- American Well announced a new enterprise service aimed at letting doctors focus more on patients during telehealth visits and less on the technology.
- Called AW10, the new toolkit includes more than 100 features, including streamlined enrollment for new doctors, visit prechecks, health insurance verification, billing and claims and a new coding module to speed up claims.
- The Boston-based telehealth company also announced that its Amwell telehealth platform is now live on the Samsung Health app available on Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ and many other Samsung devices. Both developments were unveiled Monday at the American Telemedicine Association conference in Orlando.
Samsung Health users can now click on an “Experts” tab and get instant video access to an Amwell doctor. In February, American Well announced a strategic partnership with Samsung to develop healthcare services aimed at increasing consumer reach, accessibility and operability.
Telehealth in on the rise. Speaking April 21 at a luncheon in Nashville, Kaiser Permanente CEO Bernard Tyson said 52% of the system’s 100 million annual encounters now take place virtually. The strong use is a sign of the growing trend toward telehealth services at health systems across the U.S.
“Everybody is trying to do more with less, and technology is affording providers that opportunity,” Daniella Rusella, president of client solutions at American Well, told Healthcare Dive in December. The company was on target to end 2016 with more than 70 health system partnerships.
Pressure to find cost-saving healthcare solutions is also pumping venture capital dollars into telemedicine. Telehealth was among the top-drawing categories in the 2017 first quarter with $112 million in deals, according to Mercom Capital Group.
While direct-to-consumer telehealth is growing rapidly, it may not be reducing overall healthcare spending because many virtual visits represent new utilization rather than substitution for an in-person visit, a recent RAND Corporation study found. One way to boost value from telehealth might be to have patients bear more of the cost, the study suggested.