Greenway Health announces it is working to develop innovative virtual care solutions that are now essential for today’s ambulatory care practices.
“At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, we saw a dramatic shift in the way care was being delivered. Providers relied on virtual care to continue seeing patients during periods of shutdown and quarantine,” said Richard Atkin, CEO, Greenway Health. “Just as our healthcare providers have remained committed to patient care, Greenway too, will continue on our mission of enabling ambulatory care practices with the tools they need to improve outcomes, streamline workflows and maintain business continuity.”
As the first tool in its virtual care portfolio, Greenway will be developing and launching Greenway Telehealth™, a secure, HIPAA-compliant solution designed with an easy-to-use interface for both providers and patients. Greenway Telehealth is being designed according to the specific needs of Greenway’s ambulatory care customers, and in particular, practices looking for a sustainable, long-term solution. Greenway Telehealth will remove care delivery barriers, enabling greater provider productivity and improved patient outcomes. Product updates and enhanced electronic health record (EHR) integration will be delivered to customers on a rapid cadence to create additional workflow efficiency. The solution will be powered by Twilio, Greenway’s current Patient Messaging vendor.
“We are excited to be moving forward on our path to creating long-term virtual care solutions that can easily be implemented into our customers’ established workflows,” said David Cohen, chief product and technology officerat Greenway.“With these new tools, we are arming today’s providers with the technology they need to continue to deliver quality care to their communities, while also expanding access to care to those who need it most.”
Independent Women’s Voice (IWV) launches the Patient Protection Pledge, a promise to stand with patients and their right to know the price of healthcare services before receiving care. The pledge was designed to let constituents know which lawmakers and candidates are committed in their support for any bill that would require upfront genuine healthcare price transparency and cash prices for all medical products, procedures, providers, and services.
There is no issue that more dramatically pits the business-as-usual DC swamp against the interests of ordinary Americans. President Donald Trump recently called transparency, “the biggest thing ever done having to do with costs in health care.”
The pledge endorses full price transparency in health care, an issue which nearly 90% of Americans say is important to them. A whopping 98% of women age 40 and under support it, a critical cohort for Republicans and Democrats. Yet, efforts to make price transparency a reality have been clouded by healthcare lobbyists and special interest groups—like PBMs and PhRMA—who want to keep patients in the dark.
America’s current healthcare system is opaque, keeping consumers price-blind. It is wrong and unacceptable that Americans are not able to see healthcare prices in advance. We would never agree to buy anything else without knowing how much it is going to cost. Prices in health care should work the same way.
“Economists estimate that making healthcare prices transparent could drop healthcare costs for individuals and businesses down to the prices that cash-paying patients pay today, which average 40% lower than negotiated rates,” said Heather R. Higgins, CEO of IWV. “Leaders in Washington should support price transparency in health care—taking a stand for patients and against the dominant healthcare lobby enticing them to vote otherwise.”
“Less than 10% of healthcare spending is on emergencies. 90% should be shoppable. Patients deserve the right to know the price of healthcare services before receiving care, including real cash prices and negotiated rates with health plans, so they can make informed choices when shopping for care and coverage.”
Healthcare price transparency would allow patients to plan ahead for how to pay and shop among providers. It would open the door for Americans to make informed, value-driven decisions about their care.
Early signers of the Pledge include:
Senator Mike Braun (R-IN)
Rep. Mike Burgess (R-TX)
Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA)
Newt Gingrich, Former. Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives
Dr. Art Laffer, American economist and former member of President Ronald Reagan’s Economic Policy Advisory Board
Larry Van Horn, Executive Director of Health Affairs at Vanderbilt University
Rep. Ralph Norman (R-SC)
Rep. Bill Flores (R-TX)
The Patient Protection Pledge is a project of IWV. Co-sponsors of the Pledge include Free2Care and Patients for Real Prices.
Good Shepherd Health Care System (GSHCS) is honoring its commitment to improving community health and responsiveness by enhancing how it connects with patients. GSHCS is now conducting multi-channel outreach programs about flu vaccinations, physician visits and healthy living with Welltok, the consumer activation solutions company.
