Healthcare has experienced a shift, and telehealth is now being relied on for essential care. While traditional telemedicine has provided some access, it is not a perfect virtual care model and creating healthy communities not determined by digital access, cost, and distance has remained a guiding priority and core value of American Public Health Association. To create on-demand, cost-effective healthcare, current virtual care providers must consider the strain virtual-only care models place on healthcare budgets, patients, employers, and the overall healthcare system.
Many older adults, especially those 65+, do not have access to a smartphone, desktop, or laptop. This is also true in many low-income communities; without a computer, these communities cannot access traditional telemedicine care. Even with those who do have a computer or smartphone, many lower-income communities and rural communities do not have access to a stable internet connection.
In a study approved by the Harvard Medical School Institutional Review Board, a lack of broadband internet was connected to fewer telemedicine visits, “Counties with low broadband availability had 34% fewer healthcare visits per capita compared with counties with high broadband availability.”
To combat this barrier, traditional telemedicine services must provide simple and direct ways to connect patients with a healthcare provider. EZaccessMD takes the guesswork out of utilizing their telemedicine and mobile service. By providing an easy-to-use, “Call or Tap the App” feature, patients can reach a healthcare provider by simply dialing the EZaccessMD phone number. From there, EZaccessMD’s service coordinators quickly connect patients with a board-certified physician. Should the physician require more information, EZaccessMD has the infrastructure to support on-demand, in-person diagnostic testing, X-rays, ultrasounds and more.
Traditional telemedicine services charge patients $10 - $80 per copay. While this cost is comparably less than costs associated with an Urgent Care or ER visit, patients are still seeing costs stack up. Often, this is due to the initial cost of a virtual appointment plus treatment.
A recent study published in the Health Affairs journal suggests that while traditional telemedicine providers may boost access to a physician, they don’t necessarily reduce health care spending. Traditional telemedicine visits are more likely to result in follow-up appointments, the study citing the need for additional diagnostic testing, or prescriptions. Given liability concerns, traditional telemedicine physicians may be more likely to recommend patients to schedule an additional, in-person appointment with their primary care physician, thus driving up cost and elongating the patient health episode.
When a patient seeks care for minor urgent conditions, they initiate an episode of care that often includes follow-up visits over a 21 day period. EZaccessMD does more on the first day of care to actively reduce the need for follow-up. Their combination of telemedicine with on-demand, mobile urgent care has reduced the need for patient follow-up, resulting in far fewer trips made by EZ patients to traditional care sites. In fact, it happens only 7% of the time compared to 32% – 57% while utilizing traditional health care. EZaccessMD’s all-inclusive care saves overall healthcare spend while also putting money back into patients’ and their employers’ pockets.
Transportation and time commitments were among the largest overarching categories of reasons patients avoided medical care within a recent study published in the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) journal.
EZaccessMD has removed the barrier of distance by providing patients an on-demand, mobile healthcare team that physically meets patients where they are at the time of them needing care. Often the initial consult leads to an in-home (or work) diagnostic test and then an immediate follow-up call from the doctor. EZaccessMD delivers care when and where it is needed, all with reduced stress to the patient and healthcare system.
As an EZaccessMD member, the whole family is covered, and each person can easily access care from EZ board-certified physicians. Goodbye to traditional telemedicine provider registration, which requires each patient to have their own personal virtual account, provide health insurance membership ID numbers, create usernames and passwords, and provide credit card information- all before reaching a doctor. EZaccessMD’s trained care coordinators assist patients securely and conveniently by asking only personally identifiable information (full name, birthdate and employer name) that patients can recall from memory. EZaccessMD’s priority is to provide care to EZ patients, and their families, as easily and efficiently as possible by removing barriers starting on day one.
The gap in health equity requires telemedicine to take a step further, something EZaccessMD’s model of care has provided for patients since 2016. EZaccessMD takes telemedicine beyond the digital platform, by providing members efficient, quality care in the comfort of their home (or workplace). Barriers of equity experienced through traditional telemedicine such as costs, access, time, and location are removed from the patient life cycle and patients experience a comprehensive, safer, and less stressful relationship with their on-demand healthcare provider.
EZaccessMD continues to lead the way in innovative telemedicine with mobile urgent care.
There is no one-size-fits-all model for telemedicine care, and EZaccessMD works to create an individualized care plan in conjunction with primary care providers. We continue to expand our services and create more accessibility to broader communities.
Members of EZaccessMD can either connect via an app or by calling 855-OUR-EZMD. Within moments, a care coordinator takes the call and initiates the patient consultation. We provide easy and convenient access to quality healthcare. To find out more about our innovative healthcare offerings, read about our programs here.
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