TTA’s wobbly May: telemental Cerebral under Federal investigation, but good news with telehealth benefiting the underserved, Alertacall receiving the Queen’s Award for Enterprise

 

 

Weekly Update

May continues its ups and downs, with the stock market drowning out healthcare. Cerebral confirmed their Federal investigation for prescribing practices, putting a bucket of cold water on this hot sector. But good news pokes its head out, with a Johns Hopkins study that telehealth is benefiting the underserved and urban, not just the affluent and young. More good news with a telecare pioneer receiving the top award for UK enterprise.

Alertacall receives Queen’s Award For Enterprise: Innovation (An outstanding recognition for a telecare pioneer in this Platinum Jubilee Year)
CMS telehealth pandemic waivers boosted usage among disadvantaged, urban patients (Tide lifting all boats, and that’s good)
DOJ investigates telemental Cerebral on over-prescribing of controlled medications (A flashing warning sign for investors)

An unusual April has wrapped, but May has gotten off to an unsettling start, from the stock market to telehealth’s leaders such as Teladoc. Hot areas like telemental health and prescribing are (deservedly) under scrutiny, and Noom’s losing more than pounds. But a sign of normality is that ATA is back in person, and there were many announcements with significance. 

Weekend news and deals roundup: Allscripts closes sale of hospital EHRs, closing out CEO; DEA scrutiny of Cerebral’s ADHD telehealth prescribing; more telehealth fraud; Noom lays off; fundings; and why healthcare AI is only ML (Looks like some cleaning up is going on)
ATA conference roundup: a new board chair, a digital app review pilot, and company announcements (Hopkins study, BioIntelliSense, Connect America, AliveCor, Withings, more)
Some thoughts on Teladoc and the Week That Was in telehealth (When the whales are in trouble, there may be opportunities for the minnows)


Have a job to fill? Seeking a position? See jobs listed with our new job search partner Jooble in the right sidebar!


April is proving to be an active month for something other than rain and blooming cherry trees. A new CEO for Tunstall. Tivity and MobileHelp are sold. UnitedHealth and Optum won’t give up on Change, including a hefty break fee, nor big buys. On the retail front, Walmart finally opens up Florida superstores powered by Epic, and Walgreens ‘corners’ with Blue Shield in California. Some local telehealth grants and the surprising vitality of audio telehealth for the underserved. And, to no one’s surprise, digital health got off to a slow start in Q1.

Tunstall Healthcare announces new group CEO, Emil Peters (More changing of the guard) 

Weekend roundup: telehealth claims ticked up again in January, Walmart opens Florida health ‘superstores’, Blue Shield California partners with Walgreens’ Health Corners 
Thursday roundup: UHG/Optum, Change extend merger deadline to 31 Dec, buys Kelsey-Seybold; $2B Tivity Health sale; General Dynamics enters derm AI diagnostics; MobileHelp PERS sold to Advocate Aurora (A recovery in the works?)
Digital health funding’s Q1 hangover from 2021’s bender–and Q2 is a question mark, even for Rock Health (Some companies have aching heads still)
Wisconsin’s $5M for child psychiatry, community telehealth; FQHC patients prefer audio-only telehealth–Rand (Back to the roots of telehealth for less health served populations)

The first full week of Spring turned out to be a busy one, from big buys by UHG/Optum in home and mental health, a significant one by LetsGetChecked, and more health tech fundings. Babylon’s Higi integrates their chatbot. Optum’s physician telehealth study shows there’s a way to go, along with Laurie Orlov’s aging tech studies and articles. The former Practice Fusion’s miseries with DOJ continue. And Amazon Health’s looking for talent.

Weekend wrapup & reading: Amazon Health on talent hunt, Practice Fusion fined $200K for violating $145M prosecution agreement, and must-read studies and articles on older adults tech (Read in between spring cleaning)
What do physicians really think about telehealth, now that they’ve used it? Lower use, substantial frustrations remain. (Another needle puncturing the bubble)
Friday roundup: LetsGetChecked buys Veritas Genetics, Everly Health adds CMO, Babylon sends chatbot to Higi, ConcertAI’s $150M Series C, AmplifyMD’s $23M, and two ‘Brights’ raise $155M (Reviving market?)
UnitedHealth Group makes two jumbo buys for Optum: LHC Group home health for $5B, Refresh Mental Health (Optum not letting grass grow with the Change DOJ lawsuit)


Read Telehealth and Telecare Aware: https://telecareaware.com/  @telecareaware

Follow our pages on LinkedIn and on Facebook

We thank our present and past advertisers and supporters: Legrand/Tynetec, Eldercare, UK Telehealthcare, NYeC, PCHAlliance, ATA, The King’s Fund, DHACA, HIMSS, Health 2.0 NYC, MedStartr, Parks Associates, and HealthIMPACT.

Reach international leaders in health tech by advertising your company or event/conference in TTA–contact Donna for more information on how we help and who we reach. 


Telehealth & Telecare Aware: covering the news on latest developments in telecare, telehealth, telemedicine, and health tech, worldwide–thoughtfully and from the view of fellow professionals

Thanks for asking for update emails. Please tell your colleagues about this news service and, if you have relevant information to share with the rest of the world, please let me know.

Donna Cusano, Editor In Chief
donna.cusano@telecareaware.com

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CMS telehealth pandemic waivers boosted usage among disadvantaged, urban patients

Broadening telehealth usage areas when in-person visits are restricted boosts–telehealth usage. Beyond the tautology, the surprising finding here is that it benefited two groups that telehealth hasn’t done well with prior to the pandemic: those living in the most disadvantaged neighborhoods and in metropolitan areas. It also increased usage among women and those of Asian and Hispanic heritage.

The Johns Hopkins study, published in Health Affairs (abstract only, restricted access), reviewed 30 million Medicare fee-for-service claims to quantify outpatient telemedicine use before and after the Medicare telemedicine coverage waiver that took effect on 6 March 2020. Prior to the waiver, Medicare beneficiaries were covered very narrowly for telehealth, in designated rural areas and specific designated facilities, using synchronous audio/video only–a total of 0.42% with one outpatient visit. After the waiver, this grew to 9.97% of patients with at least one outpatient telemedicine visit. Medicare had previously reported that Medicare beneficiary telehealth usage had grown to over 40% during the pandemic.

