The research firm IHS predicts that 1.8 million people will access health and wellness care via electronic and video links by 2017, and the Department of Health and Human Services showed its commitment to telehealth in September by donating $5.3 million to set it up in rural areas. Meanwhile, drug store chains like Rite Aid and Thrifty White have been making investments of their own. On Oct. 9, services provider MDLive announced that it appointed Travis Stork, co-host of the Emmy award-winning CBS series "The Doctors," to its medical advisory board. Stork recently took the time to talk to DSN about telehealth and what it means for pharmacy retailers.
Earlier this month, Walgreens announced that immunization records would be sent directly from its more than 7,800 Walgreens and Duane Reade stores and 350 Take Care Clinics to primary care providers over Surescripts’ electronic prescribing network using Surescripts’ Clinical Interoperability services. And later this year, the company plans to share immunization data with local and state public health agencies, and share Take Care Clinic patient summaries with primary care providers. Drug Store News recently had the opportunity to speak with Surescripts president and CEO Harry Totonis about the new service.
On the heels of news that its MinuteClinic telelehealth pilot was well received by patients, CVS Health announced Wednesday that it would be partnering with three telehealth companies to expand its current offerings.
Gail Borgatti Croall, chief medical officer at HealthSpot, and Pat Basu, chief medical officer and president of Doctor on Demand, presented Sunday at NACDS Total Store Expo about the growing telehealth industry.
“Average telehealth costs are $40 to $50 compared to $136 to $176 for a related in-person visit, while the most common diagnoses made during telehealth visits are sinusitis, cold, flu, pertussis and urinary tract infections,” according to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation April 2015 report, “Building a culture of health: The value proposition.”
Overall, 95% of patients were highly satisfied with the quality of care they received at MinuteClinic, the ease with which telehealth technology was integrated into the visit, and the timeliness and convenience of their care
Wichita State University biomedical engineering students have invented a remote health monitoring system called Mobile HealthLink, which allows physicians to check on patients with a programmable smartwatch.
How serious are Rite Aid’s leaders when they proclaim their determination to make the company a full-service, full-spectrum retail healthcare provider? Serious enough to buy RediClinic — which has operated walk-in healthcare clinics in roughly 30 H-E-B stores in Texas for much of the past decade — and serious enough to embark on an aggressive growth campaign that includes the clinic healthcare provider as a new Rite Aid subsidiary.
More and more, the success of any healthcare delivery model in the United States will depend on the ability of all members of a patient-care team — physicians, pharmacists, hospital systems and health plan payers included — to collaborate effectively on a longterm plan of care that’s focused on successful outcomes and disease prevention.
Rather than a focus on getting new products to the shelf, necessarily, the OTC business is more and more becomnig about building the best platform that delivers outcomes-improving health information to the end consumer.