Your weekly newsletter on health IT and digital health

Paddy Padmanabhan

The other side of virtual care

Monday, May 17, 2021

Issue 114

The Healthcare Digital Transformation Leader - Newsletter -Banner Image
A digitally enabled health care system should be good news all around. Doctors can see more patients, patients can avoid unnecessary in-person visits, and physical facilities can be downsized. Telehealth companies are ramping up their lobbying efforts to push for payment parity and protect their COVID-era gains. As long as there is payment parity between in-person and virtual visits, healthcare providers shouldn’t care. So it would seem like a win-win.
Except it isn’t.
The rise in telehealth and virtual care adoption is not necessarily good news for everyone. Health insurers, for one, are concerned about the additional costs of patient education as well as process design and staff training for things like “webside manners,” Another concern for them is overutilization of care, especially now since it’s easier than ever for patients to do virtual visits with their doctors. Meanwhile, new entrants like Amazon are blowing up conventional reimbursement models such as PMPM and replacing it with consumption-based models borrowed from their pay-as-you-go pricing for cloud services. This puts pressure on incumbents relying on maintaining and expanding revenue sources using traditional models.

That isn’t stopping health systems and health insurers to move into these new models. Following recent acquisitions of telehealth providers by Cigna and Walmart, Kaiser Permanente and Mayo Clinic announced last week that they are taking significant equity stakes in Medically Home Group, a Boston-based provider of home health services.

The final wildcard in this game is the patient. A recent study by Penn Medicine and UC Santa Barbara and research by Harvard Business School raise doubts about what patients really think about virtual and AI-enabled care.

In my latest podcast episode, I interview John Donohue, Vice President of Entity Services at Penn Medicine. John gives us a fascinating view into the hospital of the future, a $1.5 billion investment by Penn Medicine that is launching soon. Take a listen.

Have a great week.


Podcast of the Week

In this episode, John Donohue, Vice President of Entity Services at Penn Medicine talks about their 3-year long, $1.5 billion investment in a hospital of the future to be launched by the health system in their West Philadelphia campus.

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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.

Mayo, Kaiser strike joint investment in virtual hospital-at-home model: 6 details
The shift from hospital to home is beginning to accelerate. Becker’s Hopital Review

Amazon shuns per-employee fees with new telehealth business
Amazon joins a growing list of telehealth and digital health providers ditching the traditional PMPM Revenue model for healthcare services. Should be interesting to see how incumbents respond. MedCity News

Telehealth companies are fueling a lobbying frenzy to protect their Covid boom
Allowing Telehealth companies, flush with cash after the Covid-19 pandemic spiked both demand and investment, are now embarking on massive lobbying efforts to secure their interests on Capitol Hill. STAT News

Do Health Apps Really Make Us Healthier?
Findings that mobile and wearable devices and apps do lead patients to change their behaviors in ways that can positively affect their health provide offer not just patients but also care providers and insurers with opportunities. But surprising results about the effectiveness of personalized vs. non-personalized prods means that there is no clear-cut way to remind patients to adopt healthy behaviors. This suggests that providers need to experiment to find out what works best with patients. Harvard Business Review

The AI physician will see you now — but do patients want to see them?
Researchers from Philadelphia-based Penn State and the University of California, Santa Barbara found that patients are less likely to take advice from an artificial intelligence physician when it knows their name and medical history. Becker’s Hopital Review

Telehealth reimbursement parity spurs insurer concerns of overutilization
As demand for virtual care soars and payment parity kicks in, health insurers are concerned about increased costs of overutilization. Healthcare Finance News

Though training is necessary, payers see value in telehealth-first health plans
As demand for telehealth grew, payers accelerated their development of telehealth-first plans. Now that several have launched, it is clear that bringing these plans to market requires added effort on the part of payers, but they are here to stay. Healthcare IT News

Note: Some of the articles linked in this newsletter may be behind paywalls that need a subscription.

Chart of the Week

Source: STAT News


The Cyber Threat Landscape Evolution

In this webinar by Paubox, our CEO Paddy Padmanabhan is moderating a session on ‘The Cyber Threat Landscape Evolution: How the Pandemic Changed the Attack Surface in Healthcare’ on June 02, 2021 | 12:00 pm CT. Register hereWebinar   

What’s up with IBM Watson Health? A Discussion on the State of AI in Healthcare with Paddy Padmanabhan

In this podcast, Paddy Padmanabhan shares his thoughts on the state of AI in healthcare, what’s working today (think administrative functions), and what may still be a ways off (think complex cancer diagnostics). Podcast Recording

Damo Consulting Thought Leadership and Research

A Look Back At The Last Quarter

A compilation of our thought leadership over the last quarter that provides insights on digital transformation trends in healthcare and help tools to embark on a successful transformation journey. Blog

NEW WHITE PAPER: Selecting Technology Partners to Execute Digital Strategy – The Damo Consulting ICEA™ Framework

Damo Consulting’s ICEA™ framework guides health systems and technology firms on competitive assessment and partner selection strategies. This paper will help you find out how you can use the framework to categorize the technology vendors and evaluate each vendor within the categories. White Paper

How to optimize health IT systems for immunization drives

The right technology applications can turn the COVID-19 vaccination program into a game-changer for the healthcare industry. Blog

Corporate Announcements

Damo Consulting launches DigiM™, a digital maturity model and an online self-assessment tool for health systems. With this first-of-its-kind maturity assessment tool, health systems can benchmark their digital transformation programs against peer health systems at an enterprise level. Press Release 

Damo Consulting offers branding solutions for technology firms looking to gain visibility and access to healthcare executives and CXOs. 

Contact us now!

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