For employers, healthcare expenses are often the second biggest budgetary item after payroll. More and more employers are opting to self-insure rather than pay ever-increasing premiums for full coverage. Telemedicine is one of the few benefits that can keep money in the pockets of both the employer and the employee.
The average wait time to see a Primary Care physician is 19 days, so many employees visit drug store clinics or urgent care centers for treatment of non-emergency (acute) conditions. If a condition becomes chronic, records from these locations are not easily accessed by their Primary Care physician. This can result in poor continuity of care and provide delays in addressing important health issues.
According to the RAND study, 60 percent of Americans had at least one chronic condition. In addition, about 42 percent had more than one chronic condition and 12 percent had five or more. People who have five or more chronic conditions spend fourteen times more on healthcare expenditures than people with zero chronic conditions. For employers, providing these people with both acute and chronic telemedicine is good business.
What Is a Patient-Centered
Medical Home (PCMH)?
PCMH puts you at the center of your care, working with your health care team to create a personalized plan for reaching your goals. Your Primary Care team is focused on getting to know you and earning your trust. They care about you while caring for you. Technology makes it easy to get health care when and how you need it. You can reach your doctor through email, video chat, or after-hour phone calls.
Mobile apps and electronic resources help you stay on top of your health and medical history. We provide 24/7 Telehealth access to Primary Care and Behavioral Health Doctors, and Care Coordination with your existing Primary Care Provider. We also provide the option of recording your vitals using using our digital devices, and to enroll in a medication management program that can include medication synchronization.
Taking control of your own health is an important first step in improving your quality of life.
Telehealth is the use of electronic media and information technologies to provide services for participants in different locations. It is used by skilled and knowledgeable professionals (e.g., physicians, counselors, therapists) to address a variety of individual, familial, medical or social issues.
Telehealth can include:
a range of services, including screening, assessment, primary treatment, and after care.
provide more accessible modes of treatment than the traditional ones to those who actively use the recent development of technology (i.e., adolescents and young adults).
help people access treatment services who traditionally would not seek services because of barriers related to geography, shame and guilt, stigma, or other issues.
be provided as a sole treatment modality, or in combination with other treatment modalities, like traditional or existing treatments.
The types of electronic media that can be used to conduct telehealth are either text-based or non-text-based. Text-based forms of communication include e-mail, chat rooms, text messaging, and listservs. Forms of communication that are not text-based include telephone and video conferencing. These types of e-services are referred to as "telemedicine".
REMOTE PATIENT MONITORING
One well-proven form of telemedicine is remote patient monitoring. Remote patient monitoring may include two-way video consultations with a health provider, ongoing remote measurement of vital signs or automated or phone-based check-ups of physical and mental well-being. State criteria for model policies regarding home telehealth and remote monitoring include:
Inclusive technology with little to no restrictions
Geographic area served
Site of care
Level of coverage and affected health care plans
According to CMS guidance each state’s plan must include “a proposal for use of health information technology in providing health home services under this section and improving service delivery and coordination across the care continuum (including the use of wireless patient technology to improve coordination and management of care and patient adherence to recommendations made by their provider).”
Further, state proposals must “demonstrate a capacity to use health information technology to link services, facilitate communication among team members and between the health team and individual and family caregivers, and provide feedback to practices, as feasible and appropriate.”
CHRONIC CARE MANAGEMENT
Chronic Care Management (CCM) is defined as the non-face-to-face services provided to Medicare beneficiaries who have multiple (two or more), significant chronic conditions. In addition to office visits and other face-to-face encounters (billed separately), these services include communication with the patient and other treating health professionals for care coordination (both electronically and by phone), medication management, and being accessible 24 hours a day to patients and any care providers (physicians or other clinical staff). The creation and revision of electronic care plans is also a key component of CCM.
Comprehensive Care Plan – This is an electronic summary of the physical, mental, cognitive, psycho-social, functional, and environmental assessments, a record of all recommended preventive care services, medication reconciliation with review of adherence and potential interactions and oversight of patient self-management of medications, an inventory of clinicians, resources, and supports specific to the patients, including how the services of agencies or specialists unconnected to the designated physician’s practice will be coordinated. Including assurance of care appropriate for patient’s choices and values.