According to the study abstract, “After adjustment [for demographic variables], our data suggest that the coverage waiver increased access to telemedicine for all Medicare populations, including people residing in the most disadvantaged neighborhoods, although the odds of use were persistently lower with increasing age.” Other studies had found disparities based on demographics such as race, income, and residential location, with higher status pointing to greater telehealth usage, but this study indicates that the loosening of restrictions did not contribute further to these disparities. Thus the logic points to more availability (access) powering increased usage, or at least the odds of use, in this disadvantaged/minority population. 

It is certainly an argument for retaining most of the telehealth waivers–which will require Federal legislation for Medicare after the 90-day Public Health Emergency renewal expires in mid-July, if not renewed. Healthcare Finance, FierceHealthcare

TTA’s Bipolar Start to May: Teladoc’s big loss, telemental health and drugs scrutinized, Allscripts’ CEO goes bye, as does 500 Noom staff, but positive announcements during ATA, more!

 

 

Weekly Alert 

Thank you for your patience over the last two weeks!


An unusual April has wrapped, but May has gotten off to an unsettling start, from the stock market to telehealth’s leaders such as Teladoc. Hot areas like telemental health and prescribing are (deservedly) under scrutiny, and Noom’s losing more than pounds. But a sign of normality is that ATA is back in person, and there were many announcements with significance. 

Weekend news and deals roundup: Allscripts closes sale of hospital EHRs, closing out CEO; DEA scrutiny of Cerebral’s ADHD telehealth prescribing; more telehealth fraud; Noom lays off; fundings; and why healthcare AI is only ML (Looks like some cleaning up is going on)
ATA conference roundup: a new board chair, a digital app review pilot, and company announcements (Hopkins study, BioIntelliSense, Connect America, AliveCor, Withings, more)
Some thoughts on Teladoc and the Week That Was in telehealth (When the whales are in trouble, there may be opportunities for the minnows)

April is proving to be an active month for something other than rain and blooming cherry trees. A new CEO for Tunstall. Tivity and MobileHelp are sold. UnitedHealth and Optum won’t give up on Change, including a hefty break fee, nor big buys. On the retail front, Walmart finally opens up Florida superstores powered by Epic, and Walgreens ‘corners’ with Blue Shield in California. Some local telehealth grants and the surprising vitality of audio telehealth for the underserved. And, to no one’s surprise, digital health got off to a slow start in Q1.

Tunstall Healthcare announces new group CEO, Emil Peters (More changing of the guard) 

Weekend roundup: telehealth claims ticked up again in January, Walmart opens Florida health ‘superstores’, Blue Shield California partners with Walgreens’ Health Corners 
Thursday roundup: UHG/Optum, Change extend merger deadline to 31 Dec, buys Kelsey-Seybold; $2B Tivity Health sale; General Dynamics enters derm AI diagnostics; MobileHelp PERS sold to Advocate Aurora (A recovery in the works?)
Digital health funding’s Q1 hangover from 2021’s bender–and Q2 is a question mark, even for Rock Health (Some companies have aching heads still)
Wisconsin’s $5M for child psychiatry, community telehealth; FQHC patients prefer audio-only telehealth–Rand (Back to the roots of telehealth for less health served populations)


Have a job to fill? Seeking a position? See jobs listed with our new job search partner Jooble in the right sidebar!


The first full week of Spring turned out to be a busy one, from big buys by UHG/Optum in home and mental health, a significant one by LetsGetChecked, and more health tech fundings. Babylon’s Higi integrates their chatbot. Optum’s physician telehealth study shows there’s a way to go, along with Laurie Orlov’s aging tech studies and articles. The former Practice Fusion’s miseries with DOJ continue. And Amazon Health’s looking for talent.

Weekend wrapup & reading: Amazon Health on talent hunt, Practice Fusion fined $200K for violating $145M prosecution agreement, and must-read studies and articles on older adults tech (Read in between spring cleaning)
What do physicians really think about telehealth, now that they’ve used it? Lower use, substantial frustrations remain. (Another needle puncturing the bubble)
Friday roundup: LetsGetChecked buys Veritas Genetics, Everly Health adds CMO, Babylon sends chatbot to Higi, ConcertAI’s $150M Series C, AmplifyMD’s $23M, and two ‘Brights’ raise $155M (Reviving market?)
UnitedHealth Group makes two jumbo buys for Optum: LHC Group home health for $5B, Refresh Mental Health (Optum not letting grass grow with the Change DOJ lawsuit)

Winter turned into Spring, it’s raining, and it’s time for pleasant thoughts of a cheerful movie about the Umbrellas of Cherbourg. Speaking of France, Glooko’s European tour picked up DIABNEXT. Action in Asia-Pac with Vietnam’s Jio Health and Pear for sleepless Japanese. Certainly Sunny Balwani isn’t getting much sleep lately with the kickoff of Theranos Trial #2. And after 25 years of one man at the top, it’s a young tech-savvy woman in charge at Centene–and their cubies are hanging on.

Short takes for Thursday: TimeDoc’s timely $48M, Glooko buys France’s DIABNEXT, Jio Health’s $20M, Pear’s Tokyo sleep-wake, Antidote’s $22M, and Centene’s new, young CEO signals big changes (More consolidation, funding, and a changing of the guard after 25 years)
The Theranos Trials, ch. 3: Sunny and Elizabeth were in it together, all the way (Balwani’s rerun of Holmes’ trial)
DOJ lawsuit to block UnitedHealth-Change Healthcare’s acquisition now set for 1 August trial (UHG and Change not giving up)


Read Telehealth and Telecare Aware: https://telecareaware.com/  @telecareaware

Follow our pages on LinkedIn and on Facebook

We thank our present and past advertisers and supporters: Legrand/Tynetec, Eldercare, UK Telehealthcare, NYeC, PCHAlliance, ATA, The King’s Fund, DHACA, HIMSS, Health 2.0 NYC, MedStartr, Parks Associates, and HealthIMPACT.

Reach international leaders in health tech by advertising your company or event/conference in TTA–contact Donna for more information on how we help and who we reach. 


Telehealth & Telecare Aware: covering the news on latest developments in telecare, telehealth, telemedicine, and health tech, worldwide–thoughtfully and from the view of fellow professionals

Thanks for asking for update emails. Please tell your colleagues about this news service and, if you have relevant information to share with the rest of the world, please let me know.

Donna Cusano, Editor In Chief
donna.cusano@telecareaware.com

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ATA conference roundup: a new board chair, a digital app review pilot, and company announcements

The American Telemedicine Association (ATA) 2022 conference and expo is a wrap, after starting on Sunday through to Tuesday. While your Editor could not attend due to other commitments that precluded a trip to Boston, one industry insider who visited the expo–his first in-person event in two years–reported that after a slow start on Sunday, the floor busied up on Monday. Business was being done, finally and not virtually. What were the busy booths and what was ‘hot’? Companies in the areas of telemental health and remote patient monitoring (RPM). (Did you attend? What was your impression? Leave comments below.)

