COVID-19-related changes to healthcare are knocking down telehealth roadblocks and spurring accelerated growth in the already promising telehealth sector.
As consumers and providers gain experience with this form of care delivery, their comfort and adoption will rise, fueling a sustainable increase in demand.
Recent developments highlight the importance of innovative B2C and B2B business models and the significant opportunity for technology and business services companies serving the healthcare sector.
Cory Benjamin, Managing Director, Harris Williams Consumer Group
Whit Knier, Managing Director, Harris Williams Healthcare & Life Sciences Group
Dan Linsalata, Director, Harris Williams Technology, Media, & Telecom Group
Falling Barriers and Favorable Tail Winds
In an attempt to increase the supply of healthcare services and provide more people with access to medical treatment without leaving their homes, the U.S. government has paved the way for accelerated telehealth adoption. Medicare has expanded telehealth visit reimbursement coverage beyond limited-access rural communities and has increased reimbursement to equal that of an in-person visit. Private insurers are following suit.
The Rise of Innovative Delivery Models
Most people are familiar with the business-to-consumer (B2C) telehealth model offered through health plans and employers, but recent developments also highlight the importance of business-to-business (B2B) models.
Innovative B2B relationships are emerging as hospitals, provider organizations, other care facilities and health-related businesses contract with telehealth services for specialized support. For example, a rural hospital may contract for remote consultations from a specialist in a major metro area several hours away.
The rise in telehealth utilization is creating significant opportunities for technology and business services companies serving the healthcare sector. Companies with existing platforms have the opportunity to move into telehealth.
Ramping up existing infrastructure to offer a telehealth platform to practitioners is a natural extension, and highlights how technology vendors can leverage existing footprints to ride the current tailwinds in telehealth. Therapy Brands experienced a 4300% spike in usage of its telehealth platform in one week due to COVID-19.
A New Day
Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the already-growing telehealth sector is receiving a substantial thrust forward through inherent roadblocks. As consumers and providers gain experience with this form of care delivery, their comfort and adoption will rise. This sustainable increase in demand, coupled with recent, real-life examples of telehealth’s critical value proposition for all constituents, will support ongoing innovation and novel opportunities for investment in the sector.
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For an in-depth look, read full Telehealth: Proving Its Value In The Covid-19 World article, published by Harris Williams.