Partners to let patients access care through video visits

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Partners HealthCare is expanding its caregiving footprint, enabling patients to connect to providers through a secure video visit.

The Boston-based integrated delivery system is deploying what it calls Partners HealthCare On Demand, enabled through technology from Teladoc Health.

Intended for use with urgent care video visits, the technology is intended to provide high-quality urgent care services from Partners HealthCare clinicians for minor illnesses and injuries. It will be first offered to commercial members of the system’s health plan, Neighborhood Health Plan. Patients connect through the web or a mobile device.

The Partners telehealth initiative is being managed by Partners Connected Health, in collaboration with Partners Community Physicians Organization and Neighborhood Health Plan. Partners Connected Health is leveraging digital health technologies to deliver patient care outside of traditional medical settings, including programs for medication adherence, care coordination, chronic disease management, prevention and wellness.

“Our telehealth strategy will help to improve patient access to care and empower individuals to be more engaged with their health. Moving forward, this will be a big part of our care delivery strategy," says Joseph Kvedar, MD, vice president of Connected Health for Partners HealthCare. “This is an important step toward fully integrated care delivery, as we continue to improve the experience for our patients and providers alike, making healthcare more accessible, personal and efficient."

Data from a 2017 survey conducted by Teladoc Health found that virtual care delivery is becoming an important option for health systems, with 68 percent reporting that they are using telehealth to treat existing patient populations. In addition, 62 percent of health systems are treating their own employees and covered dependents through telehealth.

“We’re delighted to be able to offer urgent care from Partners’ world-class clinicians to NHP’s commercial members,” says Tony Dodek, MD, chief medical officer for Neighborhood Health Plan. “This is the kind of integrated payer-provider approach to healthcare envisioned in the affiliation between Partners and Neighborhood Health Plan, and it’s part of our broader collaboration to improve health outcomes and avoid more costly care down the road by providing the right care, at the right time and in the right place.”

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