ATA had two major announcements of its own during the conference:

  • Kristi Henderson, DNP, NP-C, FAAN, FAEN, has been named as Chair of the ATA Board for a two-year term. Henderson is the CEO of Optum Everycare, where she leads a team building digital and virtual health solutions to improve quality outcomes and experiences for patients and providers. She has served on the board since December 2020. As Chair, she is succeeding Joseph Kvedar, MD and Professor at Harvard Medical School among other positions. Dr. Kvedar will become Immediate Past Chair and Senior Advisor to the ATA. Announcement
  • ATA, the American College of Physicians (ACP), and ORCHA, the Organization for the Review of Care and Health Applications,  announced a framework for the assessment of professional and consumer digital health technologies, including mobile apps and web-based tools. ACP and ORCHA, which has experience assessing compiling libraries of apps, will be piloting a test of the framework against a database of digital health tools. The goal of the pilot is to “determine how the library can be useful to physicians in recommending high-value digital health tools to their patients, and what other barriers to wider adoption of digital health tools may exist.” Announcement

Quite a few company announcements were made during ATA–a selection:

  • Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health highlighted the publication of a major scientific study (full text) documenting telehealth outcomes in JAMA Network Open. This Johns Hopkins-based research was partially supported by the ATA. The study followed a national cohort of 40.7 million commercially insured persons from July to December 2021 and included 21 chronic and non-chronic conditions. Fourteen-day follow-ups for persons with an initial telehealth visit were compared to persons receiving in-person care. On average, patients participating in an initial telehealth consult for a new health condition did not require more unplanned hospitalizations or follow-up ED visits within 14 days of their initial consult compared with patients making an initial in-person visit. The exception was respiratory conditions. Release
  • BioIntelliSense, which last year scored $45 million in funding for its on-body sensors, announced two major collaborations for remote patient monitoring (RPM) with UC Davis Health and Houston Methodist.
  • CDW Healthcare and Caregility announced a strategic partnership to expand their virtual care capabilities, including Caregility’s new Inpatient Virtual Engagement solution (IVE), also launched during ATA. 
  • Connect America, which snapped up Lifeline last year, launched Connect America Home, a single health and safety platform connecting (PERS) and remote patient monitoring (RPM) with supporting services, including AI-enabled virtual health assistance and Social Determinants of Health (SDoH) support, along with analytics. Release.
  • AliveCor announced the launch of KardiaComplete, a comprehensive heart health enterprise solution designed to drive improved health outcomes and reduce the cost of cardiac care. The service will be available through self-insured employers, health insurance plans, and health systems to those diagnosed with hypertension and arrhythmias, like atrial fibrillation.
  • Withings launched Withings RPM, the company’s most advanced remote patient monitoring solution designed to enhance the patient experience. It is a single platform that enables clinicians to order and send Withings RPM devices, manage data from multiple patients with automated alerts and reminders, communicate via SMS, phone, and in-app video calls, billing, sleep tracking, and more. 

TTA was a media partner of ATA 2022.

Some thoughts on Teladoc and the Week That Was in telehealth

Yes, your Editor has, for the past few weeks, felt like Pepper the Robot, moving at two speeds–crazed and off. (‘Off ‘ to the left. Now cart me off.) Home renovations, with strangers tramping through your abode, noise, dust, and the corresponding moving of furniture, packing and unpacking, pre- and post-cleaning, then trying to put things right and get your life back will do that. Add to that an unexpected gushy kitchen sink that took three ‘fixes’ to get actually fixed. Then there were technical problems with our email sender that Editor and Administrator Emeritus Steve had to work through. One becomes more appreciative of order, routine, and Peace and Quiet.

Speaking of Peace and Quiet, there is little to be found in telehealth. Instead, there is a lot of Feeling Off. The Big News of late last week, of course, was Teladoc’s troubles. In the words of Seeking Alpha, they had one horrific quarter. The horror show started with writing off the Livongo acquisition– a noncash goodwill impairment charge of $6.6 billion, for a massive loss of $41.11 per share for a total of $41.58 per share. To compare, last year’s Q1 loss was $1.31 per share. While revenues were up almost to projection (25%), it was still a $3 million miss and in context, it was the cherry on a very nasty sundae. After rosy projections last year, Teladoc lowered their 2022 revenue guidance from $2.6 billion to $2.45 billion.  

Moving forward from the questionable Livongo acquisition at the absolute peak of the market, CEO Jason Gorevic admitted some hard truths to investors that deepened the hole: much more competition, particularly in telemental health; the rising cost of paid search advertising and the keywords driving towards direct-to-consumer telehealth driving up the cost of acquisition; and difficulty closing B2B deals. This creates, in the terms of analyst SVB Leerink’s Stephanie Davis quoted in FierceHealthIT, “a direct-to-consumer air pocket that business-to-business sales (and their inherently longer cycles) are too slow to fill” at least, in her view, until the end of the year.

Teladoc’s difficulties, as this Editor has noted, started after a peak in early 2021 as the pandemic started its protracted wind-down and telehealth volumes plunged to well below 5% of claims as practices reopened. The stock value is down over 90% from last February, not helped by a volatile market triggered by war and inflation. Similar difficulties are plaguing Amwell (down 92% since February 2021), Talkspace (down to a paltry 16 cents and in court for misleading investors), SOC Telemed (taken private at a 70% drop in value, TTA 8 Feb), and other health tech companies. For our Readers, this is no surprise: the telehealth bender is ovah.

One industry leader in a post-ATA conversation with this Editor cited a less obvious factor–that hospitals and other health providers are now putting together their own telehealth/triage packages tied into population health and case management software, with and without ‘white label’ providers such as Bluestream Health and Zipnosis (acquired by insurtech/payvider Bright Health a year ago). Teladoc is a late entry to this provider/payer market with Primary360, where they also compete with Babylon Health [TTA 7 Oct 22]. And health retailers have joined the primary care telehealth game. Walmart last week announced a virtual health diabetes care program for employers through their recently acquired MeMD.

Big Telehealth’s troubles may depress investment in related earlier stage companies–or help those in niches such as telemental and population health, or remote patient monitoring (RPM) systems that have telehealth features (e.g. TytoCare), as VC investment seeks a brighter home. Right now, this Editor’s Magic 8 Ball is saying ‘outlook, cloudy”. 