“More than ever, our patients are looking to us for consistent and clear communication,” said Caitlin Cozad, GSHCS’ marketing and communications director. “This is a responsibility that we take very seriously and recognize that leveraging technology allows us to scale outreach and engage with our community in new ways.”
GSHCS has a successful track record working with Welltok’s Patientology solution, which uses proprietary data and predictive analytics to engage the right patients with the right message for targeted activities. Given changes to patient interactions and behaviors due to COVID-19, GSHCS is adding more channels including direct mail, social ads, text messaging and dedicated landing pages to increase connectivity.
“GSHCS is leading the way to make sure social distancing doesn’t turn into medical distancing. They are proactively engaging patients around care needs as well as introducing new safety protocols like a drive-thru flu clinic,” said Jaci Haack, vice president of client strategy for Welltok. “We are honored to partner with them on the strategy, creative development and distribution of these highly valuable campaigns.”
Current and future patients of GSHCS will be receiving more information about the drive-thru flu clinic, which will be opened October 24, and the annual community meeting set for October 28. Targeted communications will also be delivered to people who will benefit the most from orthopedic and OBGYN services with the addition of accomplished physicians new to the area.
Additionally, Prescription Trails will be promoted more broadly thanks to an educational grant GSHCS was awarded. The Prescription Trails program is designed to help community members improve their health by using exercise as medicine, while accessing Oregon’s beautiful parks and trails.
“We look forward to engaging with our community in new ways and continuing to meet their evolving needs,” added Cozad. “It’s a new world, and we are all adapting to it together!”
Revation Systems serves multiple segments across the healthcare ecosystem including payers, providers, population health organizations, government, and community social service organizations. It also has established relationships with some of the industry’s largest companies, offering a unique combination of secure, HIPAA-compliant communications with virtual call center and secure multi-point video capabilities that support a wide variety of use cases.
LinkLive is for healthcare organizations who need to securely communicate with patient members, doctors, and business partners and want it to work in the way that we all live and work across digital and physical channels. For many of its clients, LinkLive Healthcare is critical as they work to increase the quality of care while also reducing the cost of care.
LinkLive also is HITRUST certified.
Revation Systems has offices in Minneapolis and San Francisco.
What is the single-most innovative technology you are currently delivering to health systems or medical groups? How is your product or service innovating the work being done in these
organization to provide care or make systems run smoother?
Built expressly for the healthcare patient transfer process, an essential segment of hospital operations, LinkLive Healthcare, provided by Revation Systems, is a unified communications software platform that is hosted in the cloud and offers a broad range of capabilities including rich digital messaging, including voice and video communications.
LinkLive Healthcare empowers healthcare organizations to securely communicate with their patients across physical and digital channels. For the patient transfer process, the one-call, dynamic conferencing capability quickly enables multi-channel and sidebar conversations in real-time making it extremely efficient, secure and valuable for healthcare organizations during the coronavirus pandemic. And the chat feature is the first of its kind as it requires no downloads, no apps and no accounts/passwords for patients to manage.
Over the past year, we’ve seen big tech giants and retailers entering into the healthcare market and Walmart is just the latest example. As one of America’s largest retailers, Walmart recently acquired a technology platform called CareZone, which offers a worry-free way for consumers to organize health information and access vital health services, in an effort to enhance its digital health and wellness capabilities.
I recently spoke with Omri Shor, co-founder and CEO at Medisafe, a leading digital therapeutics company providing medication management solutions for patients across the healthcare continuum, to learn about the impact of Walmart’s recent acquisition on the digital health and pharmaceutical space, as well as the broader role of digital health in the future of care and what this could mean for healthcare consumers moving forward.
Q: How will Walmart’s recent acquisition of CareZone impact the healthcare industry?
