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  • mHealthintelligence

Updated: Jul 6, 2022

Amid the sustained demand for telehealth services, the Digital Medicine Society (DiMe) and the American Telemedicine Association (ATA) have created a toolkit that provides healthcare stakeholders with resources displaying effective virtual-first care transitions and offers strategies to achieve them.

The toolkit was launched by vIrtual first Medical PrActice CollaboraTion (IMPACT), a pre-competitive collaboration hosted by DiMe and ATA to support virtual-first care transitions. IMPACT includes digital health companies, investors, payors, and consultants.

DiMe is a nonprofit organization that includes digital medicine companies focused on addressing challenges by creating new resources and educational programs. The American Telemedicine Association is also a nonprofit, representing more than 400 organizations.

The launch of the IMPACT Effective V1C Care Transitions Toolkit aims to provide a base for virtual-first care.

The toolkit's resources include assistance with effective virtual-first care transitions, information on how to include partners and use a technology stack, quick start guides for virtual-first and in-person care providers and payers, and previous case studies that showcase examples of virtual-first care.

"[Virtual-first care] is likely the greatest opportunity of our lifetimes to redefine healthcare and improve lives," said Jennifer Goldsack, CEO at DiMe, in the press release. "However, this opportunity will be squandered if it remains separate from the traditional healthcare system. IMPACT focused on developing resources to enable efficient care transitions to, from, and between [virtual-first care] providers to ensure that [virtual-first care] is not just another silo of healthcare. By weaving virtual care into established and new venues of care, we will enhance care coordination and user experience across the board as well as drive improvements in access, equity, effectiveness, and efficiency."

The groups hope that IMPACT and the toolkit will provide not only valuable resources to patients and providers but also open doors to new methods of care and provide a framework for how to handle future digital health use.

"The pandemic shone a light on the benefits of health tech to facilitate virtual care. This catalyzed momentum and acceptance, both from the population at large but also public regulators," said Ronald Dixon, CEO of IMPACT member CareHive, in the press release.

The COVID-19 pandemic has played a significant role in the evolution of virtual-first care. Over the last several years, various organizations have worked to advance the implementation of virtual care options.

In November 2021, Trustmark Health Benefits worked with Teladoc Health to create myVirtualCare Access, a virtual-first health plan. The goal was to emphasize primary care services, reduce costs, improve patient outcomes, and enhance overall visit quality.

In April, Teladoc Health and Northwell Health partnered to expand care delivery through connected virtual care. The partnership will leverage the connection between Teladoc Health and Microsoft to provide broader resources to the Northwell Health community. (June 2022)

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