The American Telemedicine Association https://americantelemed.org held a series of virtual events for the Inaugural Telehealth Awareness Week during September 19-25, 2021.
The week of events featured expert perspectives on the growing acceptance and value of telehealth from thought leaders across healthcare.
One event, the American Medical Association’s Telehealth Immersion Program Mini-bootcamp https://www.ama-assn.org held September 25, 2021 wrapped up Telehealth Awareness Week. It provided opportunities for participants to deep-dive break-out sessions across various medical specialties.
Joseph C. Kvedar, MD, Chair, Board of Directors, ATA presented his opening remarks to recap the events and thoughts for the week. He stressed how telehealth has impacted the medical system and evolved at an unprecedented rate to help with COVID cases.
He said, “Although there are thoughts that telehealth has been trending down but still patients are still enthusiastically use telehealth especially Medicare recipients. Statistics show that 90% are satisfied using telehealth and 67% are extremely satisfied.”
As Dr. Kvedar explained, “Challenges still exist such as pressure to bring patients to the physician’s office, planning in reimbursement has produced uncertainty, dealing with practices that experienced higher costs for using telehealth, (for example, during the months that COVID soared, some providers lost appreciable money) new roles for the medical professionals to be figured out, and the medical field has to rethink how telehealth will affect not only the patient but also the workforce .”
A panel discussion moderated by Jennifer Joe, MD, CEO, Vanguard Health was held to discuss Health at Home Models and Strategies. Panelists included:
David Bardan VP and Head of Commercial U.S. TytoCare, discussed how his company has produced a number of new devices and are bringing the devices to market which requires good service and support to draw meaningful technology into the home.
As Mick Connors, MD, CEO, and Founder, Anytime Telehealth, Inc. admits, there are disparities in care. For example, he saw a mother in the ER with a 2 year old son, She works full time and is afraid to leave work or she will be fired. Telehealth is the answer for her and for many others in the same situation.
According to Stacy Lloyd, Director, Digital Health Operations, AMA, and Vice Chair VHL Alliance Board of Directors has been living with a rare disease which involves coordinated care and easy access to doctors. Using telehealth and virtual care makes it easier and possible for her to receive treatment.
Discussing Mayo’s work on positive solutions to effectively managing patients, Steve Ommen MD, Cardiologist at Mayo Clinic explained how the Center for Digital Health was developed by early pioneers at Mayo.
He discussed how Mayo’s Health@Home program enables RPM and other devices to be used effectively in the home, daily reminders can be sent to patients, makes it possible to deliver needed care to patients with chronic conditions, and enables hospital staff to go into the patient’s home to support how effectively a patient can be treated in their own surroundings.
Ryan Raisig, Associate VP, Coordinated Care and Post-Acute Care, VCU Health, discussed how VCU’s Hospital Without Walls makes it possible to go into homes to see patients with a number of different medical conditions. He explained how utilizing connecting services such as RPM can really help diabetic patients that need additional support, and effectively reduce readmissions.