A panel of home health and hospice industry veterans offer insights on the past, present, and future of telehealth in this virtual panel discussion event. Guided by moderator Nick Seabrook, panelists will address how the COVID-19 crisis has brought new urgency to the adoption of telehealth services and how providers across the country are adapting to these changes.

One thing is clearly emerging from COVID-19, and it is Telehealth.  The utilization of telehealth is on the rise and is expected to continue to grow in the coming years.  Prior to COVID-19, roughly 11,000 Medicare patients were utilizing telehealth a week.  That has since spiked to more than 650,000 [people] a week and according to Forrester, a research company, projected demand for telehealth technology is to increase seven-fold by 2025 due the pandemic.  In this virtual panel discussion, BlackTree and a panel of home health and hospice industry veterans offer insights on the past, present, and future of telehealth.

When asked if agencies were utilizing telehealth more, David Brennan, Director of Telehealth at MedStar, let us know that “telehealth has absolutely exploded” for them as they went from providing 10 telehealth visits a week to now upwards of 4,000 visits a week.    Prior to COVID-19, telehealth was met with hesitation from certain providers but Patty Upham, VP of Clinical Services at HRS, is seeing more clinical embrace for telehealth than ever before.

In this panel discussion, hear how three providers have quickly adapted to COVID-19 with telehealth and how they are using it to manage home health, hospice, palliative and rehab patients.  Cheryl Nelson, Telemedicine Clinical Manager at Norwell VNA talks about how they quickly learned to utilize telehealth to maintain face time with patients during the pandemic, and how they obtained patient and clinician buy-in.  For rehab patients, Donna Deblois, President at MainHealth Care at Home, goes into how they are starting to utilize telehealth for not just post-op patients but now for pre-op patients. David continues with how fast things have evolved truly to the betterment of these rehab patient.

When asked if agencies were utilizing telehealth more, David Brennan, Director of Telehealth at MedStar, let us know that “telehealth has absolutely exploded” for them as they went from providing 10 telehealth visits a week to now upwards of 4,000 visits a week.    Prior to COVID-19, telehealth was met with hesitation from certain providers but Patty Upham, VP of Clinical Services at HRS, is seeing more clinical embrace for telehealth than ever before.

In this panel discussion, hear how three providers have quickly adapted to COVID-19 with telehealth and how they are using it to manage home health, hospice, palliative and rehab patients.  Cheryl Nelson, Telemedicine Clinical Manager at Norwell VNA talks about how they quickly learned to utilize telehealth to maintain face time with patients during the pandemic, and how they obtained patient and clinician buy-in.  For rehab patients, Donna Deblois, President at MainHealth Care at Home, goes into how they are starting to utilize telehealth for not just post-op patients but now for pre-op patients. David continues with how fast things have evolved truly to the betterment of these rehab patient.

Outside of direct patient care, the panel discusses other advantages to telehealth: better management of patient caseloads and scheduling, on-call support, and increased employee morale. The panelists discuss how telehealth has helped clinicians better manage visit utilization, how telehealth has been vital in servicing their more rural patients and the benefit of telehealth across their workforce by making employees productive from home.

While providers and vendors are still navigating areas such as productivity metrics when providing telehealth visits and reimbursement from private insurances and potentially Medicare in the future, David put it perfectly when talking about the future of telehealth:

“…I think it (Telehealth) flattens the field, it flattens geography and it can really help us address some really really important issues with health equity both in terms of the geography of patients, health literacy and accessibility more broadly.  There’s a lot of wins in this when we make health care delivered virtual.”

 

– David Brennan, 47 mins. 42 sec.