Consumers are engaging and adapting with digital health more than ever and incorporating it into their daily routines. With Walmart, you’re taking a retail giant with pharmacy capabilities and licenses across all 50 states and adding a digital health component. It’s a great model for Walmart and this acquisition solidly moves them into the digital health space.
Walmart will now gain vast amounts of healthcare consumer data and, coupled with its vast network of brick and mortar stores, the addition of CareZone may even put it one step ahead of Amazon. What will be key to watch for is Walmart’s ability to support those patients managing chronic conditions who require dedicated programs to affect lasting behavior change in addition to end-to-end support which requires coordination across the healthcare ecosystem.
Q: What would it take for Walmart to successfully move into this industry with this acquisition of CareZone?
Adding CareZone’s technology platform to Walmart’s existing digital capabilities and physical reach creates a unique opportunity to redefine what the future of digital health and wellness can look like across the board. Now more than ever, patients require digital hand-holding to navigate multiple treatments. That being said, digital health tools have the ability to empower patients and improve their outcomes through seamlessly integrated technology.
For Walmart to have a successful entrance into the digital health space, a deep understanding of the needs of patients is critical. While the company has the retail and pharmacy aspect handled, true success will require connection across many other hubs within the broader healthcare ecosystem.
Whether that be connecting payers with providers or providing consumers with a mobile app for medication adherence, having the capacity to connect across the continuum is something Walmart should be thinking about building into their market strategy. Once the ecosystem piece comes full circle, Walmart will have the power to integrate their business model into the everyday lives of American consumers, which will be imperative to support patients along their journey.
By Ken Perez, vice president of healthcare policy, Omnicell, Inc.
If one asks the average American what is former Vice President Joe Biden’s healthcare plan, it’s likely that they will say it is about restoring the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and some may mention the idea of a public option —Medicare or something like Medicare made available to more people.
Those high-level impressions are certainly accurate. Biden’s official campaign website quotes the presidential candidate as saying, “We have to protect and build on Obamacare,” and Biden’s current policy stances touch upon the ACA’s three main areas of focus: access, quality and cost.
Biden’s plan for healthcare has been best articulated in two documents. First, negotiations during June with representatives of Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) produced the “Biden-Sanders Unity Task Force Recommendations,” a 110-page document which was released in early July. Second, the 2020 Democratic Party Platform, a 92-page document, was approved by the Democratic National Committee’s Platform Committee on July 27 and adopted during the 2020 Democratic National Convention in mid-August.
As was the case with the ACA, both documents affirm healthcare as a human right, advocating “free or low-cost healthcare coverage for every American, including by expanding Medicaid, subsidizing employer health insurance for people who lose their jobs, and offering a high-quality low or no-cost public option available without a deductible and with automatic enrollment for those who qualify throughout the COVID-19 crisis.”1
In general, expanding coverage benefits hospitals by reducing bad debt expense, which for U.S. hospitals averaged 1.73% of revenue in 2018.2 According to Rich Umbdenstock, former president and CEO of the American Hospital Association (AHA), the hospital industry agreed to support the ACA because the Obama administration and Congress promised that at least 97% of Americans would have healthcare coverage.3 In like manner, the Biden healthcare plan’s promise to increase access and expand coverage make it attractive to the hospital industry.
Substance abuse is an affliction affecting millions of people worldwide. Whether it’s at the hands of alcohol, cocaine, methamphetamine, opioids, or other risky substances, almost everyone knows someone battling addiction. It could be a parent, a sibling, a close friend, or a coworker. Maybe it’s your romantic partner, or perhaps it’s even you.
Access to digital tech is a gamechanger in the battle against substance abuse. In other words, if you’re reading this, you have an advantage. What’s more, you should put that advantage to good use, whether it’s for you or for someone you know struggling with addiction.
Centers for substance abuse and addiction treatment make a point to maintain some form of an online presence. Doing so is an essential aspect of reaching out to potential patients in the digital age and helping family members and other loved ones of those struggling with drug or alcohol abuse.
