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Primary Care under Pressure: Advances in Consumer-Centric Healthcare Technologies Improve Access and Satisfaction While Alleviating Burden on Primary Care System

by Hannah Ehnle | November 08, 2019

Latest Chilmark report evaluates new patient-facing AI tools, remote care platforms, and telehealth solutions for impact on a primary care infrastructure experiencing increased strain.

Boston, MA, October 28, 2019 — Primary care is the most common touchpoint in medicine, and yet increasing patient demand, expanding provider responsibilities and evolving payment models threaten the sustainability of this essential element of the healthcare system. New technological approaches combined with the drive to move care to lower cost settings are enabling new care models that better meet patient needs and still allow providers to maintain a longitudinal relationship and central role in defining care. These broader changes mean that primary care providers and practices will need to do more to engage patients, maintain and improve patient health status, and improve the patient experience.
The latest report from Chilmark Research, Primary Care for the 21st Century: Technology-Enabled and On Demand, examines three new types of solutions that contribute to or complement the modern technology-enabled primary care practice:
  • Telehealth
  • Virtual and Remote Care Platforms (including behavioral health)
  • AI-Enabled Assistants, Symptom Checkers and Chatbots
These new methods of delivering technology-enabled primary care offer novel ways for patients to access care directly, for providers to gain better visibility into the patient’s life and experience, and for both sides of the care loop to communicate. If primary care barriers to access, burden, and costs are not addressed, patients will continue to move towards solutions that offer convenience but do not help with long-term care needs, such as retail and urgent care clinics. These technology solutions offer ways to not just improve care but to support value-based payment models that will soon be the norm.
 “The technology-enabled primary care office is still concerned with the long-term well-being of its patients. These new solutions offer different ways to engage with patients, expanding the relationship and ability to deliver care in the home and throughout the patient’s life.” – Lead Analyst Alex Lennox-Miller
Each type of solution (Telehealth; Virtual & Remote Care Platforms; and AI-Enabled Assistants, Symptom Checkers and Chatbots) is evaluated based on how it affects barriers to burden, access, and costs for both providers and patients. The report provides important information about use cases, subcategories of product offerings, reimbursement options, and other obstacles to adoption for each type of solution.
In addition to the categorical analyses, the report includes 11 short profiles of major and promising vendors, with three to four vendors identified per solution type. Each profile includes product differentiators and vendor-specific impact on access, burden, and costs.
Primary care practice managers and medical directors looking to alleviate challenges in their own practice through technology will appreciate the report’s clear breakdown of impacts for both themselves as providers and their patients, plus identification of leading vendors in each category. Payers, including self-insured employers, can use the report to understand the impact of covering these services both for member satisfaction and as well as part of broader population health management strategies. Current and prospective solution providers of the three solution types and other solutions for the primary care market will also find this report valuable for mapping their own product strategy and evaluation their impact on access, burden, and costs.
The report is available to subscribers of the Chilmark Advisory Service or may be purchased separately. For more information, visit the sales page or send direct inquiries to John Moore III. A webinar accompanying the release of this report is scheduled for Tuesday, November 12th at 1:30pm.

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