Telehealth must pivot toward chronic care, says Chilmark Research

In recent years, telehealth vendors have focused on episodic care. However, a push toward chronic care management has the potential to transform the healthcare industry, according to an article by Chilmark Research analyst Brian Eastwood.

Here are five notes about telehealth from Mr. Eastwood.

1. Today, direct-to-consumer telehealth services are available to most American consumers. However, most of these services are for episodic care.

2. This focus on episode care makes sense, since these one-off services may be more lucrative, according to Mr. Eastwood.

3. However, virtual chronic care management has the potential to transform the healthcare industry by lowering the overall cost of care and improving care continuity.

4. Mr. Eastwood acknowledges that although virtual chronic care will likely improve patient outcomes, especially considering the recent shift toward value-based care, there are challenges. For example, chronic care management is difficult if a patient sees multiple physicians without interoperable records.

5. To pivot toward chronic care, Mr. Eastwood says healthcare organizations, payers and vendors need to coordinate better with one another. A few specific changes the healthcare environment needs include more consistent regulations, standardized credentials and expanded insurance coverage, according to Mr. Eastwood.

"A shift to chronic care is inevitable — if for no other reason that few doctors enter the profession to spend all day diagnosing strep throat or looking at weird rashes," Mr. Eastwood writes. "But the timeline is unknown."

Click here to view the full article.

More articles on telehealth:
GAO: Coverage barriers pose challenge to telehealth use in Medicare population
Miami Children's partners with Tyto Care to expand telehealth services
ATA releases new guidelines for stroke, mental health

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