3-direction Street Signs for telemedicine benefits for employees

Navigating Telemedicine Benefits for Employees, Part 2

Last week, after observing that the vast majority of large employers either offer or plan to offer telemedicine benefits for employees, we considered the logistics of how a company might choose to launch such a program. Three methods present viable options: adding telemedicine as a new feature of a group health plan, incorporating telemedicine as part of an Employee Assistance Program (EAP), or creating a stand-alone telemedicine benefit. In all three cases, compliance with legal and regulatory requirements is non-negotiable; who bears the brunt of the responsibility depends on the strategy selected. In last week’s blog post, we explored the pros and cons of appending telemedicine benefits to a group health plan. Today, we’ll consider the other two approaches. Read more

3-direction Street Signs for telemedicine benefits for employees

Navigating Telemedicine Benefits for Employees

According to a survey conducted by the National Business Group on Health, 96 percent of large employers are either making or planning to make telemedicine available to their employees. Considering the time and cost savings for patients, insurance companies, and employers, this sounds like it could be a panacea. However, the logistics of implementing telemedicine benefits for employees are far from simple. An employer, whether insured or self-funded, who wants to provide telemedicine services can do so in one of three ways: integrate telemedicine as part of a group health plan, bundle telemedicine services as part of an Employee Assistance Program (EAP), or offer telemedicine services separately as a stand-alone benefit. Each method carries varying degrees of compliance issues with state and federal laws such as ERISA. Read more

doctor reaching up to drawn spaceship for space telemedicine

Learning from Space Telemedicine

As you’ve probably heard lately, July 20, 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of humans’ first moon landing via the Apollo 11. Since then, NASA and other space agencies have successfully launched many astronauts and brought them back home safely and in good health. But considering the limited space and resources onboard spacecraft and the International Space Station, how do astronauts handle medical issues? To address this question, NASA developed space telemedicine—one of the earliest adopters of the technology. Some of the key lessons learned from these experiences are proving useful in medical clinics here on terra firma, particularly in resource-constrained environments. Read more

nurse taking patient's blood pressure at home

The Year Ahead in Healthcare Delivery

In 2017, we watched the beginning of a trend toward value-based and patient-centered care, but where is healthcare delivery headed in the coming months? As 2018 unfolds, we at swyMed expect continued growth in patient-centered care, particularly in the following areas: Read more

Road sign announcing the next exit, psychiatry

Telepsychiatry Relieves Shortage in Idaho

Thanks to an ongoing shortage of psychiatrists in Idaho, patients are often unable to seek help for mental or behavioral health issues until the condition has become severe enough to require hospitalization. In an effort to provide relief, Saint Alphonsus Health System has partnered with the University of Washington to create a telepsychiatry program, bringing psychiatric residents virtually to rural Idaho and Oregon. Read more

Preseasonal photos of gis in grymastics

Prison Telemedicine Provides Relief to NYC

At New York City’s Rikers Island jail complex, inmates typically endure hours of onerous travel and waiting just to spend five minutes with a doctor. With the recent introduction of prison telemedicine, the entire experience has transformed; shackles, holding pens, and hurried in-person visits have been replaced by local virtual visits that are long enough for patients to voice their concerns. The result is a win-win situation: Patients are assured of confidentiality while they receive the care they want and need, all from the relative comfort of the prison, while the prison saves untold dollars from eliminating the need for secure transport. Read more

Girl using asthma inhaler

Telemedicine for Asthma Is as Effective as Doctor Visits

For children, having asthma generally means working with an allergist for treatment. However, many children in underserved regions, such as inner-city or rural areas, are unable to visit an allergist’s office due to obstacles such as distance or cost. As a result, these patients often do not receive the best, most cost-effective care available. There is hope, though: A new study shows that using telemedicine for asthma treatment can be as effective as an in-person visit. This discovery could bring the allergist virtually to the local health clinics, removing some of these barriers to care. Read more

Telemedicine Screening for Diabetic Retinopathy Brings the Eye Doctor to You

As part of an ongoing effort to reduce the incidence of diabetic retinopathy, a leading cause of new-onset blindness, healthcare providers urge diabetics to have yearly eye exams. Despite their efforts, however, less than two-thirds of adult diabetics in the U.S. visit the eye doctor for screening. Researchers at the University of Michigan’s Kellogg Eye Center took a different approach: What if eye doctors could go to the patient instead—via telemedicine screening? Would patients participate in such a program? Read more

Senior using a walker

Telemedicine for MS Brings Therapy Into the Home

Telemedicine is quickly becoming a game-changer for people living with multiple sclerosis (MS). The physical disability caused by MS makes it difficult for patients to visit their doctors and physical therapists, but a recent study found that participating in telerehabilitation programs can improve postural control and balance. For these patients, telemedicine for MS can mean the difference between a devastating fall and regaining balance. Read more

hand holding out microphone

swyMed Featured in RCR Wireless News Interview

As mentioned last week, swyMed has been chosen for the 2016 Innovation Showcase, which features the 20 most promising startup companies in the telecommunications industry. swyMed COO/CCO Jeffrey Urdan recently spoke with RCR Wireless News about some of swyMed’s cutting-edge features. Read more