TTA’s April Showers: digital health funding’s slow start, UHG/Optum sticking with Change, buys Kelsey-Seybold, Walmart’s health superstores, Walgreens/Blue Shield CA’s Health Corners, Tivity & MobileHelp sold, more!

 

 

Weekly Update

April is proving to be an active month for something other than rain and blooming cherry trees, including company sales of Tivity and MobileHelp. UnitedHealth and Optum won’t give up on Change, including a hefty break fee, nor big buys. On the retail front, Walmart finally opens up Florida superstores powered by Epic, and Walgreens ‘corners’ with Blue Shield in California. Some local telehealth grants and the surprising vitality of audio telehealth for the underserved. And, to no one’s surprise, digital health got off to a slow start in Q1.

Weekend roundup: telehealth claims ticked up again in January, Walmart opens Florida health ‘superstores’, Blue Shield California partners with Walgreens’ Health Corners 
Thursday roundup: UHG/Optum, Change extend merger deadline to 31 Dec, buys Kelsey-Seybold; $2B Tivity Health sale; General Dynamics enters derm AI diagnostics; MobileHelp PERS sold to Advocate Aurora (A recovery in the works?)
Digital health funding’s Q1 hangover from 2021’s bender–and Q2 is a question mark, even for Rock Health (Some companies have aching heads still)
Wisconsin’s $5M for child psychiatry, community telehealth; FQHC patients prefer audio-only telehealth–Rand (Back to the roots of telehealth for less health served populations)


Have a job to fill? Seeking a position? See jobs listed with our new job search partner Jooble in the right sidebar!


The first full week of Spring turned out to be a busy one, from big buys by UHG/Optum in home and mental health, a significant one by LetsGetChecked, and more health tech fundings. Babylon’s Higi integrates their chatbot. Optum’s physician telehealth study shows there’s a way to go, along with Laurie Orlov’s aging tech studies and articles. The former Practice Fusion’s miseries with DOJ continue. And Amazon Health’s looking for talent.

Weekend wrapup & reading: Amazon Health on talent hunt, Practice Fusion fined $200K for violating $145M prosecution agreement, and must-read studies and articles on older adults tech (Read in between spring cleaning)
What do physicians really think about telehealth, now that they’ve used it? Lower use, substantial frustrations remain. (Another needle puncturing the bubble)
Friday roundup: LetsGetChecked buys Veritas Genetics, Everly Health adds CMO, Babylon sends chatbot to Higi, ConcertAI’s $150M Series C, AmplifyMD’s $23M, and two ‘Brights’ raise $155M (Reviving market?)
UnitedHealth Group makes two jumbo buys for Optum: LHC Group home health for $5B, Refresh Mental Health (Optum not letting grass grow with the Change DOJ lawsuit)

Winter turned into Spring, it’s raining, and it’s time for pleasant thoughts of a cheerful movie about the Umbrellas of Cherbourg. Speaking of France, Glooko’s European tour picked up DIABNEXT. Action in Asia-Pac with Vietnam’s Jio Health and Pear for sleepless Japanese. Certainly Sunny Balwani isn’t getting much sleep lately with the kickoff of Theranos Trial #2. And after 25 years of one man at the top, it’s a young tech-savvy woman in charge at Centene–and their cubies are hanging on.

Short takes for Thursday: TimeDoc’s timely $48M, Glooko buys France’s DIABNEXT, Jio Health’s $20M, Pear’s Tokyo sleep-wake, Antidote’s $22M, and Centene’s new, young CEO signals big changes (More consolidation, funding, and a changing of the guard after 25 years)
The Theranos Trials, ch. 3: Sunny and Elizabeth were in it together, all the way (Balwani’s rerun of Holmes’ trial)
DOJ lawsuit to block UnitedHealth-Change Healthcare’s acquisition now set for 1 August trial (UHG and Change not giving up)

We edge closer to Spring and our Headline News is a little here and there. ElliQ launches its desktop companion robot for seniors, GE Healthcare and AliveCor partner for cardiac monitoring, and Komodo Health and Included Health may IPO. NHS Digital is also playing catchup. All’s well in Walmart’s World. But given the real Headline News, insurer Anthem made a Myopic Move in announcing a name change now.   

Friday short takes: ElliQ companion robot launches, Tunstall pilots chronic condition support in Ireland, Walmart Better(s)Up, TytoCare surveys virtual primary care, Microsoft closes $19B buy of Nuance (A Friday potpourri)
NHS Digital roundup: £200M allocated for research, COVID-19/cancer cross-research using the new Trusted Research Environment (TRE) (TRE is high value for research)
Thursday news roundup: Walmart hiring 50K workers including health, Anthem name-changing, GE Healthcare-AliveCor partner, IPO for Komodo Health amid slowdown? 

It was nearing the Ides, but absent health tech reckonings in the run up to HIMSS next week and many digital health types partying at ViVE in Miami. (The hot war in Ukraine more than qualifies.) Congress was busy spending US taxpayer money in a 2,000-page+ spend bill that happily included some long-debated telehealth expansions. Tunstall expands in Germany with BeWo acquisition. Amwell maneuvers with LG into the hospital market, CVS stakes a claim in the metaverse, budget smartwatch Orbic debuts, and have a think around how you partner.

Weekend short takes, UK edition: Tunstall acquires Germany’s BeWo, AWS UK healthtech accelerator launches, Fidgetbum bed sleep aid gains US patent 
Friday news roundup: CVS filing for metaverse patents; Orbic-Verizon smartwatch debut, Amwell and LG partner for hospital digital health–and what *doesn’t* make for a good partnership (Is there life in the metaverse?)
What can be the long-term drivers of remote patient monitoring growth? (Simplify, simplify)
Congress may extend emergency telehealth flexibilities for Medicare, high-deductible plans for five months in spending bill (House passed Wednesday, but what’s telehealth’s fate later this year, in the runup to the midterms?)


Read Telehealth and Telecare Aware: https://telecareaware.com/  @telecareaware

Follow our pages on LinkedIn and on Facebook

We thank our present and past advertisers and supporters: Legrand/Tynetec, Eldercare, UK Telehealthcare, NYeC, PCHAlliance, ATA, The King’s Fund, DHACA, HIMSS, Health 2.0 NYC, MedStartr, Parks Associates, and HealthIMPACT.

Reach international leaders in health tech by advertising your company or event/conference in TTA–contact Donna for more information on how we help and who we reach. 


