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September 10, 2020

Physicians Association Sees Permanent Value in Telehealth

"Updox worked with us to ensure a successful partnership and shared best practices. Their support has been valued and appreciated."

Huron Valley Physicians Association (HVPA) is an independent physicians’ organization with 400 physicians across multiple specialties throughout southeast Michigan. In addition to solo practitioners, the group also includes radiology and Emergency Department practices that service their local hospitals.Telehealth doc view

Similar to all healthcare practices across the country, when COVID struck, they knew they quickly needed to implement a telehealth solution.

“As we were researching options for a telehealth partner for their members, we reached out to our peers Aledade and Great Lakes Physician Organization for their best practices. Both recently implemented Updox Telehealth and said how happy they were with the experience and the product,” said Karen Marsh, RMA, CNA, Care Coordinator and IT Product Support for Huron Valley Physicians Association. “We vetted many telehealth products and found Updox offered the most capabilities and functionality. Plus, they had live support and implementation help, so that was an added bonus that made the selection easy.”    

Since implementing Updox Telehealth, including Video Chat, Secure Text and SMS Text, the group’s members have completed more than 400 Video Chat sessions each month since early April 2020.

“Updox offers a scalable, functional tool with pricing options that helped us scale usage for an affordable implementation and longer-term subsidy commitment to our members,” says Debra Roberts, executive director, HVPA. “Updox continues to work with us to ensure a successful partnership and shared best practices. Their support has been valued and appreciated.”

“Our members were very appreciative that we offered and financially supported a product on the organizational level so the burden of cost would not fall on the practices,” said Karen. “This was a way for us to support our members while they were doing all they can to care for their communities.”

Karen led “train the trainer” onboarding across the organization. She reached out to member practices and trained key contacts. Some physicians opted for one-on-one training sessions through Updox Video Chat. The group will continue to learn more and add additional Updox features.

“In the midst of a pandemic crisis, Updox gave our members the ability to still connect to their patients and that was an incredible benefit,” says Karen.

Karen says that HVPA member practices are looking forward to the upcoming enhancement that will enable adding more than one person to a telehealth call, such as a caregiver or care manager. “This is especially helpful for our physical medicine and rehab practices, as well as older patients who would like to have a family member with them,” she says.

Karen continued “Updox also gave us best practices for a ‘precheck flight’ with patients to ensure their device compatibility prior to a Video Chat. That saves a lot of time both the physician and the patient to eliminate worry about connectivity issues.”

According to Karen, “Although practices are back open, many patients are still hesitant to come in for visits. Telehealth allows care to continue, without risk or putting off an appointment for something that might need to be immediately addressed. As long as payors continue to reimburse for these services at a comparable visit rate, we believe physicians will continue to use telehealth for those non-urgent visits that don’t necessarily need to have a hands-on exam.” 

“Telehealth is here to stay – it’s not going away. Many patients prefer the convenience of a video visit over a traditional in-office encounter. As a patient myself, I can attest that it is by far my preferred method of completing a follow-up visit with my physician or physician support staff. It saves time and can be done easily from home or office,” says Karen.

“Updox Telehealth brings to light the ease of which physicians and patients can connect and still have a productive and safe visit,” she says. “In hindsight, practices should have implemented telehealth long before the emergency need of the pandemic. I hope the lesson is to keep the service as part of their practice processes.  We don’t want practices to discontinue the service and then have to scramble again when the next emergency need comes.” 

Learn more about Updox Telehealth: 

Visit Telehealth Resources Page

 

Topics: Success Stories, Providers, telehealth, health-systems