Intermountain Launches New Kidney Care Center with Telehealth Care

Intermountain Launches New Kidney Care Center with Telehealth Care

– Intermountain Healthcare launches new Kidney Care Center that will provide at-home dialysis with telehealth-enabled video visits to patients.

– Patients will be able to schedule kidney dialysis treatments that fit their schedule.

– The Intermountain Kidney Care Center will also focus on pre-emptive transplants, where patients are matched with living kidney transplant donors prior to end-stage renal failure.

in Salt Lake City announced it is launching a new
patient-centered Kidney Care
that will serve patients wherever they live through telehealth
and at-home dialysis. The new kidney care center brings doctors,
nurses, dietitians and together to help kidney patients get the vital care they
need in a convenient and easy manner – even at home.

Impact of Chronic Kidney Disease in America

Chronic kidney disease includes conditions that damage the
kidneys and decrease their ability to keep a person healthy. If kidney disease
gets worse, wastes can build to high levels in the blood and make patients feel
sick. Kidney disease is one of the most impactful chronic conditions, affecting
an estimated 37 million people in the U.S. Dialysis is essentially a filtering
treatment dialysis to keep the body in balance by removing waste, salt and
extra water to prevent them from building up in the body.

The goal of the new kidney care center is to increase access
to treatment, specifically before dialysis is ever needed. The new center has
the capacity to focus on prevention and early detection, even facilitate early
transplant, if necessary — truly “doing the right amount at the right time for
each patient,” Dr. Harrison said.

“People can spend their whole lives — it feels like — in a
dialysis center receiving hemodialysis,” said Intermountain President and CEO
Marc Harrison, MD. “It affects them emotionally, physically, and it affects
their families.”

“Having people in the least restrictive, least expensive and
most holistic environment possible for them to stay as well as they can is most
ideal situation,” he said, adding that the new patient-centered approach “can
drive value over cost over time.”

Increasing Access to Access to Treatment Via Telehealth

Giving kidney dialysis patients access to in-home care will allow them to have treatments that easily accommodate their schedule, and follow-ups can be conducted via telehealth-enabled calls to a caregiver.

“With telehealth, we can provide care to patients in their home or any rural community throughout the Intermountain West. We can review their recent numbers such as blood pressure or blood sugars, make recommendations and adjust prescriptions or care, all without the need for them to travel into the clinic,” said Suji Lee, MD, medical director of the Intermountain Kidney Care Center.

Focus on Pre-Emptive Transplants

In addition, the Intermountain Kidney Care Center will also have a unique focus on pre-emptive transplants, where patients are matched with living kidney transplant donors prior to end-stage renal failure – the point where an individual’s kidneys no longer function sufficiently to maintain proper health. Other parts of the program include genomic testing, identifying and helping patients at risk of kidney disease, and customizing recommendations for treatment.

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Source: Intermountain Launches New Kidney Care Center with Telehealth Care

Patients value convenience of telemedicine

Patients value convenience of telemedicine

(Reuters Health) – Patients who have real-time video visits with their primary care providers instead of in-person exams are generally satisfied with the convenience and quality of their checkups, a new study suggests.

There’s a lot about these telemedicine visits that can sound appealing: no need to get stuck in traffic on the way to the doctor; no long stretches in the waiting room before the exam; no missing half a day of work for an appointment that’s over in the blink of an eye. But research to date hasn’t offered a clear picture of how the reality of virtual visits matches up with patients’ expectations

“Prior to the current study there was very little research evidence about primary-care video visits, especially when the visits are with a patient’s own primary care providers (the ones they also visit in-person) as a part of their ongoing clinical care,” said lead study author Dr. Mary Reed of Kaiser Permanente Northern California.

Reed and colleagues surveyed 1,274 patients at Kaiser in Northern California who had a scheduled video visit with a primary care provider in autumn 2015 to see how well the technology and the medical care worked for them.

Nearly all of the participants had some previous experience using video calling, although it might have been for personal or professional meetings and not for a medical checkup. Most of them also had undergraduate or advanced degrees and more than a third had household income of more than $100,000 a year.

Patients who had to take time off from work or other responsibilities for an in-person visit reported more often that the video visit reduced their in-person visits.