Telehealth & Telecare Aware: covering the news on latest developments in telecare, telehealth, telemedicine, and health tech, worldwide–thoughtfully and from the view of fellow professionals

Thanks for asking for update emails. Please tell your colleagues about this news service and, if you have relevant information to share with the rest of the world, please let me know.

Donna Cusano, Editor In Chief
donna.cusano@telecareaware.com

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Wisconsin’s $5M for child psychiatry, community telehealth; FQHC patients prefer audio-only telehealth–Rand

The state of Wisconsin is granting $5 million to telehealth vendors, equally split between child telemental health and community telehealth delivery. Governor Tony Evers announced the grant series which was funded by the American Rescue Plan, the third COVID stimulus round of 2021 as part of the State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund to bolster rural telehealth plus mental health. With COVID fading, the funds are being redeployed by states for related health initiatives.

Applications are due 6 May for:

  • Up to five one-year grants of approximately $500,000 will be provided to Wisconsin hospitals and health systems to expand and improve child psychiatry telehealth services
  • Between 25 and 50 providers to partner with community organizations to establish neighborhood telehealth access points at food pantries, homeless shelters, libraries, long-term care facilities, community centers, and schools. These are targeted to reach people with limited access to technology and reliable internet service. These are also one-year grants of up to $100,000 each.

While big telehealth funding for mental health grabs the headlines, at the local level, it is these state initiatives that often keep both providers and smaller telehealth companies going. State of Wisconsin release, mHealth Intelligence

RAND Corporation’s study of telehealth in Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) found that audio-only telehealth was used more frequently during the pandemic, and continued to be used by patients for behavioral health even when primary care shifted back to in-person visits. The study group was the California Health Care Foundation (CHCF)’s 45-center Connected Care Accelerator (CCA) program started in July 2020. These centers serve rural, low-income, and underserved populations, common in places like Wisconsin (this Editor worked with a successful FQHC ACO there) and in California.

Audio and video telehealth was problematic for both the patient population and the clinics. Those with limited English proficiency participated in a significantly lower percentage of video visits. Behavioral health centers also had difficulties. Centers that coordinated efforts to replace audio-only with video visits had specific promising practices.

According to the RAND study, “key facilitators of telehealth implementation were leadership support, patient willingness to use the technology, platforms that were easy to use and access, a sense of urgency within clinics, changes in reimbursement policy, and training opportunities for staff.” Another recommendation was to retain centers to serve as distant telehealth sites (and to be reimbursed). Also mHealth Intelligence

What do physicians really think about telehealth, now that they’ve used it? Lower use, substantial frustrations remain.

Optum finds a part-rosy, part-jaundiced picture. Not much notice was taken of a survey on behalf of UnitedHealth Group’s Optum survey of 240 physicians, 75% of whom were in primary care with the remainder in specialty or urgent care. Most (65%) hadn’t used telehealth prior to the pandemic, yet shifted to 74% heavy to moderate use during it. Good times for telehealth providers of all types, secure and non-secured platforms. The problem, despite Optum’s optimistic headline in the release? Telehealth use predictably rolled back; doctors aren’t sticking with it–86% project now rare (<10%) to moderate (10-49%) usage in future. 

Telehealth in use was primarily synchronous (real-time), and almost equally audio/video (88%) and phone only (80%). 30% used secure messaging. Patients also preferred phone to online, 86% to 51%, for scheduling. Most providers saw telehealth as convenient (69%), efficient (35%), and timely (29%). For patients, the convenience factor soared to 90%, with 47% happy they could have telehealth from home.

But provider frustrations were found to be substantial, with dissatisfaction over 50% in three key areas. 58% felt that they could not provide the level of care they want (58%), meet patient expectations (55%), or were frustrated with telehealth audio/video technology (50%). As to the last, 40% wanted better technology and 35% wanted EMR integration. Only 23% wanted a mobile app. 47% wanted training–for their patients. Only one in four said that job satisfaction and patient health improved.

A picture that needs some improvement for telehealth to succeed. Optum release, Provider Telehealth Use and Satisfaction Survey. Hat tip to EPTalk by Dr. Jayne on HISTalk.

Weekend short takes, UK edition: Tunstall acquires Germany’s BeWo, AWS UK healthtech accelerator launches, Fidgetbum bed sleep aid gains US patent

Tunstall Healthcare has acquired BeWo Unternehmensgruppe (BeWo), a German call center services, social alarm, and device technology and management company, effective 1 March. Terms and management transitions were not disclosed. The BeWo operation, which had previously worked with Tunstall in Germany, will initially be using its call center operations combined with Tunstall Cognitive Care, which uses advanced artificial intelligence (AI) in combination with technology in the home to monitor changes in condition that could be predictive of changes in health. Their information also indicates expansion into social care applications in hospitals and care homes. InsiderMedia, IoTNow, Yorkshire Post

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has named its 12 finalists in its first-ever UK healthtech accelerator. 

  • Dr Julian, a telemental health platform
  • C the Signs, AI for early identification of cancer
  • Infinity Health, a software-as-a-service (SaaS) task management tool for planning and coordinating care
  • Dignio, which connects patients and professionals through a digital platform
  • Sapien Health, a digital clinic to help patients prepare for surgery through sustainable lifestyle changes
  • WYSA for stress management through AI
  • DDM Health using digital therapeutics to improve patient health outcomes
  • PEP Health, which uses AI to help patients share their thoughts in real time
  • Remedy Rx, capturing around 95% of the data that sits outside the healthcare system to link doctors and patients
  • Birdie, a tech platform for home care providers
  • Abtrace, which uses data to detect, monitor, and treat long-term disease
  • Thymia, which analyses speech, video, and behavioral data gathered via video games to assess patients’ mental health conditions

The four-week accelerator programs will help the startups in business models, regulatory pathways, clinical validation, electronic health record integration, specialized AWS training and promotional credits, mentoring from healthcare domain and technical subject matter experts, business development, go-to-market guidance, and investment guidance. The group was selected in partnership with govtech accelerator Public, from a pool of over 100 applicants. ComputerWeekly

The interestingly named Fidgetbum is on the face of it, off our normal healthtech beat. It’s meant to help transition young children from crib to bed and sleep through most of the night through a stretchy wrap-around device that snugly holds the covers in place without restricting the child. The sensory effect is being hugged, without the heaviness and heat generation of a weighted blanket, and has been used successfully with children who have sensory needs, such as autism and epilepsy, or simply feel insecure. Founder Melanie Wood was recently granted a US design patent, which will open up the US market for the company. It’s perhaps this Editor’s recent sleeplessness, but this sounds like a natural cross-promotion with Owlet’s new Dream Sock Plus that fits up to 5 years [TTA 16 Feb]. THIIS

Congress may extend emergency telehealth flexibilities for Medicare, high-deductible plans for five months in spending bill

The quaintly titled 2,741 page $1.5 trillion omnibus bill to fund the US government for the remainder of fiscal 2022, rolled out in the wee hours of Wednesday, includes an extension of telehealth flexibilities established under the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE). The flexibilities extend full geographic coverage (versus rural only), location (home and medical facilities), and full payment for beneficiaries and providers, including some audio-only visits. This will apply, however, only to Medicare beneficiaries and providers, members of high deductible health plans (HDHP), and patients of rural health clinics (RHCs), and Federally Qualified Health Clinics (FQHCs). This is a five-month stopgap into 14 September. (The Federal fiscal year 2023 starts 1 October.)

