Post Date: June 7, 2017

Telehealth virtual visits are a hot topic and very high priority in hospital systems such as Kaiser Permanente. Many health systems are prioritizing telehealth as a technology option that can help the hospital contain costs while expanding their patient base.

Practitioners are realizing the old fee-for-service system isn’t working and continues to increase problems in a failing health care system. This type of health system was built around episodic care, in which people only entered into the system when hurt or sick. This also does very little to nothing to incorporate preventive care in regular patient visits.

As Bernard Tyson, Kaiser Permanente CEO, stated at a recent event, “We’re reimagining medical care.” These hospitals are aggressively investing technology to support telehealth for doctors and patients. Many of the hospital systems have used telehealth virtual visits as a way to make patient education and preventive care a top initiative rather than treating an illness when it occurs. Telehealth virtual visits, improve patient experience by offering convenient options for dealing with minor health issues.

Kaiser Permanente recently reported, 95% of its members are covered on a capitated basis, meaning that Kaiser Permanente is paid a monthly member fee to take care of a patient’s full range of healthcare needs. Members like the convenience of being able to get minor ailments looked at or get test results outside the doctor’s office.

Hospital systems can expand its patient base by offering telehealth virtual visits. Clinicians report these virtual visits allow them to see more patients for preventive care which ultimately reduce hospital cost. Telehealth virtual visits prove to be a big help for patients. In the old system, patients have to carve out a big part of their day for a visit, now they receive test results and follow-up visits in a fraction of the time.