COVID Series: Telehealth’s Tipping Point

With

Bill Russell / Lyle Berkowitz, MD

#ThisWeekinHealthIT we explore the future of telehealth and virtual care post-COVID with Dr. Lyle Berkowitz.
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April 30, 2020: We’ve grown accustomed to seeing hockey stick charts as telehealth usage continues to skyrocket. During these unprecedented times, there have been some extraordinary solutions to problems, many of which we hope will endure after the crisis has subsided. Today’s guest, Lyle Berkowitz, a primary care physician, IT practitioner, and telehealth expert, joins us to talk about what telehealth solutions will look like moving out of the crisis. While it is important for healthcare organizations to respond to the here and now, it’s equally as essential to be future-minded to ensure lasting solutions. In this episode, Lyle dives into some of the challenges with the initial surge in telehealth utilization. He stresses that the hurdles were far less about the technology and more physician shortage. While the solution of telehealth has been around for ages, the problem it was trying to solve was misguided. Instead, by reframing the issue to be about optimally using physician resources in conjunction with providing low-cost, high-quality care to patients, then we have a plethora of new solutions. It was never that there was not appropriate infrastructure for this type of care to be deployed, but rather, that cultural inertia was the main obstacle. Now that patients and doctors have seen the benefits of telehealth, it’s about having the right governmental and organizational support to support the gains made. We also discuss how healthcare can take a page out of other industries’ book in terms of automation, why fraud and abuse aren’t reasons to stop telehealth and patient responses to virtual care. Be sure to tune in today!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Why the COVID-19 crisis is going to be the tipping point for the virtual care industry.
  • An explanation for some of the early telehealth hiccups with such rapid scaling requirements.
  • The most important changes that need to happen to sustain telehealth gains post-crisis.
  • How telehealth saves money and frees up valuable resources for patients who need it.
  • Some of the potential solutions to the problems of fraud and abuse in telehealth.
  • Why we need to rethink the problem that telehealth is actually solving.
  • How automation and virtual care will ensure the most effective solution.
  • Find out how automation can help doctors manage more patients but do fewer visits.
  • Healthcare organizations must think about the future even amid the crisis.
  • Learn more about the on the ground situation in Chicago, where Lyle is based.