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Elation co-founder shares expertise on telehealth and wearables

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Elation Health co-founder and CEO Kyna Fong was tapped by two major industry publications recently to share her expertise on topics of concern to healthcare providers during these uncertain times. The COVID-19 pandemic has affected virtually everyone across the globe in some way. Independent physicians, in particular, face challenges as they attempt to continue to deliver quality care to their patients and to keep their independent practices operating successfully.

Telehealth has emerged as a viable option for treating patients effectively while maintaining their safety and well-being. Most independent practices had to make the shift to telehealth, however, as they had not previously been set up for virtual care. That’s where Elation Health came in to assist. As Fong told Fierce Healthcare, “We’ve been working around the clock to get them on there,” she said.

With the coronavirus outbreak, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and most other third-party payers have put billing codes in place for telehealth services. “If they can get themselves set up for telehealth and virtual visits, they can recover some of their lost revenue,” Fong told the publication.

Several changes enacted by the government have made it possible to use formats such as Facetime and Skype for telehealth visits, easing the technology burden on both independent physician and patient. Communication is also imperative during the COVID-19 pandemic, for providers to let their patients know they can still be seen and what the protocols are for such visits.

Elation’s electronic health record (EHR) solution can address these complexities for independent providers. Contact us to learn more.

As Fierce Healthcare reports, practices are including information about their new telehealth services on their websites, reaching out through patient portals, making phone calls, and sending letters. Improved communication and telehealth options have proven beneficial to providers and patients. As Fong reported, doctors “love it” because they have more efficient, focused conversations with patients and are able to continue to deliver quality care virtually.

Medical Economics also interviewed Fong recently, to get her expertise on data in healthcare, especially in regard to wearables used by patients. It has been proven that engaged patients see better health outcomes. With wearables, patients can glean their own healthcare data that can then be shared with their provider. This can also help physicians personalize patient care, as Fong notes.

“That conversation about what (patients) are doing outside of your clinic is an important part of coming up with a treatment or care plan that works for that patient and can be really valuable for building relationships,” Fong told the publication. She also advises that care should be taken when embracing these new technologies. Providers do not want to wind up assuming responsibility for reviewing health data they did not solicit.

Fong adds that to have value, “(the data need) to have purpose, timeliness and a feedback loop where physicians can flag and correct issues. And health data systems need to start with patient benefit. When we strategically use physicians as care coordinators and data curators, and we listen to them when they say something isn’t valuable or correct — instead of dumping millions of raw records at their clinic door — that’s when data will become the most valuable for patient care.”