Telehealth with a Technician in the Home Reduces Spend by 22% for Scottsdale Physician Group
Posted Jun 22, 2022 from healthcareitnews.com
And it dramatically improved the patient experience: In one case, the physician group dropped a patient’s ER visits from nearly twice a month to zero. “No matter how close the nearest primary care physician office is, if they can’t get out of bed or leave their home, they simply are not going to get care before their conditions worsen,” said Blue Beckham, chief strategy officer at Scottsdale Physician Group.
“If we look at a typical acute episode for this type of patient, it looks like this: Call 911, get evaluated, transported to the hospital ER, evaluated again, seen by ER physician who calls for consults, multiple consults, run blood work, get some imaging, review findings, admit the patient,” he explained.
The nearly perfect clinical solution is to send physicians to patient homes, and Scottsdale Physician Group did just that.
“The results were very encouraging clinically, but the cost was very high and physician satisfaction was extremely low,” Beckham recalled.
“We did learn, however, that going to the patient’s home worked, so we searched for a solution that allowed us to do a real exam without sending a doctor to do it,” he continued.
“In the end, AMD’s solution allowed us to actually do a better job of gathering and trending important clinical data for each patient than we had when we sent physicians to the home,” Beckham said.
Scottsdale Physician Group combined three elements to meet the challenge: Remote physicians, in-home EMTs and the vendor technology.
“This allowed us to scale quickly, centralize our physicians, yet still do physical exams and do it all without any technological savvy on the part of our patients,” Beckham said.
In one case, Scottsdale Physician Group dropped a patient’s ER visits from nearly twice a month to zero.
“Yes, the cost savings are important, but the improvement in patient lives is just as important,” he said.
“In our case it was threefold – deliver clinical excellence, maintain or improve physician efficiency, and provide a great experience for vulnerable populations,” he said.
“Because of our previous experience in hospitals and post-acute facilities and the knowledge we gained from our mobile physician program, we knew treating patients at home would reduce costs.”
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