Skip to content Skip to navigation

Sentara Healthcare Takes Equity Stake in Telehealth Vendor MDLIVE

August 21, 2012
by John DeGaspari
| Reprints

Norfolk, Va.,-based Sentara Healthcare, a 10-hospital healthcare system in Virginia and North Carolina, has signed a deal with telehealth firm MDLIVE, Sunrise, Fla. Sentara says the partnership will devlier real-time medical consultations to patients with an established regional network of physicians, available via telephone and online video throughout the state of Virginia. The deal also gives an equity stake in MDLIVE.

Patients will be able to use the MDLIVE virtual consult platform to consult with physicians who will diagnose low-acuity illnesses such as allergies or urinary tract infections and provide care, including prescriptions. The service will launch to consumers in Virginia beginning in October (it is currently available to consumers through MDLIVE.com). Sentara employees and members of selected Optima health commercial insurance plans will receive the service as an additional benefit over the course of 2013. Sentara has 24,000 employees.

In a conference, Ken Krakaur, senior vice president of Sentara Healthcare two different groups of physicians will provide virtual consults: physician from Sentara’s medical groups and those from the MDLIVE physician network.

John Scully, an MDLIVE board member and former CEO of Apple, said the telehealth, which will be delivered via phone, video conference or mobile devices, will be “disruptive” in reducing the costs to the patient, while giving the consumers a role in selecting their health services and expanding the capability of Sentara’s integrated healthcare network. He says the deal with Sentara will serve as a “proof point” to expand the telehealth service nationally by adding more hospital systems. He says MDLIVE is taking a three-prong approach: partnerships with hospitals, self-insured employers, and going directly with consumers.

Randy Parker, CEO of MDLIVE, declined to the exact amount of Sentara’s equity stake, but said the hospital system will have a dedicated seat on MDLIVE’s board of directors, with a total of six members. He said Sentara will also provide guidance of the company should expand the national network of virtual care, integrated into health systems in every state. MDLIVE was formed in 2006, focused on building a telehealth network; its initial focus was the self-insured market. Parker said the provider's equity stake “allows us to be in alignment with Sentara.”  He said the partnership provides a blueprint that will enable a health system inside a community to be able to offer care and referrals for treatment when required.

MDLIVE has a network of board certified physician and pediatricians, and operates in all 50 states, according to Parker. In the Sentara model in Virginia, those network physicians will be operating and providing service through the Sentara physicians or the MDLIVE physicians in the state of Virginia. Where appropriate, patients will be referred to a Sentara facility. Parker described MDLIVE’s role as an “empowerer” on a national brand level, which will involve exclusive partnerships on a national basis, to provide a footprint across the country to provide a telehealth solution to the greatest number of patients.

Topics

News

Health Catalyst Incorporates Regenstrief’s NLP Solution in Its Analytics Platform

At the HIMSS17 conference in Orlando, the nonprofit Regenstrief Institute announced a partnership with analytics vendor Health Catalyst involving Regenstrief's artificial intelligence-powered text analytics technology.

Survey: Cybersecurity Getting More Attention at the C-Suite and Board Level

Cybersecurity has been elevated to a central concern for healthcare providers, with more attention at the board level and the C-suite, according to a new survey by Orem, Utah-based KLAS Research and the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME). The study found that 42 percent of organizations have a vice president or C-level official in charge of cybersecurity and for 39 percent of organizations, the head of cybersecurity is at the director level.

Partnership for Health IT Patient Safety Focuses on Patient Identification

The Partnership for Health IT Patient Safety has rolled out its second set of Safe Practice Recommendations with a focus on reducing patient misidentification.

IBM Watson Health Expands Imaging, Population Health Efforts

IBM’s Watson Health kicked off HIMSS17 in Orlando on Monday with a slew of announcements, including a clinical imaging review platform and partnerships with several large provider organizations on population health and value-based health initiatives.

Federal Government Affirms $100M in Funding to Help Small Practices with Quality Payment Program

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has affirmed the awarding of approximately $20 million to 11 organizations for the first year of a five-year program to provide on-the-ground training and education about the Quality Payment Program.

DoD Deploys Cerner EHR System, MHS Genesis, at Fairchild AFB

Last week, the U.S. Defense Department deployed a commercial, off-the-shelf electronic health record system from Cerner at Fairchild Air Force Base in Spokane, Washington as part of a DOD-wide roll out of the EHR system.