Virtual health options have advantages for individuals and health professionals alike. However, this remains relatively new territory. Providers face the challenges of not only adapting to new technology and ways of practicing, but also ensuring that virtual services are effective and satisfying for their practice and patients.
Highmark Health’s Enterprise Virtual Health team provides strategic support to help with that transition. Earlier this year, the team brought together four key leaders for a “Virtual Health 101” discussion:
Michelle Bond, director, Enterprise Virtual Health, is a nurse and health care leader with more than 25 years of experience, including leading innovative approaches to incorporate technology into clinical settings
Laura Messineo, vice president, Enterprise Virtual Health, is a nursing leader with nearly two decades of experience in virtual health, and a national speaker and member of the American Telemedicine Association and Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society
Dr. Timothy Law, senior medical director, Clinical Services, is a family physician who has used virtual health for more than 20 years, leads the virtual health strategy team for Highmark Clinical Services, and speaks internationally on utilization and provider implementation of telemedicine and remote patient monitoring
Mathew Ferrer, manager, Enterprise Virtual Health, has nearly two decades of experience in health care, including more than five years supporting and leading virtual health programs and working directly with providers to implement effective virtual solutions
The discussion was intended primarily for providers, but the trends, insights and tips will interest almost anyone who wants to learn more about how virtual health will evolve and add value well beyond the pandemic:
Laura Messineo: There is a great opportunity for providers and also for patients. An example of that is providers embedding virtual into their practice, and having every provider realize that it’s a tool in their pocket, and they can use either traditional in-person or virtual to meet the needs of their patients.
Dr. Timothy Law: A year ago, 65% of Americans felt hesitant about the quality they would receive am I going to get the right kind of care when I am just talking to somebody on a video? 56% did not believe it was possible to receive the same quality of care with virtual. Now, almost 80% feel it is possible to receive that same quality of care virtually. That’s a huge change.
Mathew Ferrer: It’s important to identify team members from your practice who will be participating in virtual visits, so each team member knows their roles and responsibilities. It really should be mirroring in-person care that helps the patient feel more comfortable and familiar throughout the process.
Michelle Bond, director of Enterprise Virtual Health is a nurse by background and a health care leader with 25+ years of experience in managerial, administrative, budgetary, and operational responsibilities. In her career, she has been successful at leading innovative approaches to incorporate products and technology into the clinical setting, including introducing virtual health to ensure excellent patient care outcomes, clinician satisfaction and decreased costs.
Meet Laura Messineo
Laura Messineo, vice president of Enterprise Virtual Health, is a dynamic nursing leader in the health care industry. With nearly two decades of experience in virtual health, she has proven successes implementing virtual health solutions to drive clinical performance and financial metrics. Laura is a national speaker and member of the American Telemedicine Association (ATA) and Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS). In addition, Laura serves as a board member for Partnership for a Connected Illinois.
Meet Dr. Timothy Law
Dr. Timothy Law, senior medical director, Clinical Services, Highmark Inc., is a rural family physician who has used virtual health for more than 20 years. He has been an advocate of telemedicine for over 20 years on both the provider and the payer side. Dr. Law speaks internationally on the utilization and provider implementation of telemedicine and remote patient monitoring. He runs a remote rural practice for the Amish, Mennonite and Plain communities primarily across Kentucky and Ohio, but also sees virtual patients across the U.S., and in the Dominican Republic. He is also currently the clinical lead on the Highmark Covid Command Center and Covid Coverage and Reimbursement work groups. He leads the virtual health strategy team on the clinical services side of Highmark Inc. and has been involved in the day-to-day operation of telemedicine code utilization and enhancement since the beginning of the public health emergency.
Meet Mathew Ferrer
Mathew Ferrer, manager of Enterprise Virtual Health, is a collaborative, passionate, and innovative leader. He looks to drive organizational goals by standardizing, developing, and implementing virtual health programs to augment patient care and solve for access to health care where there is a need. He has 16+ years experience in health care, 5+ years as a Senior IT Analyst supporting virtual health initiatives from an IT perspective, and 3+ years leading and managing a virtual health department for a large health care organization.
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