Telehealth medicine is now offered at VA hospitals around the country. The VA’s overall strategy is to leverage technology in a way that makes sense for veterans and VA staff. The agency is using tech to improves care access, as well as providing medical care to Vets that are home bound.
The VA allows agency medical providers to practice telehealth across state lines, regardless of their location. The goal is to expand care access for veterans and reduce wait times, an issue that has plagued VA in recent years.
The home telehealth program services about 147,000 veterans, using interactive voice response, a web app, virtual care, or through a physical hub connected to the network.
The agency has also been pilot testing its text messaging program, which is currently at several sites. This allows for the two-way messaging protocols and connects providers with patients.
Telehealth: Recent Contract With 1Vision
The VA is ambitious ‘with its anywhere-to-anywhere’ project, first announced in August of 2017 to extend its telehealth offerings across state borders and into rural areas.
It recently signed a contract with 1Vision to use analytics to remotely monitor a veterans health issues and provide treatment before small clinical issues become serious problems. Using telehealth, veterans will have the opportunity to bolster their independence and get convenient access to healthcare.
The Veterans Health Administration’s Home Telehealth Program relies on telehealth platforms from commercial contractors classified by the VA as Medical Device Data Systems. These systems are purchased by the VHA and used by veterans throughout the United States in their homes as a means of promoting self-management and increased access to care.
VA-published studies show that MDDS systems help improve care, reduce emergency department visits, and promote higher levels of patient and clinician satisfaction.