Reshaping the care continuum with virtual care technology

by | Oct 29, 2018 | Blog


TERRY MAYTIN  |  VP, Market Development & Commercialization]
The healthcare industry is in the midst of unprecedented, much publicized transformation impacting nearly everyone across the entire care continuum.  This continuum refers to healthcare delivery spanning all stakeholders involved in managing, tracking and improving a patient’s acute, chronic or episodic condition over time – including health & wellness, behavior change and other social determinants. In principle, the “continuum of care” has remained largely unchanged in terms of its definition and desired outcomes. In practice however, treating the whole patient (e.g. patient-centered care) has taken center stage, and perceptions and attitudes are rapidly evolving.  Providers, payers and pharma have all taken a keen interest in developing more holistic, comprehensive approaches to deliver care across the entire continuum in a more efficient, coordinated manner.

Before the Affordable Care Act, healthcare revolved around the doctor rather than the patient which could translate into a a frustrating, inefficient experience for individuals with chronic, complex or other conditions requiring more than routine annual checkups. Across the care continuum, the patient’s providers, specialists and caregivers operated in a loose federation – often with incomplete information, in different locations, and with a lack of monetary incentives to adopt a team-based approach coordinating and optimizing care for each individual patient.

Healthcare reform (e.g. the ACA) ushered in new Medicare/Medicaid payment models and risk sharing arrangements with reimbursements tied to cost, quality, outcomes and patient experience measures.  Private sector payers have followed suit, and moving from fee for service to value-based payments has been the primary catalyst for the current healthcare environment. In order for the industry to successfully transition to the new value-based reality, virtual care technology is playing an ever-increasing role. Some of the leading tech-related initiatives with greatest potential impact include:

Activating the last mile is critical

Enabling clinicians to efficiently monitor and interact with patients wherever they are… after all, 95% of avoidable costs ($200B/year) occur between visits.

Patients are members of the care team too

Engaging patients to take a more active role in their self-care… encouraging healthier behaviors, greater awareness, and better therapy compliance. In order to take more responsibility, patients need to feel like a partner in their own care – and more empowered to stay in touch with their care providers. Supporting patients more effectively requires greater encouragement from all levels—including participating in health and wellness activities, community and social services, as well as their own disease management regimens.

Shared connectivity gives greater peace of mind

Connecting patients, care professionals and caregivers… regardless of their physical locations. We live in a mobile society where the hospital and the home are no longer the primary places to manage care. This dynamic not only impacts patients, but their clinicians and caregivers as well. While face-to-face encounters are still the gold standard, patients gain greater peace of mind and remain more engaged just knowing their support network is just a click away.

Analytics are a smart way to manage patients and populations

Taking a more expansive view of factors that ultimately impact outcomes at the end of the day… whether for individual patients or entire populations. The utility of patient-reported information is gaining respect among previous skeptics.  Artificial intelligence, big data and machine learning are unlocking the potential to identify, collect, analyze, and act upon new sources of information about patient status and well-being beyond the hospital walls. For population health management, advanced analytics are yielding greater insights (e.g. behaviors, compliance, outcomes, etc.) to inform treatment approaches in traditional categories (healthy well, rising risk, chronic, complex, and acute) as well as previously unidentified sub-segments within each.

Connecting and activating the last mile in patient-centered care

Medocity Inc., headquartered in Parsippany, New Jersey, is a recognized leader in enterprise virtual care technology serving health systems, payers and life sciences organizations seeking best-in-class digital solutions to improve outcomes and reduce healthcare costs between visits.  Bridging the gap between the hospital, clinic and the home, the Medocity Virtual Care Platform enables optimized engagement and continuous care for patients with chronic and complex conditions. Medocity’s award-winning technology combines condition management, remote monitoring, artificial intelligence, cognitive computing, and telehealth interventions in a single cloud-based ecosystem. Accessible in real time on any device or operating system, the Medocity platform integrates with EMRs, digital assistants, and hundreds of connected sensors delivering meaningful patient-centered care away from the hospital or clinic.

We invite you to contact us for a demo. While the continuum of care is still a car by definition, it’s definitely not your father’s Oldsmobile anymore.