Sentara Home Care recipients in Virginia will gain access to 24/7, on-demand virtual health care consultations beginning in October, Sentara and its partnering company, MDLIVE announced last week.
The adoption of MDLIVE’s telehealth platform is expected to increase Sentara’s patient capacity in time for more than 1 million Virginia residents currently uninsured to gain health care insurance in 2014 under the Affordable Care Act.
Patients using MDLIVE have access to physicians who can diagnose acute illnesses and prescribe medication during the virtual consultation. Physicians will also be able to send patients’ prescriptions electronically to one of over 60,000 of their partner pharmacies.
Sentara believes the new technology will help propel the company and its 100 health care providing sites into the future.
“Healthcare is changing due to a variety of factors, including advances in digital technology, physician shortages, increased access to insurance and high deductible plans, decreased reimbursement and patient population management needs,” Sentara CEO David Bernd said. “This collaboration expands access to care to hundreds of thousands of residents in our core and neighboring markets as well as offers them an alternate delivery option.”
Patients found to have serious conditions after a virtual consultation will receive direction to the nearest immediate care facility.
Written by Erin Hegarty