Updated: May 18, 2021
JPS Health Network leaders explore the future of healthcare by testing a telemedicine program with team members.
Leaders and healthcare providers at JPS are discussing plans for how telemedicine can be incorporated into employees’ healthcare coverage. If the program proves to be effective, it could be included in future patient care strategy.
President and CEO Robert Earley told members of the JPS board of managers that telemedicine is a great way to increase the reach of medical caregivers while most efficiently using their resources. Telemedicine gives doctors and nurses the ability to diagnose health problems, give advice to patients and monitor the recovery of patients remotely through the use of technology.
“This is not unlike 15 years ago when people started to talk about what we were going to do with robotics,” Earley told the board of managers, explaining that it was simply the latest development in the ever-evolving field of medicine. “We need to look at how we are addressing wellness, not just how we address sickness.”
The federal government has endorsed telemedicine as a way to deliver Medicaid services more efficiently. States are encouraged to use the flexibility inherent in federal law to create innovative payment methodologies for services that incorporate telemedicine technology, according to the Medicaid.gov website.
Earley said he will bring plans for the pilot program to finance committee of the Board of Managers.
“Employee health. That’s a nice place to start, with our employees,” Earley said. “We’ll be looking, in the future, at continuous programs with telemedicine and if that’s the answer for our patients and where we go.”
While convenience and fiscal responsibility are important, Earley said JPS will continue to make providing the best care possible its top priority.
“Really, it’s that thin line we’re hoping to balance between technology and caring touch,” Earley told the Board of Managers. “We want to reduce the number of people coming into the hospital, but we have to keep that caring sense. If we can do that, we’ll be in good shape.”