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The company combines the freelance gig economy with the booming telehealth market.
Nomad Health announced today that it was launching what it calls “the first online marketplace for telemedicine jobs” to streamline connections between telehealth companies and providers looking to practice remotely.
The company already operates an online healthcare job market with tens of thousands of clinicians and hundreds of medical institutions enrolled. According to CEO and former clinician Alexi Nazem, expansion into telehealth is a logical progression for Nomad.
“We are a technology-driven jobs platform for healthcare, and telemedicine is a technology-driven platform for care delivery, so they are very natural partners,” he told Healthcare Analytics News™ in an interview.
The telehealth market is growing rapidly, and roughly 7 million patients are expected to use remote services in 2018. That, combined with an overall physician shortage in the United States, may make it more difficult for telehealth companies to assemble a workforce that meets demand.
“There are way more people that are going to need healthcare today and in the next several decades than there will be clinicians who can actually provide it to them,” Nazem said. “One of the big solutions is force multiplication, allowing the existing workforce to care for more patients in a more cost-effective manner.”
While telehealth may enable that, licensure and location are major issues. Despite practicing remotely, telehealth providers are often required to be licensed in the state that the patient lives in, limiting the candidate pool.
“That is obviously very complicated, but we’re building a nationwide network of physicians,” Nazem said. “Say you’re a company that focuses on the upper Midwest, we’re going to help you find doctors in Wisconsin and Michigan and Illinois…or we can also help you surface those doctors who are multi-state licensed.”
Nazem hopes his company can someday help remove those restrictions. “If we emerge as a powerful player in this space, which I expect we will, we’ll be in a position to help advise those who control regulations and help them make better decisions,” he said, pointing specifically to licensure issues. Allowing providers to practice telehealth across state lines or encouraging the spread of interstate licensure compacts could have a huge impact on the healthcare system.
“For the time being, all we’re trying to do is to help get great providers to see patients through telemedicine channels,” he said. “If that puts us in a position where we can also help change the landscape, we’ll be happy to help in that way as well.”