This Week Health

Today we explore the past and future of Telehealth. Do we agree on the opportunities and obstacles and are we ready to tackle them?

https://hbr.org/2022/05/the-telehealth-era-is-just-beginning

Transcript

Today is the tele-health era. Just beginning, we're going to take a look at a Harvard business review article. I want to do something a little different this week, and I'm going to go deep on this one question on this one. Topic is the tele-health era, just beginning. My name is bill Russell. I'm a former CIO for a 16 hospital system and create, or this week health set of channels dedicated to keeping health it staff current and engaged.

iness review. Let's see. May,:

The tele-health era is just beginning. Here's what I'm gonna do. I'm gonna read the first part of this and then tee it up with the question that we're going to try to answer over the next couple of episodes. Let's just get right into it. So the tele-health era is just beginning, contrary to what many people think virtual healthcare also known as telemedicine or telehealth is much more than a cheap digital knockoff of in-person care. When used appropriately, it improves patient health.

ed from its peak. In April of:

I've doctor patient visits. Similar patterns have been seen across Europe and Asia over the past two years, prompting some governments to take action in support of tele-health the European parliament and the European council recently announced the EU for health program. To spur the sharing of digital health records. E-prescription.

And tele-health in general and Saudi Arabia is implementing a strategy that includes smartphone applications. Any network to connect specialized facilities. With primary care centers and hospitals in remote areas,

but in many countries, barriers in the form of regulations, payment, regimes, and patient acceptance remain. Okay. So three things, regulations, payment, regimes, and patient acceptance, any nation seeking to raise health care, quality increased access and lower costs should be expanding, not contracting the use of virtual care.

All right, so that's a thesis right there. So any nation seeking to raise health care, quality increase, access, and lower costs. Should it be expanding, not contracting the use of virtual care. So that's their premise. In this article, we take an inside look at to telemedicine is earliest adopters and most effective users. Kaiser Permanente, where one of us, Robert was CEO.

And Intermountain healthcare. The other, Brian is an executive director of telehealth services

for more than a decade. These integrated health systems have used virtual care platforms to improve preventative medicine care coordination, chronic disease management. And affordability for more than 13. Million patients. Wow.

So just going back there, the two authors are Robert Pearl, former CEO for Kaiser Permanente and Brian wailing. Who is the executive director of telehealth services for Intermountain.

Having analyzed health outcomes, data. From the independent. National committee for quality assurance health plan member satisfaction surveys from JD power and internal data. From our own organizations, we are confident the full implementation of five opportunities would improve clinical quality nationwide by 20%.

Increase access to care by 20% and reduce healthcare spending. By 15 to 20%. All right. So, this is what we're going to tee up over the next couple of days as we break this apart. The question I have, and I'll, I'll put this out on LinkedIn probably today. So, if you want to track me down on LinkedIn and chime in to this conversation, please do so.

The question is why has tele-health worked so effectively? For Kaiser Permanente and Intermountain healthcare in the same environment. That it has not worked for others. Okay. We hear all the time, Hey, there isn't enough reimbursement or there's not enough adoption or fill in the blank, whatever it is, we serve a population that doesn't have smartphones, whatever it is. , you know,

Kaiser's in some of the poorest areas of California. And they're able to make it work. Not only that they're able to make it work extremely effectively.

Intermountain has made. Tele-health work across a geography that is considered rural mountainous in just a desolate in some areas. , but they've made it work to increase access to care. And you're talking about two health systems that well until recently, We're extremely profitable. Intermountain is always considered one of the most profitable Kaiser.

Typically is of course they just posted a $1.3 billion loss. I have not read that article in detail. That could be losses from investments. It could be an operating loss. I have no idea yet, but they did post a $1.3 billion loss. But that's amongst a lot of health systems posting significant losses.

Especially the integrated delivery networks across the country. So, . Suffice it to say these two health systems have been extremely effective. With telehealth over the years, they have been at the forefront of it. They have been using it to expand access to care. , I, it's interesting this, this comment about improving clinical quality often look into that more in detail as we go into this article.

A little bit more, but they have definitely reduced the healthcare spending for their communities. I think one of the commonalities between these two that people will throw back at me almost immediately is that they're both payers, they're both payer provider type of organizations. They have a significant payer arm.

Insurance arm. , so they are taking our risk for the population. So they are incented. They are getting the first dollar. They're incented to, , to utilize tools like this that are going to drive down costs. The question still remains. Why have they been so effective and others have not? That's one question.

The next question I want to really delve into is, , if it is this effective overall 20% increase in access 20%. , reduction in healthcare costs and healthcare spending and, , and improve clinical quality by 20%, if their premise is correct. Why aren't we pursuing this like heads down as fast as we can trying to pursue this. And why have others not been able to replicate their success? These are some of the questions we're going to deal with.

And, , the next couple of episodes as we dig a little deeper into this article, there's just a lot into it. It's not a typical a magazine article. This is a Harvard business review article. So I think it's worth taking a look at it's worth having the conversation and it's worth. , exploring what it's going to take for tele-health.

To take the next step. And really become a focal point for the delivery of care.

If we take their numbers at face value, tele-health has to be part of our future. And I do believe in the promise of telehealth. And so I want to explore that more with you over the next couple of days. All right. That's all for today. If you know someone that might benefit from our channel, please forward them a note.

They can subscribe on our website this week out.com. Or wherever you listen to podcasts, apple, Google, overcast, Spotify, Stitcher. You get the picture. We are everywhere. We want to thank our channel sponsors. We're investing in our mission to develop the next generation of health leaders, Gordian dynamics, Quill health tau site nuance, Canon medical.

And current health. Check them out at this week. health.com/today. And don't forget, check it out on LinkedIn. Be a part of the conversation. I've been posting these little questions over the last couple of weeks. , it's getting a fair amount of hits every day. About 78,000 impressions. , you know, 30, 30, 40 comments on each one of these things, just throwing out the questions. I think we should be asking in healthcare. I'd love to have you 📍 be a part of that. Thanks for listening.

That's all for now.

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