The telehealth rule extension includes:

  • Practitioners such as physical therapists, occupational therapists, special therapists, and audiologists 
  • Originating sites can be anywhere in the US including the home and medical facilities
  • 1,400 Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) and 4,300 Rural Health Clinics (RHCs) can continue providing telehealth services including mental health visits
  • Waiving in-person initial visit requirement for mental health as well as postponing the in-person visit six months after receiving a telehealth visit
  • Audio-only allowed for Medicare
  • HDHPs have a continued ‘safe harbor’ to offer members telehealth services pre-deductible for the remainder of the 2022 plan year 

The vote is scheduled for the House today (9 March–still not finalized as of this writing), and to the Senate 11 March, with a concurrent short-term funding extension to give the Senate the usual time through 15 March. As of this time of writing, the floor wrangling continues with COVID-19 funding dropped and $13.6 billion in emergency non-defense aid to Ukraine added. The inclusion was cheered by ATA and ATA Action in their release; also Becker’s Hospital Review and Roll CallUpdate: the House passed the domestic portion of the bill 260-171 late Wednesday 9 March evening, and it moves on to the Senate.

Predictions, predictions, for weekend reading: is telehealth usage shrinking or growing? It depends on your perspective.

crystal-ballTwo very divergent views on the future of telehealth were published this week. Bloomberg Intelligence on the economics side is seeing nothing but blue skies for telehealth for the next five years, while predictive analytics shop Trilliant Health crunches their numbers and sees the opposite picture. Trilliant predicts the downward trend, which they first observed in their mid-2021 [TTA 30 June 2021] healthcare report, will continue except in the select area of mental health. Here are their predictions:

In Bloomberg Intelligence’s Digital Reshaping the Health-Care Ecosystem report, their projection is that telehealth by 2027 will be at minimum $17 billion of healthcare revenue. Their target numbers are $20 billion and 15% of outpatient visits with a three-year compound annual growth of 25%. This is based on claims trends they see (we don’t–see our reports on FAIR Health’s claims data) as well as revenue consensus by public telehealth companies such as Teladoc. However, as the report puts it, it cannot completely account for telehealth acquisitions by larger managed-care companies or the extension of telehealth across existing consumer and patient platforms which if anything would increase the picture. 

  • The ‘flywheel’ effect of the pandemic raised awareness of telehealth by both patients and providers
  • Payers have moved aggressively to incorporate telehealth as their members demand it: CVS Aetna with Teladoc, UnitedHealth with NavigatorNOW, Cigna with Oscar (which has $0 co-pay virtual health plans in many states), Cigna-MDLIVE, and others.
  • The ubiquity of mobile phones, smartphones and apps

From the report: “Virtual care will [increasingly] become the norm, we believe, after the pandemic pushed patients away from in-person visits. A reversion to old practices and business models appears impossible to us after the pandemic forced meaningful change across all the key constituents.”  The rest of the report covers international growth in remote patient monitoring, such as continuous glucose monitors (CGM) ($12 billion) and implantable and wearable cardiac monitors, based on similar corporate projections.

Trilliant Health’s Trends Shaping the Health Economy: Telehealth (e-doc and downloadable PDF) takes the opposite view–that telehealth usage continues to shrink inversely to in-person visits being restored.  It questions whether the “forced adoption” of telehealth over the past two years (March 2020 to November 2021) has actually changed patient and provider behaviors. Patients used it then, will they continue to use it in the future? It’s nowhere near a norm with the exception of growth in behavioral health. Demographically, utilization is uneven. Highlight findings:

  • Even during the pandemic, only 25.6% of Americans used telehealth over the tracking period
  • 46% of telehealth patients used it only once
  • The total addressable market for telehealth is <1% of the health economy and declining, because most prefer in-person care
  • Monthly usage continues to decline even with Covid variants
  • Primary care visits continue to decline as well, but telehealth does not fill that gap
  • The type of telehealth usage hasn’t shifted much, with audio-video leading the way with over 60% share
  • 57.9% of telehealth visits were attributed to behavioral health diagnoses and is growing in share–and this has not changed pre/post-pandemic
  • Between 2020 and 2021, 79% of telehealth patients had between one and four visits. But less than 3% of telehealth patients
    were “Super Utilizers” with 25 or more telehealth visits. And they’re younger–aged 21-36, female (58%), and live in high income areas.
  • The psychographics of telehealth users is interesting. They are not the ‘Priority Jugglers’ of busy moms and hipsters you’d expect, accounting for 15% of users. 30% are “Willful Endurers” who live in the “here and now” and presumably turned to telehealth when they just couldn’t ignore an illness anymore, followed at 25% by their opposites–“Self Achievers” who are very proactive about their health and wellness.
  • Most niche telehealth entrants are targeting the same discrete markets, like women, who will continue to use telehealth
  • Most providers are not equipped to continue to provide telehealth, versus retail suppliers like CVS, Walmart, and Walgreens
  • Public policy calling for permanent expansion of access is inconsistent with actual low telehealth utilization in the past two years, where in-person visits were limited, Medicare and insurance restrictions were put aside, and providers expanded availability

The report looks at all forms of synchronous and asynchronous telehealth modalities–the latter often lost in the shuffle–concentrating on synchronous audio-video and audio-only, plus asynchronous interactions such as email. This is a 69-page report worth your ponder; there are charts and graphs that lighten the load of their conclusions, which directionally seem to fit what this Editor has been seeing in since last autumn. Hat tip to Sanjula Jain, chief research officer of Trilliant. Also Healthcare IT News

The end of the bubble? SOC Telemed, SPAC’d at $10 per share, acquired for $3 and $300M by Patient Square Capital

SOC Telemed (NASDAQ: TLMD), one of the earliest health tech SPACs [TTA 4 Aug 2020], is going private in a deal with the Sand Hill Road healthcare investment firm Patient Square Capital. Patient Square is paying $3 per share in cash.

