Kaiser Permanente chief says members are flocking to virtual visits

CAL/AAEM News Service calaaem.news.service1 at gmail.com
Tue Apr 25 07:41:58 PDT 2017


       

 

April 22, 2017

 

Kaiser Permanente chief says members are flocking to virtual visits 

 

 

 
<http://www.modernhealthcare.com/article/20170421/NEWS/170429950?utm_source=
modernhealthcare&utm_medium=email&utm_content=20170421-NEWS-170429950&utm_ca
mpaign=financedaily> Modern Healthcare

 

 

By Dave Barkholz

 

Kaiser Permanente members annually have more than 100 million encounters
with company physicians, 52% of which are now virtual visits, Kaiser
Permanente CEO Bernard Tyson told a Nashville luncheon audience Friday.

 

That transition from physical to virtual visits has been enabled by Kaiser
Permanente's aggressive spending on information technology, Tyson said at a
Nashville Health Care Council presentation.

 

IT accounts for about 25% of the health system's $3.8 billion annual capital
spend. That's about 6% of the $71 billion in revenue that Oakland,
Calif.-based Kaiser Permanente generates annually, making it the nation's
largest integrated health system.

 

Members like the convenience of being able to get minor ailments looked at
or get test results outside the doctor's office, Tyson said.

 

It works for Kaiser Permanente, too. Fully 95% of its 11.7 million members
are covered on a capitated basis, meaning that Kaiser Permanente is paid a
monthly member fee to take care of a patient's full range of healthcare
needs. As a result, Kaiser Permanente physicians don't have the same worries
as other practitioners about getting paid for virtual visits.

 

Tyson, who was questioned by former U.S. Senator Dr. Bill Frist, said the
move to virtual doctor visits reflected a new consumerism that Kaiser
Permanente is endeavoring to keep up with daily.

 

The old fee-for-service system of healthcare was built around episodic care,
in which people only entered into the system when hurt or sick, Tyson said.
"The 'fix me' system," he said.

 

Kaiser Permanente's approach is to help keep members well by promoting
healthy eating, assisting schools and encouraging preventative check-ups,
Tyson said.

 

"We're reimagining medical care," he said.

 

Tyson, a perennial member of Modern Healthcare's list of the most
influential people in healthcare, was named this week to the 2017 Time 100,
its annual list of 100 most influential people in the world.

 

For example, Kaiser Permanente is experimenting with what Tyson called
mega-health centers, which are as much community assets and medical
facilities. He said they are being constructed with fruit counters, exercise
rooms and walking paths.

 

Tyson said he saw more and more care gravitating to the home and away from
the hospital and physician office as technology allows for inexpensive
tele-visits, accurate patient monitoring and convenient interaction.

 

Tyson said that he has attended two meetings at the White House with
President Donald Trump to talk about continuing the progress started by the
Affordable Care Act and to talk about care for veterans.

 

A big supporter of ACA, Tyson said he hoped the administration would
maintain insurance for the 24 million newly insured and that healthcare
executives need to make their voices heard on the important debate happening
in Washington.

 

Frist said President Trump remains short-handed with just 24 of the top 500
administration posts currently filled vs. 150 positions filled by President
Barack Obama during the first 100 days of his administration.

 

Tyson said that healthcare leaders can and must have an influence on the
replacement of the ACA. "That's why we have to be at the table," he said.

 

 

 

Jeff Wells
Deputy Editor, CAL/AAEM News Service

 

Brian Potts MD, MBA
Managing Editor, CAL/AAEM News Service



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