The nascent telemedicine industry straddles a thin line between momentous growth and underutilization. Mandates making their way through state legislatures and the federal government to enhance reimbursement for virtual visits, cross-state licensure, and other regulatory issues give health systems, insurance providers, and employers good reason to embrace telemedicine given the promise of future payment. Telemedicine vendors providing software platforms, patient management capabilities, and their own physician groups want to capture that business. Yet the cost of implementation remains high without any ROI certainties – reducing overall adoption. Despite an ever increasing number of companies promising comprehensive telemedicine features to fit any organization, we continue to see low service utilization rates across the board. Poorly designed implementation strategies and uninformed educational/adoption programs are among the reasons the market remains wary.
The case for a positive return on investment requires a combination of adoption by patients and providers and industry investment. The infrastructure continues to outpace utilization, with competitors introducing new functionality and higher video quality. Yet the foundation for greater utilization also relies on payment. The good news, according to the American Telemedicine Association, is that “over the past four years the number of states with telemedicine parity laws – that require private insurers to cover telemedicine-provided services comparable to that of in-person – has doubled. Moreover, Medicaid agencies are developing innovative ways to use telemedicine in their payment and delivery reforms resulting in 48 state Medicaid agencies with some type of coverage for telemedicine provided-services.”1 With a strong technology base and improving reimbursement, there is room for the industry to grow.
"Through more focused awareness campaigns for providers and patients built on targeted education and use-case scenarios, our partners achieve much greater success by implementing an implementation strategy that scales as utilization increases."
Yet even with these indicators, why have established health systems and payers failed to break single-digit utilization despite the obvious upsides to telemedicine?
In part, many established telemedicine vendors do not tailor solutions to specific provider needs. They may provide services for one specific medical condition, or provide a software platform that is a one-size-fits-all model and misses out on the critical nuances inherent in patient care. Furthermore, many vendors do not provide the implementation support and continuing education that creates a foundation for growing utilization of telemedicine among patients and providers.
The CareClix approach takes a more customer-centric perspective. We work with you to build a solution that fits specific needs based on your patient population, business goals, and provider interest. Once the partnership sees increases in utilization, we help to scale the telemedicine program to accommodate growing numbers of participants. Through more focused awareness campaigns for providers and patients built on targeted education and use-case scenarios, our partners achieve much greater success by implementing an implementation strategy that scales as utilization increases. Unlike other vendors in the market, CareClix views customers not as sales numbers, adoption rates, or any other statistic. Instead, we view them as partners, working hand-in-hand to enhance patient care through the power of telemedicine.
Thanks to Jeremy Gottlich and Armand Heydarian for their support in writing this blog post.