Over the past decade, telehealth has shifted from an innovative tool to a complete solution that allows healthcare systems to communicate with their patients without time or geography limitations. The majority of health organizations have initiated or are actively exploring how telehealth technology can address pervasive health problems, including physician shortages, unequal access to care, payment reform, chronic disease management and the growing demand for convenient and cost-effective care. However, the path to a unified system wide telehealth approach, as well as an easy trajectory towards a return on investment, is not always clear and varies considerably from one market to another. to the other.
One of the key determinants of telehealth adoption is the national and local reimbursement landscape. While reimbursements have improved considerably over the past three years, gaps in coverage have traditionally been a major financial barrier for most health systems. Without proper coverage and reimbursement, organizations are reluctant to invest in technology.
That being said, recent US legislation expanding the reimbursement of Medicare, Medicaid, and private payers has provided a significant incentive to make the leap from traditional care in person to virtual services. Medicaid reimbursement has climbed over the past 2 years with each state offering some type of Medicaid reimbursement for telehealth. Many states have waived geographic reimbursement restrictions, allowing sites such as the home or the patient's schools to be considered eligible sites for telehealth services. In addition, 32 states plus OC have parity legislation for private insurers requiring payers to reimburse telehealth services at the same rate as in-person care.
In addition to providing well-aligned financial incentives, the culture and organizational structure of the health system is a key factor in ensuring the development of an effective and sustainable telehealth program. Many organizations start small and pilot a telehealth program in a single service line or only for a specific cohort of patients. While this approach is generally successful in the short term, it can lead to a siled telehealth approach with multiple workflows and consumer video communications spanning multiple organizational areas. This often leads to user experience issues associated with disconnected workflows, which hampers use and adoption.
Progressive organizations are adept at uniting individual telehealth first efforts into one internal service allowing the integration, coordination, and expansion of a unified telehealth vision into the world. whole health system. A key success factor is the investment in a telehealth solution offering an agnostic integration framework that allows for the expansion of telehealth strategies by bundling applications across multiple devices and allowing cases to occur. Telehealth use of any location.
We are excited to announce the release of Extended Care – a virtual video integration platform that enables scheduled consultations that support vendor-to-vendor or vendor-to-vendor workflows and can also allow unplanned video visits on demand. This vendor-independent solution enables video integration with any relevant workflow offered by a third-party solution, providing endless possibilities for extending and expanding quality care.
Cisco Extended Care uses API frameworks and Dynamic Link capabilities to receive scheduled appointment data from the telemedicine workflow of the EMR application or portal, and then uses it to launch the virtual video experience. With features such as a native virtual standby room, flexible redirect options for video endpoints, and EMR client application execution in a virtual desktop environment, Extended Care offers a natural and evolving experience for patients and providers.
Stay tuned for two more installments in our Extending Care blog series, which focuses on telehealth, and learn more about Cisco Extended Care at cs.co/extendedcare .