Telehealth in Real-Time: How Well Does Your System Work?

Claims Management
Cost Containment

June 14, 2022

We all experienced how telehealth was a lifesaver during the pandemic, shattering the invisible barrier that had hindered the growth of virtual health care for years. According to McKinsey, 46% of adults reported using telehealth in 2021, versus only about 11% in 2019.

Now, there is a proliferation of digital applications promising to speed care, improve outcomes, and lower costs. But just how well are they working? And how well is YOUR program delivering on these results?

The Potential Disconnect

Many digital systems may fall short in their ability to connect all players through real-time data exchanges. When disparate systems and apps are used, there are fits and starts in the care delivery process. For example, when a patient is transferred to a virtual visit after triage, the patient has to start over if the intake system is not connected, providing the exact information they gave during triage. If clinical offices are not connected to claims, adjusters do not have access to up-to-date medical data to make timely decisions. Without proper integration, care plans lag, and patients and providers are left frustrated.

Here are five connectivity checkpoints to use to examine your digital care delivery system, to ensure it offers the highest level of connectivity, provides the best patient and provider experience, and delivers superior outcomes.

  1. Triage to Provider Office. The intake process should leverage technology that automatically connects providers in real-time with the data taken at the time of injury. Then, providers have the information they need to assess the patient without duplicating efforts and going through the history again.
  2. Connectivity Between Providers. Specialists and clinicians of all types should be able to have digital conferences on the spot, with the patient in the virtual office, instead of relying on personal meetings or callbacks that only create delays. With everyone in the same “room,” discussions take place immediately, test results are interpreted, and decisions are made.
  3. Immediate Access to Medical Guidelines for Providers. Evidence-based medical guidelines should be on the physician’s device at the time of the visit. With access to this information, they know immediately that the prescribed treatment falls within those guidelines, allowing for a faster review process and fewer delays in care
  4. Remote Rehabilitation Monitors Progress. Home exercises for rehabilitation are commonplace. However, successful recovery depends on whether or not the patient is compliant and is doing the exercises correctly. Digital tools can now be prescribed that track the patient’s progress through their smartphone or with wearables. Data is then collected from those remote therapeutic interactions and information is fed back to the physical therapist. By tracking how the patient is moving, the therapist can ensure compliance and determine if adjustments in care are required.
  5. Clinical Information Linked to the Adjuster. Reviewing massive amounts of clinical notes to find the gem that needs attention is the bane of every adjuster. Because of this time-consuming task, hours are wasted and critical opportunities are missed. With an integrated automated system that “reads” and translates important events and facts for the adjuster, any evolving issues can be flagged for immediate attention and the claim can be managed proactively for faster resolution.

 

CorVel’s Virtual Functional Restoration program exemplifies how integrated data enables all of these connections to occur in real-time. The comprehensive program starts with CorVel’s technology, CareMC Edge, which leverages AI and big data to proactively identify cases with risk factors that could lead to delayed recovery.

Once identified, CorVel’s team connects with the primary care provider to support the injured worker and the physician as a secondary provider. This allows the team to work together in an interdisciplinary fashion even when they are geographically separated. The program models brick-and-mortar functional restoration programs in the virtual setting, including services like cognitive behavioral therapy and active physical therapy with the oversight of a pain management physician trained in the biopsychosocial model of care

The value of integrated connectivity is clear: CorVel’s Virtual Functional Restoration program has resulted in fewer delayed recovery cases, reduced opioid dependency and medication spend, reduced TTD, and avoided unnecessary medical expenses.

As we enter the next generation of telehealth and virtual care, connectivity is the common theme that leads to better care, enhanced patient experiences, and lowers costs. If you have defined any gaps in your current programs or are interested in more information about the Virtual Functional Restoration program, contact CorVel here.

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