Telehealth services are gaining so much traction in the marketplace as the demand for virtual care continues to increase by the ever-connected, on-demand consumers entering the healthcare arena by the millions. And there are many types of healthcare organizations that can provide the telemedicine offerings they are looking for.
Hospitals, providers, care clinics and health plans all have the potential to offer virtual care to consumers in many different markets with a range of capabilities. It’s therefore important for healthcare executives to carefully consider pursing telehealth services in 2016.
Four Telehealth Priorities in 2016
A January Healthcare Financial Management article titled “Health Care on Demand – Four Telehealth Priorities for 2016” offers organizations a methodology for developing a telemedicine strategy that fits their strengths and service goals.
Consider the Value Proposition
For each type of provider or organization noted above the value of telehealth needs to be defined and recognized. The convenience and choice it offers consumers has made it one of the top five fastest growing industries in the U.S. Offering telehealth services can help the organization and its patients reduce costs.
Commit to Telehealth as a Service
Telehealth offers the growing number of enrollees in the healthcare system another access point for care and increases the relevancy of the organization offering this service. Telehealth services can take on many forms and your organization’s commitment to providing telehealth can help build loyalty and increase satisfaction.
Identify and Assess the Opportunity
Due diligence needs to be completed on your organization’s capabilities and the population it serves. Current telehealth activity from key vendors should be assessed in your market as well as federal and state regulations. Organizations may find partnership opportunities in place that can quickly help them establish this service.
Develop and Implement the Telehealth Strategy
Organizations need to stay focused on providing telehealth services to attract and maintain enrollees through this differentiated offering. Determining the right care and technology infrastructures will ensure that the indentified services being offered will be delivered in the most efficient and meaningful ways.
Continued evaluation of the program once in place can ensure its continued success and sustainability. As the healthcare system evolves, more services like telehealth will require the attention of healthcare organizations who will be called upon to support multiple delivery models, payment structures and new technologies to support the growing number of healthcare consumers.