Survey: Telemedicine an Increasing Priority for Healthcare Orgs | Healthcare Informatics Magazine | Health IT | Information Technology Skip to content Skip to navigation

Survey: Telemedicine an Increasing Priority for Healthcare Orgs

April 20, 2015
by Rajiv Leventhal
| Reprints

The telehealth industry is maturing, evolving rapidly from specialty to mainstream status, according to a recent report from REACH health, an Alpharetta, Ga.-based technology company specializing in telemedicine solutions.

Overall, 233 healthcare executives, physicians, nurses and other professionals participated in the survey, providing input related to their priorities, objectives and challenges, telemedicine program models and management structures, service lines and settings of care, and their telemedicine platforms.

The survey found that with a growing population of aging and unhealthy individuals, coupled with increasing shortages of specialist physicians, telemedicine is evolving from a specialty offering to a mainstream service. Nearly 60 percent of survey participants noted telemedicine as their top priority or one of their highest priorities for their healthcare organizations. The maturity of telemedicine programs varies widely among both service lines and settings of care. In general, the higher acuity settings requiring highly specialized treatment are more mature than lower acuity settings requiring generalized treatment, according to the data.

What’s more, “improved reputation” was at the top of the list of ROI drivers, which is surprising because this is generally regarded as a soft driver versus a hard driver such as reimbursements, according to the report’s authors. “This could indicate a changing mindset in healthcare as we move away from fee-for-service-based reimbursements. It could also reflect the inconsistent, ever-changing state of telemedicine reimbursements,” they said. Another big ROI driver was greater physician productivity, which shows that telemedicine is delivering on one of its key promises, the authors concluded.

Additionally, reimbursement, both government and private, poses the primary obstacle to success. Even when effective mitigation of challenges is taken into account, reimbursement continues to present the most formidable obstacle, respondents said. Other challenges however, such as the cost of supporting technology, show encouraging signs of abatement.

A variety of program attributes were tested in the study and correlated with program success. Some, such as the priority of the telemedicine program as ranked among other hospital priorities, exhibit a predictably strong correlation with success. Others, such as the degree of focus for the program manager, exhibit a surprisingly high correlation to program success, higher even than executive support and adequacy of funding, according to the report.

Get the latest information on Finance and Revenues and attend other valuable sessions at this two-day Summit providing healthcare leaders with educational content, insightful debate and dialogue on the future of healthcare and technology.

Learn More

Topics

News

Survey: By 2019, 60% of Medicare Revenues will be Tied to Risk

Medical groups and health systems that are members of AMGA (the American Medical Group Association) expect that nearly 60 percent of their revenues from Medicare will be from risk-based products by 2019, according to the results from a recent survey.

83% of Physicians Have Experienced a Cyber Attack, Survey Finds

Eighty-three percent of physicians in a recent survey said that they have experienced some sort of cyber attack, such as phishing and viruses.

Community Data Sharing: Eight Recommendations From San Diego

A learning guide focuses on San Diego’s experience in building a community health information exchange and the realities of embarking on a broad community collaboration to achieve better data sharing.

HealthlinkNY’s Galanis to Step Down as CEO

Christina Galanis, who has served as president and CEO of HealthlinkNY for the past 13 years, will leave her position at the end of the year.

Email-Related Cyber Attacks a Top Concern for Providers

U.S. healthcare providers overwhelmingly rank email as the top source of a potential data breach, according to new research from email and data security company Mimecast and conducted by HIMSS Analytics.

Former Health IT Head in San Diego County Charged with Defrauding Provider out of $800K

The ex-health IT director at North County Health Services, a San Diego County-based healthcare service provider, has been charged with spearheading fraudulent operations that cost the organization $800,000.