Reimbursement could drive the adoption of the tools.
As of April, telehealth adoption was up 340%, according to a survey conducted by American Well. But what are the drivers behind the adoption?
Danielle Russella is the president and general manager of the health plan solutions organization at American Well. At HLTH2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada, Russella discussed why reimbursement and better workflow efficiency could be behind the increased use of telehealth solutions.
Danielle Russella: I would say the biggest one on the provider front when you talk about provider adoption is around reimbursement. Providers were a lot more susceptible to wanting to incorporate technology into routine care for their patients when reimbursement played a role.
It takes it a step further, you know, parity — they want to be paid the same thing for seeing that patient as they would in the office setting. That was a huge barrier, and more and more health plans are now covering those visits and reimbursing providers for seeing members and patients. That's contributing widespread to adoption coupled with efficiencies. There's a lot more to do with a lot less providers, tools and capabilities and things that can allow the provider to be more efficient — technology is huge in that regard. Having the medical record and having information right in front of you. The ability if you have a canceled appointment, working at home, working in the in the morning, there's so many different ways that a provider can really tap into technology to become a lot more efficient.
Not to mention, think about load balancing and areas of specialty or rural areas where you might have the one psychiatrist who is not very reachable. Distance and radius play a huge factor in preventing access. So, if you're a provider sitting in the middle of Chattanooga, Tennessee, and you can project your expertise, using technology, it’s a great motivator for a provider.
And if they can get paid for it, it’s even better.
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