Return on Health: Moving Beyond Dollars and Cents in Realizing the Value of Virtual Care
The COVID-19 pandemic spurred a dramatic increase in virtual care adoption and use. This evolution to digitally enabled care will fundamentally transform the value equation for health care professionals and payers. Instead of focusing narrowly on whether a specific type of visit can be delivered virtually, attention is shifting to how innovative technologies can be used to enhance overall episodes of care, blending a virtual and in-person experience in ways that improve access and experience for some patients while maintaining or improving quality and reducing long-term costs.
As the shift toward digitally enabled care continues, it will be critical to have a framework to guide clinicians, virtual care leaders, payers and other health care stakeholders in assessing value created for patients and for themselves. The ability to define and measure specific value streams will be necessary for designing new care models, making program prioritization decisions, and determining appropriate coverage and payment policies in the future.