and suburban counterparts. During the earliest days of the pandemic, Michigan researchers found that a lower percent of older rural residents are tele-health users compared to those.

Who live in non-rural zip codes, 34% versus 47%. This was supported by a survey from the bipartisan policy center, which found 45% of patients say that technology is an obstacle to receiving care via telehealth. 45%. That's a, that's a high number of people. That's not good for us in healthcare it, but anyway, this includes 27% who say their ability to use the internet or digital technologies and obstacle and 26%.

Say it's access to high-speed internet. The number is higher among rural residents. There are more people across ages who need help. With digital training. We need to meet people where they are. It is truly health access. That we need to meet older and all people. Where they are. We need to invest in broadband and tech support. So all populations, particularly old people can access this audio is sometimes the only way.

We can get the clinician they need. And you know, I, we should knock audio and text. These are effective ways to deliver certain levels of care. With people. Granted, it would be nice to have the video, but it's not always necessary to have the, , the video. The other thing to keep in mind is that, you know, during the middle of a pandemic, living in a city,

You are more acutely aware of how dangerous it is to go outside because to get it to go outside, you have to get on an elevator. You have to walk through a lobby. , if you live in a rural location going outside, not that big a deal. I mean, the first time you encounter somebody is when you get out of your car at the location, you're going to the doctor's office, the dentist's office, wherever you're going, the grocery store.

The reality is you get into your car in your garage or in your driveway. And you drive somewhere and that could be, you know, another 15, 20 minutes before you get somewhere where you're going to interact with people. So. Again, there's there's, there's more of a recognition of the problem in a, in a, ,

Urban area than there would be a. A an urban area or a suburban area, if you will. Lack of broadband access is a problem. So we'll go into that. Lack of broadband access is one factor limiting tele-health and virtual care payment, and reimbursement also matter. A recent study in JAMA found that patients in general preferred in-person care to virtual period, particularly when video visits cost them more.

If tele-health and virtual care isn't covered by CMS and other payments. The same way. It has been during the pandemic, nearly half of physicians surveyed by the primary care collaborative say they wouldn't be able to support telemedicine if pre pandemic regulations that limit the technology usage are restored.

That is why essentially John Hopkins and a number of other prominent healthcare organizations recently launched the campaign. To permanently and restrictions on tele-health. That have. Been waived during COVID 19 pandemic, the campaign tele-health access for America brought together 16 healthcare organizations, urging Congress to keep pandemic era tele-health flexibility rules.

In place forever. And I think some of those I've already started to expire. So we'll see if the government steps in. And does any of those things. Again, I think a really great article sort of sums it up and looks at it in a lot of different ways. As you know, we end all these articles with us. So what this sort of my view of this, why does this matter? Why are we talking about this?

You know, our role in health, it is to make sure this works. It is integrated into the clinical workflow. The documentation is seamless and integrated. It's easy to access. And the failure rate is extremely low. Scheduling a communication is easy, simple in fact, and that anyone who chooses to use tele-health will find the experience to be exceptional.

How are we doing at your house system at your provider? Are we there yet?

Do we have work to do in 2022?

The reality is that money will move. Public sediment will move. Certain demographics will struggle and other demographics won't have access to, to broadband or some other challenge. All of that is important, but it doesn't matter much in our readiness. What matters is that when our system and patients need to use it,

We have it set up and it is effective. The reason I say that is because tele-health isn't going anywhere. It's use is only going to increase. And our job is to make sure that when they call on us, the technology and the processes work for the healthcare providers and the patients.

That's all for today. If you know of someone that might benefit from our channel, please forward them a note. They can subscribe on our website this week. You might want to check it out. We've done some redesign on there. , they could also subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts. Remember we have four channels. Now this week, health news.

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