As the COVID-19 infection unleashes devastation with the healthcare system, telehealth is venturing up into the spotlight and helping healthcare providers and doctors react better to the necessities of Americans who have gotten the infection and Americans who need to meet up with their providers on the status of their wellbeing.
Telehealth is making a positive commitment to medicinal services during the pandemic and is being used in a variety of ways. Be that as it may, telehealth innovations do have certain restrictions with regards to treating patients during a pandemic. However, medical clinics are figuring out how to adjust to telehealth during a pandemic.
While all the countries around the world and taking precautions to get rid of COVID, the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services reports 51,200 cases of the virus. It is advised not to travel, however, if it is an emergency or you intend to follow through with vacation plans, research the area you are going to so you know what to expect upon arrival.
By Dr. Deborah Vinton, medical director, emergency department, UVA Health and Inlightened Expert.
The way we talk, think about, plan, and innovate for healthcare delivery has fundamentally changed as a result of COVID-19. For those of us in healthcare, top priorities today are different than they were just a few months ago. Like in so many areas of life, coronavirus is rewriting the status quo.
As a physician on the frontlines, it has become painfully apparent that, as an industry, we have failed to design and develop tools and systems – for us – with us in mind. When it comes to innovating for those delivering the care, empathy is often times out of the process. From PPE (personal protective equipment) to telemedicine and everything in between, the lack of input and understanding may be furthering burnout, negatively impacting patient care, and fueling inefficiencies.
Empathy in innovation: We’ve made progress for patients
In healthcare, we’ve done a better (although not remotely perfect) job of integrating empathy into the design and innovation process for the patient to optimize patient experience. From lobbies to hospital rooms, we’ve seen patient-centric design aimed at delivering more comfortable, less stressful, and seamless experiences.
Patients today enter buildings that are light and airy, no longer have the traditional “sterile” feeling, boast extensive entertainment options, and prioritize patient needs, like access to Wi-Fi and charging stations. Protocols are designed by considering various risks, and prioritizing policies and workflows that will most positively impact the patient. All of these efforts demonstrate a much-needed understanding of – and commitment to – the patient and their experience.
Physicians are left behind and burned out
Like other industries, the evolution of healthcare has been aided by fast-paced innovation and technology. While conversations pre-COVID might have been around electronic health records (EHRs), real-time communication tools, and even innovating the scrubs we wear, COVID-19 has shed light on new priorities and the dramatic gaps that exist in the process for designing provider-centric tools.
According to McKinsey: From 2014 to 2018, there have been more than 580 healthcare technology deals in the United States, each more than $10 million, for a total of more than $83 billion in value. They have been disproportionately focused on three main categories: patient engagement, data and analytics, and new care models.
Consider the quick adoption of telehealth. While the ability to deliver care virtually to the patient was – and still is – unquestionably critical as the country sheltered in place, it has led to a lot of frustration and overwhelm for physicians who are trained to deliver patient care in-person. In medical school, we learn how to read what’s behind the presentation of symptoms and how to ask questions and listen to what’s behind the answer.
But we haven’t yet integrated into the curriculum how to implement technology to feel consistent with the way we’ve been trained to deliver care. We are being asked to understand – and flawlessly use – solutions that can be glitchy, disjointed, and impersonal, while simultaneously delivering care to patients that might be nervous, frustrated, ill, scared, or all of the above.
Despite the world facing the challenges of dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, natural disasters and even conflict resulting in violence, the power of technology means there’s always something to feel positive about.
What is news-worthy when it comes to IT and technology for the healthcare industry? Here are our top four reasons for staying hopeful:
More Virtual Treatments Mean More Healthy People
The beauty of having an IT infrastructure stretching across any country is that more people get access to medical services and consultations. Even before COVID-19 happened, doctors were giving advice and medical feedback to individuals in remote areas or those unable to travel via video calls.
During the pandemic, these telehealth resources were used in greater numbers in order to minimize interaction between patients in waiting rooms and hospitals. Even though the virus took many of us by surprise, certain aspects of our society were already geared for dealing with the challenge.