RI – Telehealth Firms Set Sights on Hospital System Market

March 2017~

Since its launch in 2006, the once “new and exciting” direct-to-consumer urgent care provided by Rhode Island telehealth firm, American Well’s  technology has largely become the norm.

The convenience of telehealth is a significant benefit, but it’s not the only one. By encouraging patients with common ailments to seek care virtually, doctors are able to spend more time on in-office primary care appointments for patients with more serious conditions. According to a 2015 report by the consulting firm Advisory Board, about 1/5 of all urgent primary care visits could easily be conducted through virtual care.

It’s “more and more a mature market,” said American Well CEO Dr. Roy Schoenberg. The company says 120 million Americans have access to its platform.

Due to this, American Well has now joined many other top telehealth firms to increase efforts to cater directly hospitals and health systems and have been rapidly expanding the parts of their businesses which cater directly to providers. Some of these virtual care providers simply provide the technology and set-up, while others are offering networks of doctors to over-capacity systems to supplement existing physician capacity.

Many healthcare providers are responding to the shift towards value-based care and are looking for efficient, low-cost ways of taking care of common conditions.

By updating its approach, American Well was able to double its book of business related to healthcare providers last year, and now provides its telehealth technology to more than 70 health systems that together have more than 700 hospitals which use the American Well technology under their own brands and logos.

According to a 2016 survey by telehealth software startup Avizia, 63% percent of healthcare providers use telehealth in some way.

 

Source(s): Modern Healthcare, March 2017; Becker’s Hospital Review, February 2017; PR Web, March 2017; HealthcareDIVE, March 2017;