Does Your Telehealth Program Need a Reboot?

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Karen Utterback By Karen Utterback 
Former Vice President, Product Marketing and Strategy, McKesson (Retired)

Reboot your telehealth programFamiliarity with anything can be both positive and negative. Think about the last hardware or software implementation your home care agency went through. Familiarity with the new solution likely lessened anxieties about its use – a positive. But perhaps users have fallen back into old habits and aren’t using the solution to its fullest potential – definitely a negative.

Now consider your home health agency’s telehealth solution. You do have a telehealth solution, don’t you? In today’s collaborative care environment, telehealth can help position agencies to assist hospitals with reducing readmissions and help those with chronic conditions that require constant monitoring.

Implementation of your telehealth solution shouldn’t be the end of the journey, just the next logical step. What follows should include adequate monitoring to ensure the solution is being used to its utmost. But priorities change, champions leave the organization or move to new positions and the positive momentum is lost.

Re-energizing or re-implementing a telehealth program isn’t as simple as finding a new champion or sending out a memo. You need to start back at the beginning, with a justification for your telehealth program.

One beneficial resource may be the American Telemedicine Association’s new Learning Center. Another would be a McKesson Telehealth Advisor™ consultant. Beyond helping you select the proper solution, we also can assist your organization with tips on obtaining the necessary buy-in at all levels to help ensure a successful implementation.

Although home care agencies don’t universally receive reimbursement for telehealth solutions, some organizations are being reimbursed from certain commercial insurers and state Medicaid agencies by using code S9110, which covers telemonitoring, patient education and support as well as computer systems and software to make telemonitoring possible. The code has been in use since January 2013 following a CMS demonstration project that an integrated telehealth and care management program can reduce all-cause mortality in high-risk, high-cost Medicare beneficiaries with heart failure.

For more information on McKesson Telehealth Advisor, call 800.800.5403.

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