Based on the 100,840,000 shares outstanding (MarketWatch), this Editor’s best estimate of the transaction is about $303 million. Holders of 39% of the outstanding shares have already voted in favor of the transaction. The deal includes a 30-day “go shop” period in which SOC Telemed’s board of directors can solicit additional bids. Unless there is a superior bid, the deal with Patient Square is expected to close in the second quarter of 2022. 

According to the release, Dr. Chris Gallagher, CEO since September of 2021 will remain. He was previously co-founder/CEO of Access Physicians, a multi-specialty acute care telemedicine business acquired by SOC Telemed in March of 2021. SOC Telemed claims to be the largest telemedicine provider in the US acute care market, supplying virtual consults in specialty areas such as neurology, psychiatry, and ICU. 

Here is where it gets interesting–and worrisome for telehealth. SOC Telemed’s SPAC in August 2020 started at $10.00 per share and a valuation of $720 million. On 2 February, two days before the announcement, SOC Telemed was trading at $0.64 per share. That is a plunge of 94% from the SPAC, with a 72.6% drop in the prior three months that was only arrested by the buyout. The reality is that the Patient Square offer represents a 368% premium over SOC Telemed’s closing share price on 2 February. It is currently trading in about the $2.75 range. 

The worrisome trend is that since August, the publicly traded and established industry giants, Teladoc and Amwell, have also taken it in the shins on their share prices. Teladoc has tumbled by half and Amwell (American Well) by 60%. Even the private companies like MDLive and Included Health (Grand Rounds + Doctor on Demand) must take note that telehealth consults have plunged to about 4% of claims. SPACs, which had opened up an alternate, less complicated channel of public financing for health tech and had its own role in inflating company valuations, have faded due to a combination of circumstances. Will more cautious investments and fewer IPOs be the trend in telehealth for 2022?

Predictions, predictions for telehealth, digital health, and all those cybersecurity risks

crystal-ballJanuary is the month for predicting what’s ahead, and while this Editor has no pretensions to be Sibyl the Soothsayer despite the picture, let’s look at what others see in their cloudy crystal balls.

Frank McGillin, CEO of The Clinic by Cleveland Clinic, works intensively with telehealth in this joint venture between Cleveland Clinic and Amwell. His prediction: telehealth will evolve towards concierge care, as providers reduce “platform sprawl”, coordinate the virtual care experience, and provide multidisciplinary virtual care.

  • Telehealth is now “a permanent mode of access”, though the pandemic created “platform sprawl” as providers reached for any and all modes and providers which could be implemented quickly
  • Healthcare providers and plans now have to scale back and reconcile all this to “design a digital trajectory with intention”
  • This means developing a personalized approach to telehealth delivery and to provide a seamless, highly coordinated care experience
  • Their approach is to focus on multidisciplinary virtual visits and case analysis for patients with complex conditions, such as their Virtual Second Opinions program for conditions such as brain tumors and prostate cancer.
  • Virtual multidisciplinary support reduces the risk of suboptimal treatment plans and can eliminate long travel times and exposure to COVID-19 for vulnerable patients. For payers and employers, this can add up to better outcomes and reduced cost of care.
  • “Intelligent” remote monitoring also removes another layer of risk in providing the right care at the right time
  • Continuation of relaxed interstate licensure requirements are needed to provide fast access to medical experts, particularly for primary care providers.

Interview with Healthcare IT News 

Healthcare Dive has been running a series on industry trends, and this installment focuses on digital health.

  • Healthcare will become more predictive and proactive, with insights fed by connected devices and analytics (commonly lumped under AI) that enable organizations to collect, analyze, and act on massive amounts of data.
  • But algorithms don’t have judgment and data can have bias, leading to poor decisions, such as the distribution of vaccines. Expect more oversight from the Federal level down on AI research and policymaking, 
  • Virtual care will continue to grow in virtual diagnostics, patient-reported outcomes applications, and digital homecare platforms
  • Telehealth and digital health is integrating into the traditional delivery and payment model–partnerships with health systems, payers, and employers.
  • Virtual care access is booming in niche areas such as women’s health, hospital at home, and mental health, with investment dollars flowing in. Telemental health is moving into consolidation.
  • Cybersecurity will become more of a focal point for healthcare companies in 2021, with hackers finding their way into all these contact tracing apps designed in a hurry, plus digital health systems, many of which are poorly protected. Targeted attacks have skyrocketed.

And speaking of cybersecurity, over at HealthITSecurity, they rounded up the experts to opine on All Those Security Risks that fast implementation of telehealth and moving devices out of the hospital walled garden have created. Remote patient management is now an asset, no longer a ‘nice to have’, for providers, setting up a situation where patients are increasingly both the beneficiaries of more convenient health delivery and victims of security breaches and ransomware.

  • ‘Out of hospital’ care means that data is being transmitted between multiple points. Network security isn’t guaranteed. So attacks can originate at the weak points–either the home or hospital environment.
  • The fast implementation of telehealth during the pandemic meant not only did systems not work together well, it also meant multiple points of vulnerability
  • Over 80% of surveyed healthcare providers globally harbor concerns about data security and privacy (Kaspersky/Arlington Research). And a shocking 70% admitted that their practice used outdated legacy operating systems, exposing them to security vulnerabilities.
  • “A culture of security” means maintaining endpoint security and BYOD policies across the organization’s network, identity management and zero trust tactics, and yes, security consciousness on patients’ parts.
  • Patients should not be responsible for security, providers partly, which leaves the responsibility with the vendor. But healthcare organizations are responsible for evaluating their vendors, and how they are interacting with and storing their data.  

