New projects push telehealth expansion in the Northeast
- In two newly-announced separate projects, New York's Mount Sinai Health System and Boston telemedicine vendor American Well (in partnership with Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Massachusetts) are expanding the reach of telehealth in the Northeast, according to press releases touting the fresh ventures.
- The first Mount Sinai pilot, the Primary Care Program, will enable physicians from the hospital's faculty practice to perform remote patient consults via a secure, low-cost digital connection. American Well's WellConnection telehealth platform is being picked up by the Emerson Hospital Physician Organization and the Lowell General Hospital Physician Organization, two physician groups participating in the Blues' new program designed to reward physicians for positive patient outcomes.
- American Well also just received the American Telemedicine Association's first certification for accreditation for online patient consultations, according to an ATA press release from last week.
In almost every study and every recorded implementation of telehealth, it seems to be correlated with higher physician access, cost reductions in care and better patient outcomes. After the VA's telehealth program announced the results of its initial implementation last year, many analysts predicted the expansion of telemedicine across the country.
Originally thought to be a boon primarily for those in rural America, telehealth is proving to attractive in almost every discipline, including behavioral health and chronic care management. With trade organizations like the ATA making good on their promise to begin accrediting practitioners of telehealth, it's likely the payers, employers and regulators will come to trust telemedicine as a powerful tool for lowering the costs of care and improving access to clinicians.
- Mount Sinai Hospital press release Mount Sinai Health System Announces Telehealth Initiatives