Your weekly newsletter on health IT and digital health

Paddy Padmanabhan

Why did it take so long for telehealth to go mainstream?

Monday, October 12, 2020

This past week, I spoke at a virtual event hosted by a Silicon Valley organization where the audience included a number of entrepreneurs and technologists from a wide range of industries. One of the questions posed to me during the Q&A was why telehealth has taken so long to gain acceptance.

Healthcare has been used to billing for in-person visits on a long-standing fee-for-service model. Despite the rhetoric on shifting to value-based care in the last few years, only 26 cents on the dollar account for an alternate payment model. If nothing’s broken, you don’t have a need to change. When the pandemic cut off that revenue source by enforcing a lockdown on hospitals and clinics, the only option available was to go virtual. It’s not just healthcare. Other sectors, notably education, have been forced to go online. 

The answer I gave for that question at the event last week was that when you lose your job, nothing focuses your mind more than finding a new way to earn income. And hence the rapid shift to telehealth.

Recent data published by FAIR Health, a nonprofit that tracks telehealth data, indicates a 3806 % rise in claims between July 2019 and July 2020. Though recent anecdotal data points to a pickup in in-person visits, every healthcare provider in the country is preparing for an irreversible shift towards virtual experiences.

However, it’s early days yet. My latest podcast guest Dr. Nick Patel, Chief Digital Officer of Prisma Health, states that he expects around 20% of all ambulatory care to shift to virtual care models. Take a listen. 

P.S. We’re still on the Amazon bestseller list! Due to the surging demand, my book, Healthcare Digital Transformation, is frequently sold out on Amazon. You can obtain signed copies at the link below. I am also accepting speaking engagements for your in-company and user group events on the book themes and our recent research. Drop a line to for more details.

Stay safe. Wear a mask.

Podcast of the week 

In this episode, Dr. Nick Patel, Chief Digital Officer of Prisma Health discusses his role and how the pandemic has transformed the healthcare industry with emerging technologies like online scheduling, virtual visits, chatbots, remote patient monitoring, and AI.

In this episode, Drew Schiller, Founder and CEO of Validic discusses how COVID-19 has impacted and accelerated the demand environment for remote patient monitoring and other virtual care technologies.

This Week in Digital Health Markets 

We are selectively featuring guest posts in our newsletter from senior leaders in healthcare and technology. Reach out to us if you would like to contribute a blog to one of our upcoming newsletters.

ROI for pop health IT still not quite in view

Only 26 cents on the dollar go through an alternate payment model, far less than we thought it would be today. The progress of alternate care delivery models, especially virtual care, will continue to rub up against this reality unless the marketplace forces changes. Healthcare IT News

This Year’s Nobel Prize in Chemistry Honors a Revolution

Congratulations to the pioneers of gene-editing and CRISPR. Life will never be the same again. Well deserved. The New York Times 

Geisinger attracts more consumers after deploying provider search and scheduling tech

Since the launch, the health system increased organic traffic to its website by nearly 30% and increased provider data accuracy by the same percentage. Healthcare IT News 

Walmart Is Moving Toward a ‘One-Stop-Shop for Health Care’

Walmart announced that it is launching Walmart Insurance Services, which will sell Medicare insurance plans, in time for annual enrollment. Barron’s 

Lyft to integrate with Epic, enabling ride scheduling within EHR workflow

Lyft, a ride-sharing app, announced that it would be integrating with Epic to allow healthcare staff to schedule rides for patients directly from their electronic health record. Healthcare IT News

Epic-integrated telehealth at Johns Hopkins boosts quality and safety during pandemic

Patients in the Johns Hopkins hospitals were monitored remotely or experienced virtual subspecialty consultation to keep patients safe from unnecessary infectious exposure when clinically appropriate. Only around 2% of the patients in the home pulse oximetry program required readmission to date. Healthcare IT News

UCSF, Fortanix, Intel, and Microsoft Azure Utilize Privacy-Preserving Analytics to Accelerate AI in Healthcare

UC San Francisco’s Center for Digital Health Innovation (CDHI), Fortanix, Intel, and Microsoft Azure have formed a collaboration to establish a confidential computing platform with privacy-preserving analytics to accelerate the development and validation of clinical algorithms. Business Wire 

Telehealth Claim Lines Increase 3,806 Percent Nationally from July 2019 to July 2020

According to FAIR Health’s Monthly Telehealth Regional Tracker, telehealth claim lines increased 3,806 % nationally from July 2019 to July 2020, rising from 0.15 percent of medical claim lines in July 2019 to 6.00 percent in July 2020.PR Newswire

Chart of the Week

Top five diagnoses as per telehealth claim in the U.S.: July 2019 vs. July 2020

Damo Consulting Thought Leadership and Research

A mid-year review of the financial and market performance of global technology consulting firms in healthcare.

The WITCH Monthly Monitor (August) - Our monthly update on major global IT consulting and services firms in healthcare provides the latest financial and market performance updates on WITCH companies along with other global IT consulting firms. *WITCH Monthly Monitor is now available as a free 1-year subscription with every purchase of The WITCH Report.


Our CEO Paddy Padmanabhan is speaking at the IIT Bay Area Alumni on ‘Accelerating digital transformation: Looking beyond COVID-19’ on October 10, 2020 8:00AM -10:30 AM, Pacific Time. Register here.


Our CEO Paddy Padmanabhan on Healthcare IT Today podcast with host John Lynn discussing the pace of healthcare digital transformation, the role of EHR systems, and the changing landscape of the healthcare experience.

This research paper, based on focus group discussions with CHIME members, discusses the challenges with digital transformation for mid-tier health systems and what CIOs must do to accelerate digital transformation in their organizations.

Based on recent surveys and engagements with leading health systems by Damo Consulting, this paper provides best practices for a successful telehealth and digital front door programs in a post-COVID-19 era. 

This ebook is a snapshot of the more detailed whitepaper ‘Interoperability and Patient Access: what it is, who gets impacted, and how to plan for the future.’

Damo Logo White

Get in touch!

One of our experts will get in touch with you shortly.

(815) 900-9840


Join the digital healthcare revolution. Stay on top of the latest news, trends, and insights with Damo Consulting.

Sign me up for the latest news, trends, and insights from Damo.

Sign me up for the latest news, trends, and insights from Damo.


Join the digital healthcare revolution. Stay on top of the latest news, trends, and insights with Damo Consulting.

Sign me up for the latest news, trends, and insights from Damo.


Join the digital healthcare revolution. Stay on top of the latest news, trends, and insights with Damo Consulting.