Congress calls to extend PHE telehealth flexibilities; FCC’s $48M telehealth funding boost, telehealth’s shortcomings in pediatric asthma treatment

Permanent telehealth flexibility and expanded use still being debated, and still stuck in Congress. The expansion of telehealth that came with the US public health emergency (PHE) isn’t permanent, despite some expansion plugged into the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule. That can only come with legislation passed by Congress and signed into law–and it is still being debated. A fresh group of 45 Congresscritters (this Editor can’t restrain a certain sarcasm) is now plumping for a more permanent extension for a set–but undefined– time, as part of February funding legislation. This effort is being led in the Senate by Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, and Roger Wicker, R-Mississippi. Oh yes, the power of a letter to the House and Senate majority and minority leaders (sigh!) Meanwhile, the CONNECT for Health Act and the Telehealth Modernization Act have languished for months in the Senate Finance committee and in House Ways and Means. Healthcare IT News

Over at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), they’re doling out the sixth and final tranche of $47.89 million to 100 provider and community health organizations that applied to the COVID-19 Telehealth Program. The total FCC funding in this round 2 was $249.95 million that built on funding that was part of the CARES Act. The full list is in the FCC release (PDF). MHealthIntelligence

A combination of in-person care with telehealth as an adjunct may be the best protocol for treating pediatric asthma, a UC Davis Health study found. The first part of the study analyzed EHR records for asthma patients aged 2-24 treated at UC Davis Health in 2020. Of 502 patients, telemedicine usage was significantly lower among:

  • Patients with a primary language other than English (OR = 0.12, 95% CI: 0.025–0.54, p = 0.006)
  • School-aged children (OR = 0.43, 95% CI: 0.24–0.77, p = 0.005),
  • Those who received asthma care from a primary care provider instead of a specialist (OR = 0.55, 95% CI: 0.34–0.91, p = 0.020).

Focus groups are qualitative and should be used for direction and to surface issues, and they did with telehealth. The 12 parents and five young adult patients who were randomly selected and participated stated that:

  • The parents felt that in-person care built better rapport, was more effective in counseling the child and young adult patients on their medication and condition, and more actively engaged their children
  • Parents did not feel confident in correctly using diagnostic tools like peak flow meters and home spirometers on a telehealth visit
  • Scheduling follow-up telehealth appointments was more difficult than in-person 
  • Where telehealth stepped up was convenience–to see their specialist without travel time. The visit also ‘cut to the chase’ by seeing one physician only, not an entire care team. And it was protective of their children during the pandemic. 

Most of the focus group participants agreed that a combination of telemedicine and in-person visits would be preferred when asthma is well-controlled. Published in the Journal of Asthma. Also MHealthIntelligence, which read the study conclusions a bit different than this Editor.

American Telemedicine Association sets up ATA Action for policy advocacy

The American Telemedicine Association (ATA), which has been known for its advocacy of telemedicine and telehealth since 1993 (!), is doubling down with setting up a separate “affiliated trade organization”, ATA Action, for policy advocacy. This is centered on making permanent pandemic-expanded telehealth access for Americans, state and federal telehealth coverage, and appropriate payment policies. ATA Action will be led by Kyle Zebley, ATA vice president, public policy, as executive director. There is a long list of ‘founding members’ and ‘Advocacy Council Members’ listed in the ATA release.

Key policy advocacy is centering on nine major points, including: 

  • Removing the in-person telemental health requirement
  • Increased broadband access
  • Coverage through federal programs such as Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) and Rural Health Clinics (RHCs), the Indian Health Service, TRICARE, and the Veterans Health Administration
  • Telehealth across state lines while maintaining state authority to regulate the clinical practice
  • Remove regulatory roadblocks to decentralized clinical trials
  • Align Medicare coverage of remote patient monitoring with how it is practiced

ATA is also confirming that their 2022 annual meeting will be in-person at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center 1-3 May. Information and registration are here.

Perspectives: How enhanced digital communications can improve patient engagement

TTA has an open invitation to industry leaders to contribute to our Perspectives non-promotional opinion area. Today, we have a contribution from Dave O’Shaughnessy, Avaya’s Healthcare Practice Leader for EMEA and APAC. The subject is the hot button of patient engagement–how telehealth and virtual care systems can be used to connect patients to providers, improve patient understanding, and increase both patient and provider satisfaction.

Interested contributors should contact Editor Donna. (We like pictures and graphs too)

For most of us, the term “patient engagement” seems straightforward. Patients who come in for their annual exams or patients with a chronic disease who regularly take their prescribed medications are considered engaged patients. But what about the rest of us who feel reluctant to contact our GP when we have health concerns or don’t take our prescribed medicine when we should. If these people were better engaged, their patient experience and outcomes would be improved.

Communications technology that was once considered cutting-edge is now holding healthcare back and one of the most significant obstacles to building an engaged patient experience is the traditional calling-centric communication model. Today, implementation of virtual care systems (telehealth), especially via cloud-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications that can be accessed from smartphones or tablets, improves patient engagement levels, and directly contributes to their overall health and outcomes.

So, what should a healthcare provider look for in a modern cloud communication and customer engagement solution? Here are four vital components for starters:

A unified communications platform

A unified communications and patient engagement platform in the cloud provides seamless connections across modes of communication (voice, messaging, chatbots, online meetings, and video), as well as devices (desktop, mobile, and tablet devices). Because it’s all integrated, patients get to use their communication channel of choice over their device of choice, and providers get the features they need to ensure that patients can engage a suitable person when they get in touch. In addition, self-service capabilities such as automated messages for appointment reminders and confirmations help to dramatically reduce time-wasting no-shows for healthcare organisations.

Real-time communications and collaboration

Provision of care requires constant and intuitive access to clinical information and the ability to effectively and efficiently communicate across dispersed teams to exchange critical information throughout care-coordination workflows. Effective and secure real-time collaboration across all communications channels helps staff reach the right people across the organisation at the right time using the most appropriate mode of communication. Most critically of all, these communication services for clinical staff must be easy-to-use, leveraging features like Single Sign-on authentication across multiple apps on a mobile device and offering intuitive click-to-call or team-calling abilities helping teams collaborate easily and rapidly.

Follow-up Patient Engagement

When patients aren’t engaged, they are less likely to follow instructions, resulting in more frequent readmissions. Cloud-based communications solutions with features such as click-to-chat and click-to-video allow patients to keep informed of what, and when, they need to take action for positive health outcomes. Providers can also add automated outbound patient notifications using SMS or Chatbots to follow up on patient satisfaction surveys, freeing critical staff to focus on in-office patients and higher priority, higher quality services.

A Secure and Flexible Platform

To avoid the security pitfalls of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), healthcare provider staff need a “one-device, two numbers” experience that enables them to securely use one device for both personal and business. And lastly, a communications solution should be able to seamlessly integrate with the most common digital systems used by healthcare professionals.

With the cloud, communication and collaboration can become integrated into one solution that works the way patients and providers work—across any device, anytime, anywhere. Most importantly, the flexibility of cloud communication—particularly when it comes to solutions with open platforms—means providers can add new capabilities in minutes, with almost immediate access to the latest innovations. Look to partner with a solutions provider that has proven experience in patient engagement and experience solutions.