American Well®, a leading U.S. telehealth company, today announced it is working with Cisco Systems to extend care delivery from hospitals and health systems into the home. For this initiative, the companies will leverage their respective expertise in healthcare infrastructure and collaboration technology, to transform the telehealth options currently available to elder patients. Initial plans include converting in-home television sets into American Well patient CarePoints for broad based, telehealth care delivery.
“Telehealth is quickly becoming an effective way for Americans to get access to urgent care. While this revolution continues, a new breed of telehealth is emerging. This one will go the other way, empowering doctors and nurses to use technology to knock on our door and visit us at home regularly. This will allow healthcare that previously warranted hospital admission or facility stay to take place in the home, where so many of us prefer to be. Importantly, telehealth will allow us, and our elders, to expect a longer, safer and more graceful aging, in our homes,” said Roy Schoenberg, MD, MPH, CEO at American Well. “A new age is upon us, and we couldn’t be more excited to lay its cornerstone today with Cisco.”
The companies will focus initial collaborative efforts on transforming in-home television sets into a modality for telehealth to benefit and advance elder care. This focus comes on the heels of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announcement to expand telehealth access and coverage in Medicare Advantage (MA) plans, which accounts for approximately one-third, or 20 million, of Medicare beneficiaries.
“Our collaboration technology and the innovation we’re driving throughout our portfolio will translate into truly personalized and amazing experiences for telehealth patients, especially the elder population who are often severely limited in their access to traditional medical care,” said Amy Chang, Senior Vice President/GM, Cisco Collaboration. “Together with American Well, Cisco is committed to transforming how people receive quality healthcare. Technology and infrastructure will help collapse the space between home and medical professionals so our senior population can receive the medical care they deserve.”
As part of the latest ruling from CMS, Medicare Advantage members will have more access to virtual care visits. Broader reimbursement for telehealth services will begin in January 2020. See additional details on the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 Provisions here.