Covid-19 opens the door to telemedicine in adult life, with all the signs that the technology remains here. That proves it.
Providers have found telemedicine platforms to be an essential tool in clinical programs. As the industry phased out the pandemic, deliberation and strategy will be required to determine how and where to use telemedicine in the “new normal.”
Most providers reflexively embraced telemedicine in 2020 and created a hybrid care model in the process. However, the results depend on the understanding of attention. The lessons learned over the past year will help make future decisions about what to expect from the practice of telemedicine.
These are one of the highlights of Thursday’s webinar with leaders from West Health, Avera eCare and Seacrest Village.
Healthcare Costs Growing
West Health’s director of telemedicine Michael Kurliand said the long-term outlook for the adoption of telemedicine in nursing homes is much brighter than a year ago due to the confluence of trends. A non-profit organization based in La Jolla, California, is dedicated to finding ways to reduce health care costs and achieve successful ageing.
By 2030, the baby boomer generation will be 65 years old at a rate of 10,000 people per day, and the oldest baby boomer generation will be 75 years old. People will live longer but will receive regular care in a long-term care setting because multiple chronic diseases require it.
The demographics of baby boomers needing more health care are consistent with physician shortages over the same period. By 2030, the United States is expected to run out of more than 43,000 primary care physicians. In addition, 33,500 to 61,800 care specialists and an unknown number of nurses will be required. The proportion of unpaid caregivers has also decreased from 7 per senior today to 4 per senior in 2030.
Additionally, Covid-19 put pressure on already rising medical costs. The United States has the most expensive healthcare system globally, and the average household is expected to spend $ 14,000 a year on health care by 2030. And half of the households fear that medical events could bankrupt them.
“We have to give something,” Kurliand said. “Alternatives must be considered.”
Telehealth reduces the need for emergency room visits, hospitalizations, and readmissions, shortens the stay in intensive care centers and the elderly Can be used to treat the elderly and save the cost and effort of a provider at home for the elderly. , Senior Care Officer for Averae Care. Headquartered in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, the company specializes in telemedicine solutions for elderly care, emergency care, and intensive care units.
Telemedicine can be used to bridge the gap in care. This enables physicians and professionals, for example, to diagnose and treat patients, conduct psychiatric sessions, prescribe and administer medications.
However, providers must resist the temptation to implement a telemedicine system. Hofmeyer emphasized that telemedicine platforms are not universal. Even AveraeCare offers a variety of services that offer customers different benefits. Providers strengthening their telemedicine model must identify gaps in care and determine where telemedicine can act as a bridge.
Seacrest used tablets to facilitate virtual communication between residents and their families in the early days of the pandemic, scheduling up to 35 calls a day and hiring additional staff to process requests, said President and CEO Pam Ferris.
Seacrest providers added telemedicine visits a few months later, but the degree of success depends on the level of care. The Secret Village memory care unit quickly adapted to telemedicine visits, with quick access to physician and nurse practitioners, a small cohort of about 25 units, and residents who do not have to wait for appointments.
In contrast, telemedicine visits at the Secret Village Healthcare Center are characterized by misunderstandings about appointments and medication administration. Doctors create unscheduled visits and remove nurses and other staff from their regular duties.
Telepsychiatric visits shared a similar trend. Many memory care residents seemed to work well through these visits, but skilled nursing and assisted living did not enjoy it as much as being in face-to-face sessions.
Still, the positives outweighed the negatives. Feliz believes Telehealth has a future in Secret Village, and the community will consider where to implement Telehealth after it stabilizes in a post-pandemic environment.
“We want to assess how it worked in different operations and what is the best way forward,” he said.
Providers will find many options to partner and work with telemedicine companies. Venture capital is flowing into this area. In 2018, $ 1.7 billion of venture capital was allocated to Healthtech startups, Carrian said. The telemedicine service restrictions relaxed last year by the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) are also expected to evolve this year, making it easier for local communities to take advantage of the platform in their care strategies.
Covid-19 has exceeded Medicare’s telemedicine limit. Before the pandemic, only 0.1% of Medicare beneficiaries used telemedicine. From mid-March to mid-October 2020, that percentage increased to 39%.
Kurliand believes that telemedicine providers and partners can earn even greater reimbursement through new and creative partnerships.
Kurliand said, “If you’ve seen something in the past year, it’s best to be prepared and thoughtful, so it’s time to rethink how to deliver care,”.
To grow your business in the senior industry, Create a free profile on Senior GuidePost. The Industry’s premium resource for Senior communities to find Qualified vendors serving the Senior Industry.