Healthcare executives see telehealth competency as a foundational block for value-based care.
When it comes to developing competencies to prepare for value-based care, an overwhelming number of healthcare executives (81%) responding in a new HealthLeaders Intelligence Report say building their telehealth platform is their top priority.
That was no surprise to Kevin J. Conroy, MS, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Population Health Officer at CareMount Medical in Chappaqua, New York, who sees telehealth competency as a foundational block for value-based care.
"Given the costs of patient care, telehealth is an important option to have, especially in rural areas where access to providers is perhaps more difficult and in more urban areas where it's difficult to get an appointment," Conroy says.
Medicare's move last spring to reimbursement parity for telehealth during the coronavirus pandemic was a key driver for virtual care that "incentivized physicians to actually make the time to participate in telehealth as a means of providing care," Conroy says.
"Having the opportunity to stay in touch with a patient, particularly those with multiple chronic conditions, is critical," he says, adding, "I believe that to be true regardless of whether an organization is under a value paradigm or a fee-for-service paradigm."
Jaewon Ryu, MD, JD, President and CEO of Geisinger, a Danville, Pennsylvania, health system that has been on the vanguard of the value-based movement, says the pandemic has demonstrated the importance of telehealth.
"We've seen COVID serve as a catalyst really for all telehealth," he says. "The comfort level of people launching telehealth programs and the comfort levels of consumers and patients has inspired a lot of confidence, and so that 81% is absolutely real and this is one of the strange silver linings of COVID."
Ryu says providers rightly see telehealth as "an enabler" for other value-based competencies such as care coordination, clinical integration, patient engagement, and access. "That's the right way to look at it. It's really everything else that's further down the line," he says.
"Think of it as another mode of communication that allows either providers or care teams to connect with patients or care teams to connect with one another," he says. "When you enhance communication in that way, we've seen good things happen."
To download the full January/February 2021 HealthLeaders Intelligence Report, "Value-Based Care Advances, But Transition Proves Challenging," click here.
“Having the opportunity to stay in touch with a patient, particularly those with multiple chronic conditions, is critical.”
Kevin J. Conroy, MS, Chief Financial Officer / Chief Population Health Officer, CareMount Medical
John Commins is a content specialist and online news editor for HealthLeaders, a Simplify Compliance brand.
Care coordination and communication with patients are critical components of value-based care, and telehealth has proven to be a valuable tool for providers, especially during the coronavirus pandemic.
A new HealthLeaders Intelligence Report shows that executives are prioritizing building telehealth platforms as a first step to enhance other value-based competencies such as care coordination, clinical integration, patient engagement, and access.