There were many reasons patients cited for having video visits: 87 percent found it more convenient; 82 percent liked that they could have the video visit with their regular primary care provider; and 70 percent were not sure they needed to go see a doctor in person.

After the video exams, 93 percent of patients felt the checkup met their needs; 92 percent felt the provider was familiar with their medical history; and 90 percent were confident in the quality of their care.

In addition, 84 percent of patients who had video visits thought the experience improved their relationship with their provider.

However, 41 percent of participants said they preferred an in-person visit, 24 percent expressed concern about making their home or video visit space presentable for the checkup, and 21 percent of patients worried they might not get adequate treatment.

Overall, however, nine in ten patients said they would consider a video visit in the future, even if they didn’t go to their scheduled visit during the study.

One drawback of the study is that it’s old – the video visits happened several years ago and technology used in 2015 may look a lot different than what’s possible today. Patients in the study were also fairly affluent and educated, and it’s possible results would look different for people with lower income and education levels.

There’s also a limit to what types of medical conditions may be suitable for telemedicine checkups, said Dr. Jay Portnoy, medical director of telemedicine at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri.

“The most common issues dealt with include colds, rashes, behavior issues and common issues that are embarrassing such as hair loss, erectile dysfunction, birth control and so on,” Portnoy, who wasn’t involved in the study, said by email.

Video visits still might one day replace many in-person checkups, said Dr. Michael Barnett of the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston.

“We are a long way from that because many people prefer in-person care and technology is still a barrier for many of the sickest patients who don’t use the internet or smart phones,” Barnett, who wasn’t involved in the study, said by email. “Video visits might help health spending by avoiding unnecessary office visits, but even if they don’t the convenience and time saved from them is very valuable.”

SOURCE: Annals of Internal Medicine, online April 29, 2019.

Source: Patients value convenience of telemedicine

Fewer COPD Patients Readmitted After Video Rehabilitation, Study Says

Fewer COPD Patients Readmitted After Video Rehabilitation, Study Says

Photo source: shutterstock

Video telehealth rehabilitation reduced the rates that patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) had to be readmitted within 30 days after they were hospitalized for a pulmonary exacerbation, according to a study.

The findings were published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine in a study titled “Video Telehealth Pulmonary Rehabilitation Intervention in COPD Reduces 30-day Readmissions.”

According to the researchers, hospitalizations as a result of exacerbations in COPD patients are linked with respiratory morbidity and high healthcare costs, and accounts for nearly two-thirds of the total COPD healthcare costs. About one in five patients with COPD are readmitted within 30 days after hospital admission.

Although several hospitals have started intervention programs to lower the number of readmissions, the attempts have had minimal to modest success. However, studies have shown that pulmonary rehabilitation (multidisciplinary services aimed at improving the quality of life in patients) managed to reduce readmissions by 56%.

Consequently, researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) tested the effect of a program using video telehealth rehabilitation.

The team enrolled COPD patients that were hospitalized for acute exacerbations, and identified through a daily hospital census (hospital-admitted patients). Except for specific conditions preventing them from participating in the exercises, all patients were included regardless of disease severity.

For 12 weeks, the patients attended a real-time video-conferencing intervention with 36 exercise sessions, following guidelines for conventional pulmonary rehabilitation. A physiologist provided the exercises that were based on outpatient exercise assessments, and adapted to the patient’s baseline functions.

Through the regimen, including stretching, breathing, and aerobic exercises, the goal was to reach heart rates between 60% and 80% of the maximum baseline recorded in a six-minute walk test.

Results showed a significant decrease in the 30-day all-cause readmissions among COPD patients who participated in the telehealth intervention (6.2% readmission), compared with patients who did not participate (18.1% readmission).

“Participating in an exercise program soon after hospitalization for an acute exacerbation of COPD is associated with a substantially lower readmission rate within 30 days of discharge,” Surya P. Bhatt, MD, associate professor in the division of pulmonary, allergy and critical care medicine at UAB, stated in a university news release written by Adam Pope.

“The video telehealth pulmonary rehabilitation program, by overcoming many barriers to early initiation of pulmonary rehabilitation, can expand access to pulmonary rehabilitation, especially for patients who live in rural areas,” Bhatt added.

