Brodie Dychinco of Regence on how technology is improving health care
“What happens when you make something easier than going to the doctor?” From telehealth to wearable medical devices, technology has the potential to transform how people receive care, says Brodie Dychinco, General Manager of Convenient Care at Regence.
Dychinco spoke about the future of health care technology on The Checkup, a podcast hosted by Danielle Huston of Propel Insurance.
As an example, technology could be a unique help to patients in rural areas who need to talk to specialists but aren’t near any of them, Dychinco said. Technology could give rural patients not just easier access but a connection to a greater variety of specialists.
“Rather than having to pack up and go to (a large city), with telehealth and virtual care and convenient care, there are now the capabilities to handle medical needs virtually where all the data could be sent to a doctor,” Dychinco said. “That doctor could review the data, and you could have a video consultation with that world expert in that particular field.”
For the behavioral health specialists, a video consultation means they get to see their patient not in a doctor’s office but where the patient lives. That could provide insights into the patient that is not typically available with traditional office visits. “One of the benefits of technology is it helps you to see the patient in their natural surroundings,” Dychinco said.
Telehealth is also more affordable, he said. When a Regence member with a commercial, non-Medicare policy uses telehealth, they save an average of $120 per visit. Part of that savings is a very high 95 percent resolution rate, meaning that most people who use telehealth don’t have a follow-up in-person visit with a doctor. Their needs were met by telehealth. “When your care can be done through telehealth,” Dychinco said, “there are savings.”
While the benefits of virtual care are clear, one of the challenges is getting patients to use it. According to Regence data, when employers regularly promote virtual care benefits to their employees, the employees use the benefits 4 or 5 times more often. That in turn makes health care more affordable for the employees and their employer, Dychinco said.
Listen to the Propel podcast with Dychinco below, or read a transcript.