More than half of adults from a sample of the population in a recent NHIS survey manage one or more chronic health conditions.
The number of chronic conditions is growing. Also, the number of skilled medical staff is falling. Telehealth may serve as a solution to help meet the needs of chronic care.
Keep reading to learn more about how telehealth impacts chronic care management.
What Is Chronic Care Management?
Medicare defines a chronic disease as an illness that lasts a year or more. It requires continual medical attention. It also requires patients to follow carefully developed treatment plans.
Patients may also need to limit their daily activities. These conditions might include:
- Autoimmune diseases
- High blood pressure
- Mental health conditions
A few conditions lead the way in death and disabilities in developed countries. These conditions include cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. They create a considerable burden on patients, physicians, and health care systems.
Proper diet, exercise, and treatment can help people manage chronic care. Many patients need ongoing encouragement from care providers to develop these healthy habits. Yet, health care systems usually focus on acute care.
Also, doctors see patients with chronicle conditions arbitrarily. As a result, it can prove challenging to understand a patient’s unique health status.
Telehealth and Chronic Care Management
Telehealth removes barriers to care. It’s beneficial for the most underserved and vulnerable patient populations.
For instance, some patients don’t have transportation to go to in-person visits. Other patients, such as rural residents, live far away from health care providers. Otherwise, chronically ill patients may have trouble leaving home.
All these groups of patients could benefit considerably from telehealth.
Benefits of Telehealth
As an example, telehealth benefited many patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. Physicians diagnose some patients with diabetes or kidney and liver disease. These people face an increased risk of contracting the virus.
They also face an increased chance of suffering more severe coronavirus symptoms. During the pandemic, it was essential for these individuals to manage their chronic conditions. Doing so was vital to limit the spread of COVID.
Physicians now recognize they can help manage many chronic conditions more efficiently. Telehealth evaluation can help.
Challenges Faced by Our Health System
Each year, the volume of new cases overwhelms our health care system more than the last. As a result, care providers want ways to improve chronic disease management.
At the same time, they want to ensure the quality of care remains adequate. Telehealth has emerged as a powerful solution to meet these needs.
It enables physicians and patients to leverage the latest technology. Telehealth technology might include:
- Live audio
- Live video
- mHealth apps
These digital tools enable physicians to keep track of patient health wherever and whenever needed.
Telehealth Delivers Access
Millions of Americans live in rural areas. Many of this population lack access to adequate health care. They must travel considerable distances just to seek basic health care services.
Patients who manage chronic conditions rely on specialty care. From a rural location, however, it’s challenging for them to access care regularly.
Telehealth is extending the reach of care providers. It enables them to deliver cost-effective treatment to patients in the comfort of their homes.
Increased Patient Engagement
Before selecting a software program, take time to think about how telehealth services will impact each and every area of your practice. Some things to consider include:
Telehealth also increases patient engagement. For example, many patients fail to comply with medication-based treatments.
This might affect as much as half of patients whom physicians have prescribed medication for chronic conditions. These conditions might include diabetes or hypertension.
Noncompliance with medication-based treatment causes tens of thousands of preventable deaths. It also results in billions of dollars of surplus medical expenses.
Physicians can prevent these outcomes using tools such as telehealth apps. These kinds of apps might include vitals tracking features. They may also keep track of a patient’s diet and exercise habits.
In this way, telehealth offers an easy way for patients to comply with treatment plans. It also boosts doctor-patient communication.
Also, it boosts patient engagement. With telehealth chronic care management, chances are patients will feel more accountable.
Cutting Costs With Telehealth
Physicians diagnose some patients with chronic conditions. They account for a disproportionate percentage of hospital admissions. Telehealth can help to remedy this issue.
It enables physicians to monitor patients with chronic conditions. Telehealth can also help patients better manage their chronic conditions.
More importantly, it can help to reduce the number of readmissions among patients with chronic conditions. This is especially beneficial with payment schemes shifting toward value-based care.
Telehealth can empower care providers. It enables them to ensure patients follow prescribed lifestyle changes. Also, it helps them do it better.
Telehealth Offers a Brighter Future
Telehealth has the potential to transform the management of chronic conditions. It can reduce the current burden on our health care system.
With telehealth, care providers can increase care access. They can also keep patients invested in their self-care.
Telehealth can reduce lapses in treatment. It can also improve patient health and reduce hospital readmissions. Finally, it can help to reduce health care costs for everyone.
A Trusted Ambulatory Group
You now know more about how telehealth impacts chronic care management.
Harris Ambulatory Group delivers industry-leading solutions for independent practices across the nation. We have decades of experience in the field.
We’ve partnered with more than 9,000 practices and 15,000 physicians. We know the challenges you face. Harris Ambulatory Group can serve as a single source for all the needs of your independent practice.
If you want to learn more about offering telehealth services, feel free to learn more about our virtual care management solutions.