Furthermore, the researcher emphasized that “by reducing COPD readmissions, this intervention has the potential to substantially reduce healthcare costs.”

Apart from COPD, the intervention approach can also be applied to the rehabilitation of patients with other chronic lung diseases. However, according to the team, the results need to be confirmed through randomized clinical trials.

Source: Fewer COPD Patients Readmitted After Video Rehabilitation, Study Says

Telemedicine – A Great Way For Hospitals To Grow Their Business in 2019

Telemedicine – A Great Way For Hospitals To Grow Their Business in 2019

Telemedicine has grown exponentially in the last few decades thanks to the digital evolution of the healthcare industry.

First mentioned in 1924 in a magazine article about the future of American medicine, it was something of a pipedream, but their predictions couldn’t have been more accurate.

Now, over 70 percent of healthcare businesses have implemented telemedicine in some way as a way of diversifying their practices and connecting with patients in a way that better suits them.

These practices are as diverse as the technology itself, with purposes of the telemedicine ranging from monitoring health conditions to online consultations, and even as a way of fulfilling medication.

These diverse uses mean thattelemedicinecan be used for growing your health business in whichever way you see fit, in a way that best suits the needs of your target audience.

If you aren’t convinced, however, continue reading, as we share the best reasons why every health business should consider upgrading to telemedicine in 2019 – and beyond!

Telemedicine Eliminates Wasted Time And Resources

Have you ever looked at your business accounts and wondered how many of the resources you pay out for are completely wasted?

Things like medications, equipment, and even physicians who spend their time working with patients that could easily look after their own health with a little help. All these expenses can lead to hefty consequences that limit the growth potential of any company. And worse yet, they increase the overall cost of healthcare delivery.

With telemedicine, however, you can introduce services that help Americans manage their conditions without leaning on your company to help them, wasting resources that could be better spend helping someone in need.

Takepersonalized mobile apps, for example, which can be used to provide someone with a daily plan that keeps them on track and alerts the business to any changes in the status of their illness.

This wouldn’t have to have an impact on your profits, either, as many people would be willing to pay for these personalized apps that provide feedback to a qualified physician.

The good news is, once these are set up, it requires very little maintenance from physicians, saving on valuable time—and expensive resources—that can now be used to treat other patients in your facility.

By implementing these strategies to grow your healthcare business, you may also be able to overhaul your planned job roles and cut some of the ones that aren’t necessarily needed.

Telemedicine Provides Hospitals With A Way To Stay Ahead Of Their Competition

The healthcare industry is extremely competitive, so you need to make sure you’re at the forefront of the market in order to stand out.

One of the great things about telemedicine is that it is exactly that – an innovative solution that is only just beginning to catch on.

While it’s easy to be scared off by the fact that 70 percent of healthcare businesses have implemented telemedicine, as mentioned further up our article, this isn’t necessarily a deal breaker.

You need to look at your competition and see what it is that they have implemented. How could you do that better?

Is there a way of integrating your in-person services and telemedicine approach that makes you stand out as a frontrunner above your competitive?

There’s bound to be a gap in your niche that has yet to be filled that you can use to overcome your competitors and stand our as a real frontrunner within your industry.

It Connects You With A Wider Audience

One problem faced by a lot of health businesses today is that they can only serve a very limited number of patients.

This tends to be those who can physically get to the premises of a clinic or hospital regularly, or at the time when they need the treatment you’re offering.

This means that if your health business is operating within a small community or somewhere where your services aren’t in big demand, you could be missing out on a lot of patients.

When70% of Americans own a smartphone, however, using telemedicine to reach your target audience has never been easier.

With this, your health business will no longer be tied into the same restraints as other companies in your local area.

Not only will you be able to find new patients who could be halfway across the country, but it also allows your healthcare business to provide more comprehensive services to your existing customers.

Lowers Overhead Costs

As a health business that relies completely on the premises they’re based in, you will have a lot of overhead costs.

Not only do you have operational costs to think about, like taxes and insurance, but there’s also things like electricity bills and rent that will possibly increase as the demand on your services does.

With telemedicine, however, the options for diversifying your health business varies so much that this doesn’t have to be the case.

