Providers Meet Patient Needs with Telemedicine

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Robert Dorf, DO, President of Foundation Medical Partners and a family medicine provider at Nashua Center for Healthy Adults, talks about his experience with telemedicine.

Not long ago, telemedicine was something both Southern New Hampshire Health System and Elliot Health System hoped to be able to offer their patients in the future. But when the global COVID-19 pandemic hit, that timeline was quickly accelerated.

To help slow the spread of community transmission of COVID-19 and free up resources for patients severely ill with the virus, all non-urgent care was curtailed. But at both locations, it quickly became clear there were many patients who needed ongoing care for a variety of issues, including the management of chronic conditions. As a system, SolutionHealth started to look for ways to meet these patients’ needs.

Then, Medicare announced it would pay for telemedicine visits at the same rate as a face-to-face visit if clinically appropriate and the Governor of New Hampshire established an executive order requiring those insurers regulated by the state to do the same. 

This paved the way for telemedicine to become a reality at both campuses. Using Doxy.com, telemedicine is ramping up!

So far, behavioral health, primary care, and pulmonary are the most common specialties taking advantage of the technology. If all goes well, soon telemedicine will be available for inpatients, in urgent care settings and other outpatient settings like rehabilitation services and diabetes education.

The Elliot Medical Group is averaging 700 visits per day and the Foundation Medical Partners are averaging 500 visits per day!

Looking to the future, it’s unclear how telemedicine will be used after the COVID-19 pandemic subsides, but the hope is insurers will continue to reimburse for it and patients will continue to find it a positive experience.

Thank you to our SolutionHelath IT staff who worked as one to help stand up this new care platform in rapid time and to our providers who are finding new ways of caring for patients!

– Article contributed by Stephen Norton, Chief Strategy Officer, SolutionHealth