Moving Health Home (MHH) — the recently announced home-based care advancement coalition — has a new founding member. Telehealth company Amwell (NYSE: AMWL) has joined an array of health care industry leaders from across the continuum that also includes Amazon Care and Intermountain Healthcare.
Boston-based Amwell is a telehealth platform that supports urgent care, acute cure and post-acute care. The company works with roughly 2,000 hospitals and 55 health plan partners.
Earlier this month, MHH announced the formation of its organization. The aim of the new entity is to make the home a sustainable clinical site of care and to change the way policymakers think about the treatment of patients.
“The pandemic has ushered in a new understanding of what’s possible in the home, leading to a convergence of care settings; and we believe this new hybrid approach is the future of care delivery,” Ido Schoenberg, chairman and co-CEO of Amwell, said in a statement. “We’re honored to join this impressive group of health care leaders as we work to meet the demands of patients and providers.”
Aside from Amazon Care and Intermountain Healthcare, the coalition includes health care heavy hitters Landmark Health, Signify Health (NYSE: SGFY), DispatchHealth, Elara Caring, Home Instead Senior Care and Ascension.
In his statement, Schoenberg noted that 85% of seniors have at least one chronic health condition and that 40% of people over the age of 85 live alone.
“[That highlights] the need for leaders to come together to address this growing challenge,” he said.
Broadly, Amwell’s inclusion in MHH falls in line with the health care sector’s larger embrace of telehealth over the course of 2020. As providers looked for alternative ways to deliver care amid the COVID-19 emergency, many adopted telehealth.
As a result, Amwell saw a significant increase in demand. During Amwell’s Q3 2020 earnings call, the company reported having about 62,000 providers at the end of the quarter, compared to 6,000 in the same period last year.
“Just to give you some numbers, you may have seen our recent survey, which showed that, if last year 8% of consumers have been using telehealth, this year it’s 22%,” Schoenberg during the company’s Q3 earnings call. “And if providers have been using telehealth, 22% of them have presented and [are] using telehealth last year. This year, 80% of providers have been using telehealth. And over 90% of them said that they are going to continue and use it after COVID.”
Schoenberg believes that telehealth makes room for providers to further push care into the home.
“Not only altering the way patients receive care but also creating a care experience that is more holistic and improves quality of life, especially for older patients and those who require frequent care,” he said in his statement.
Amwell also views the formation of MHH as an opportunity for the health care sector to apply the knowledge gained as a result of the COVID-19 emergency.
Specifically, home-based care has proven to be effective in both lowering costs and readmission rates. Home-based care decreases readmission rates from 15.6% to 8.6% while also lowering emergency department revisit rates from 11.7% to 5.8%, according to data from Amwell.
“We have an obligation to build upon the lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic and create a better health care system that not only meets patients where they are but enables them, their parents and future generations to have a better quality of life and age gracefully,” Schoenberg said.