While telehealth is currently in the spotlight for its unprecedented impact on the mitigation of infection risk for COVID-19, such technology is not strictly limited to initial consults or routine check-ups with Primary Care Physicians or specialty providers. In fact, the reach of such technology can positively impact a patient after their time at the hospital.
Telehealth can be a crucial component in reducing patient readmissions, particularly within the first several months. Such attempts at reducing patient readmissions within the first 30 to 60-day discharge window is, as well, tied directly to the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program, or HRRP, penalty system. The aim of the enactment of such penalties is to further incite the hospital system to provide the highest quality of care for its patients. However, certain techniques of readmission reduction are not always feasible, nor are they cost-effective. With this in mind, telehealth can offer further support within the post-acute care setting.
RelyMD’s Post-Acute Care (VPAC) program provides 24/7 access, 365 days a year, to our community-based ER-trained physician network. In the post-acute care setting, our on-call physicians offer virtual assessments to patients, patients’ families, and your network of nurses, to allow immediate assistance in times of concern. Particularly, telehealth can be incredibly influential in cases such as CHF and COPD, some of the health conditions with the highest hospital readmissions rates. For example, if a recently discharged patient with CHF had a concerning dip in blood pressure, a family member, available nurse, or the patient, themselves, could reach out to RelyMD for appropriate next-steps and protocols to effectively treat, in house.
Additionally, the addition of telehealth can, in numerous ways, provide an array of medical support, but can also offer other provisions of equal importance, such as peace of mind and patient engagement. The inclusion of telehealth in modern day post-acute practices can make a family more comfortable with their loved one remaining outside of the hospital, as all parties will be knowledgeable in regards to the inclusion of an immediate, on-call physician. Further, telehealth could make a patient more willing to engage within their post-acute check-ins, as they would be in a place of comfortability, surrounded by friends and family, and undeniably in a space of more self-governance.
All in all, the addition of telehealth within the post-acute care setting provides further support for not only the patient and their families, but for the entirety of the healthcare system, in a cost-effective, efficient manner. The goal of healthcare is, after all, to protect our community and to keep our community happy, healthy, and out of the hospital.
RelyMD is a growing digital health company that provides a coordinated telehealth solution to health systems, managed care organizations, and employers. Founded by a group of innovative emergency medicine physicians and healthcare entrepreneurs, we’re on a mission to simplify people’s lives by delivering reliable, trusted medical care – anytime and anywhere – that fosters healthier communities and workplaces. Learn how RelyMD can help remotely treat your post-acute patients.
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