Surge in Virtual Care Influences Quality, Affordability, and Outcomes
For most consumers—especially older adults—a digital platform needs to support a comprehensive, easy to use approach to care. This is precisely where a curated suite of digital solutions should enable users to actively engage in their health, no matter their location or circumstance. The integration of all the digital health assets and associated data—a centralized digital medical home—is an essential ingredient for the comprehensive care of patients. This allows streamlined information exchange between care teams, patients, and families, including the results of diagnostic testing and screening tools, ultimately resulting in optimized care that is highly personalized and effective.
This is important news for current and prospective Recuro Health clients since we offer at-home COVID-19 tests as well as support for employers that must comply with OSHA testing requirements. Our structured solution provides a safe, convenient and confidential at-home and worksite lab testing experience. Insurer-covered testing is expected to dramatically reduce costs for many Americans and make COVID-19 tests more accessible to enable at-home testing and monitoring.
Lessons Learned During the COVID Pandemic
COVID-19 taught some valuable lessons about caring for older adults; for example, not only are older patients able to utilize an era of digital connectivity, the mandate is to migrate from a reaction-oriented, disease-based model of engagement to one that is proactive and personalized to enable better treatment and more efficient care. This is an evolutionary leap from the legacy models of telehealth that simply provided on-demand care for self-limited, nonemergent problems associated with coughs, allergies, urinary tract infections, and other primary care issues. During the pandemic, telehealth use by older adults skyrocketed, with 1 in 4 older Americans saying they had a virtual medical visit that included video consults. Ninety-one percent said it was easy to connect with their doctors.
Telehealth in a Post-COVID World
Since the beginning of the pandemic, some 60% to 90% of physicians were using some sort of telehealth services, with about one-half using it for the first time. Going forward, digital health experts see more health at home, and telehealth will play a major part in making this a reality. Telemedicine is also playing an everexpanding role in the management of chronic disease. The COVID-19 pandemic has proven telehealth’s efficacy, and there will be broader adoption. More frequent virtual visits, combined with connecting with multiple providers in the care of a patient, will significantly reduce unnecessary emergency department visits and could avoid expensive hospital visits and rehospitalizations, significantly helping to lower overall medical expenses for both the individual and the insurer.
Written by Michael Gorton, MS, JD, is CEO, and founder of Recuro Health, and founding CEO and Chairman of Teladoc.
For more information about Recuro’s capabilities, contact [email protected]