Telehealth and the PK+ Telehealth Suite
By Amr Bannis
Telehealth and the PK+ Telehealth Suite
The United States is a pioneer and leading country in embracing telehealth, mainly due to rising healthcare costs, supporting government reforms, improving reimbursement policies, increasing prevalence of chronic diseases, shortage of healthcare professionals, increasing funding for telehealth, and presence of several key players.
Telehealth in the US has conquered healthcare at all levels:
Hospitals use telemedicine, a subset of telehealth, to provide their patients with specialist care (chronic disease monitoring, follow-ups) to prevent unnecessary and costly readmissions.
Telehealth is a way for employers to establish cheaper insurance plans for their own employees. In 2017, over 75% of Fortune 1000 corporations included telemedicine as part of their comprehensive benefits package.
A study by the National Business Group on Health in 2017 found that nearly all companies offering group health care plans will offer some form of telehealth by 2020.
Telehealth is also a focus for urgent and primary care, as it raises customer retention and saves costs in 24/7 services.
- Doctors use telehealth to avoid unnecessary, time-consuming visits to their offices.
In this article we will talk about telehealth overall and PK+ Telehealth Suite in particular.
What are a few of the problems that this technology addresses?
For the patient, it can provide healthcare access in remote areas. Also, for patients that have reduced mobility or cannot travel, telehealth presents a viable alternative.
It also reduces out of pocket costs, which is especially important for patients with limited insurance coverage. And for those that do not participate in regular office visits also because of insurance reasons, this can be an affordable alternative.
For the provider – in this case the physician – previously non-billable interactions with patients now fall under Medicare reimbursable activities.
Medication compliance and post release care regimens are also where patients may fail. Medicare coverage now extends to pharmacists for providing medication therapy management. One example of a patient that could benefit is a senior with diabetes managing several medications on their own. Better management means better outcomes.
For payers, there are significant savings over in-person equivalent care (in the order of 10%) with improved patient outcomes.
What technology is used?
Telehealth, telemedicine, eHealth, mHealth (and others…) all involve the telecommunications technologies and channels. Land line telephones, mobile phones, smart phones, tablets, laptops, computers and integrated medical devices such as blood pressure monitors and cardiology devices all are part of this ecosystem.
An entire industry has arisen to provide the technology and services that can improve healthcare outcomes and access.
PK+ Telehealth Suite
What are the specific benefits provided by PK+ Telehealth suite?
For patients, convenience, reduced wait times and improved health monitoring and outcomes all come as part of the package.
For community pharmacies, it provides an infrastructure for acquiring and retaining patients and providing Medicare billable services. It improves workflow any creases of number of prescriptions filled per day. It also reduces the wait time of patience in your facility.
For medical clinics, using telehealth technology can increase care efficiency allowing a single provider to lead in seeing multiple patients per hour. Telehealth and telemedicine technology draws new patients to your facility.
Insurance companies see reduced costs for patient care from remote patient monitoring, drug adherence and patient vitals monitoring. They will also see a reduction in the number of hospital admissions and readmissions and lower overall treatment cost.
Corporate employers Using PK+ Telehealth Suite can expect lower employee absenteeism during office hours for doctors’ visits, leading to better productivity.
What about the technology?
PK+ Telehealth Suite is an integrated cross-platform solution that supports prescriptions, care plans, vitals monitoring, notifications, alerts and education in a pharmacy-centric suite that includes audit trails and caregiver participation.
What does that mean? As a digital healthcare platform integrator, you can choose one or more of the components to integrate in your platform.
This Suite currently consists of six components, for online pharmacy integration (think new and refill prescriptions), IBM Watson Artificial Intelligence, video chat with translation capabilities, tools to enable elderly patients to remain independent as long as possible and the precursor technology in the form of a physical pharmacy kiosk!
Why PK+ Telehealth Suite?
Two simple reasons. First, incorporating one or more of these components means that you as a healthcare technology provider do not have to build it from scratch. Second, but no one else offers a channel to the pharmacy. Our unique offering can now be yours.
If this make sense for your company, call us. We’d love to have a conversation or do a demo. You can see more at www.pk-plus.com or call us at +1 905.948.9388.