With options includingvirtual realityand chatbots, you can grow your business without your overhead costs increasing.

In fact, your health business could even reduce costs by employing physicians and other medical professionals who operate from the confort of their own homes.

This would mean your hospital could increase profits, without worrying about the impact this could possibly be having on your overhead costs.


As you can see from this article, telemedicine has come a long way since its first mention in 1924. It has now become a solution to a lot of the problems faced by growing health businesses when trying to expand on their current practices.

Not only will the technology help to modernize your business for tech-savvy patients, but it also helps to save crucial costs across the board by lowering outgoing costs and preventing the waste of valuable resources.

On top of that, it will also help to grow awareness of your business, by enabling clients from across the US to access your services, instead of being limited to your current location.

With all these things to consider, it’s undeniable that telemedicine is the answer for anyone looking to grow their business and allocate money to where it really matters without compromising on patient care and satisfaction at the same time.

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Source: Telemedicine – A Great Way For Hospitals To Grow Their Business in 2019 – Healthcare Weekly

VA requests $1.1B for telehealth services in FY 2020 | Health Data Management

VA requests $1.1B for telehealth services in FY 2020 | Health Data Management

The Department of Veterans Affairs, which already has the nation’s largest telemedicine program, is looking to expand those technological capabilities in Fiscal Year 2020.

The Trump administration’s FY 2020 budget request includes $1.1 billion for telehealth services, an increase of $105 million, or 10.5 percent, over the current estimate for expenditures in FY2019, according to the VA.

The VA’s goal is to increase the percentage of veterans receiving some care through telehealth from 13 percent to 20 percent, using telehealth applications such as VA Video Connect, a technology initiative that enables providers to connect with veterans via their mobile devices, smartphones, tablets or computers.

Last year, the agency conducted more than 1 million video telehealth visits, a 19 percent increase over the prior year.

Also See: VA reports 19% increase in video telehealth visits

According to VA Secretary Robert Wilkie, telemedicine is critical to ensuring that veterans—particularly those living in rural areas—can access high-quality healthcare, and VA Video Connect will be integrated into clinicians’ routine operations.

“In FY 2018, more than 782,000 veterans—or 13 percent of veterans obtaining care at VA—had one or more telehealth episodes of care,” said Wilkie on Wednesday during testimony before a House appropriations subcommittee. “Of these 782,000 veterans using telehealth, 45 percent live in rural areas.

“In addition to reaching where we don’t have a strong physical presence, it is the wave of the future for mental health because this affords our veterans the opportunity to be in a comfortable setting without the pressures of a large institution,” Wilkie told lawmakers.

The VA plans to expand telehealth and telemental health over the next five years in both urban and rural settings, focusing on care in or near veterans’ homes.

“We will continue to invest heavily in telehealth—we’re really the only medical system in the country doing that,” Wilkie claimed.

He credited the MISSION Act, enacted in 2018, for strengthening the VA’s ability to provide even more telemedicine services “because it statutorily authorizes VA providers to practice telehealth at any location in any state, regardless of where the provider is licensed.”

Richard Stone, MD, executive in charge of the Veterans Health Administration, testified that the VA has partnered with Philips, Walmart and T-Mobile to expand efforts to extend care to underserved veterans.

“What’s very exciting is our ability to penetrate areas where the basic infrastructure does not support the transmission of electrons at the rate that we can do a video visit,” Stone said. “We are partnering with Philips Corporation who has agreed to donate more than 100 pre-manufactured rooms that will go into Veterans Service Organizations as well as into Walmarts.”

Source: VA requests $1.1B for telehealth services in FY 2020 | Health Data Management

Telehealth Services Are Redefining Healthcare

Telehealth Services Are Redefining Healthcare

Remember when doctors used to make house calls? Thanks to emerging healthcare IT solutions, patients can once again speak with their physicians and even have a face-to-face consultation right from the comfort of their own homes. But that’s only the beginning.

What is telehealth?
According to the American Telemedicine Association, telehealth encompasses a range of services, from health monitoring and patient consultation to the transmission of medical records. It’s more broadly defined as any electronic exchange of health information. A growing number of healthcare organizations have embraced telehealth because of the benefits it provides to patients and clinicians.