Telehealth Academy 2022 – Diving Deeper Into Telehealth with a Session 2 Overview

September 26, 2022 / Share:

Diving Deeper In Telehealth 

Nashville Entrepreneur Center’s Jeremy Raley kicked off the second virtual session of Telehealth Academy II with Lisa Esch, SVP of Provider Industry Solutions at NTT DATA. 

Esch first distinguished the difference between the narrow definition of telemedicine and the broader complexities of telehealth, which are now fully in play in our post-covid landscape. She shared that telehealth encompasses many caregivers, education, follow-up, and more to complete a patient’s health continuum. 

“And so, as you hear the speakers today, you’re going to learn a lot about these things, and really think about how we tackle some of the new challenges that we’re even seeing because of some of the challenges that we saw in the last couple of years where all the new technology that was dropped into this telehealth space,” said Esch. 

New technology, she said, was solving specific issues but now needs to connect and become  seamlessly integrated with every aspect of a patient’s care. NTT DATA’s customers are seeing this play out in delivering acute care at home and hospital-at-home services. 

Esch shared, “Now I think it’s really really exciting. I know we’re seeing with our customers this advanced conversation about acute hospital at home. You know more than just post-acute care and minor types of things, real, acute hospital health.”

Before handing the digital floor over to the speakers, Jeremy gave a big thank you to the sponsors, organizations, and individuals that have made TA II possible. 

Future-Facing Panel 

We then switched to a panel discussion mediated by Dr. Lisa Piercy, founder and CEO of Tristela. She started the chat by asking Ann Somers Hogg, senior research fellow/Health Care at the Christensen Institute, about where the business models around telehealth have been and where she sees them headed in the future. 

Hogg explained that the long-entrenched fee-for-service business model of healthcare revealed its shortcomings as the pandemic progressed. The businesses that she saw emerge as leaders after the dust settled were the companies that had a resilient business model in place that sustained them throughout the pandemic. This big difference seemed to be a shift toward value-based care. 

Daniel Graver, Healthcare & Data Privacy Attorney at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, followed Hogg’s comments with a reflection on the regulations at play in the telehealth world. He mentioned the temporary reprieve from regulatory roadblocks due to emergency regulations are coming to an end and that means that, in order to have a nationwide telehealth model, congress has a significant role to play. This means that professionals in the healthcare space are now responsible to prove the value of telehealth. 

“Historically, Medicare has been relatively slow to adopt telehealth and has been partly limited by its current authority and partially limited by its legislative legislation,” said Graver. “Covid changed that abruptly and rapidly, with many of those limitations being waived. And this has provided an opening for innovative and expanded telehealth models, but that many of those telehealth flexibilities tied to the public health emergency are likely to end early next year.”

Circling back to resilient business models, Dr. Piercy asked Hogg to share an example of a program that showed positive results. 

Hogg brought up UT Austin Medical School’s program and Factor Health, which partnered with the local social and community programs to address the loneliness epidemic in seniors. They trained students in empathetic interview techniques and had them call the seniors struggling with loneliness. The results showed that this cost-effective program reduced loneliness and the number of reporting indicators for anxiety and depression. 

The panel wrapped up with their short and long-term predictions on the future state of telemedicine.

“In the long run, we need organizations to build net new business models that are designed to deliver on the promise of value-based care, and deliver on a value proposition that matters both to those consuming the care and those paying for the care,” said Hogg. 

“So in the short term, I think that we’re seeing the pendulum start to swing back a little bit on the regulatory flexibilities, and I think that it will probably overcorrect a little bit,” said Graver. “I spent not an insignificant amount of my time helping innovative companies try to figure out how to squeeze their new business model into the existing regulations. That’s the kind of thing that moves the regulations over time because they will adopt. They will advance over time and change to take into consideration what’s really going on on the market. The government’s always going to be behind business because it moves more slowly, but you will just continue to see more and more regulatory flexibility.” 

Keynote Speakers

Next up were our three keynote speakers to discuss everything from telehealth polling results to AI-powered smart care facilities. The first to speak was Krista Drobac of Alliance for Connected Care & Moving Health Home. 

Krista Drobac

Executive Director at Alliance for Connected Care & Moving Health Home

Navigating The Policy Barriers To Health Care Transformation

Krista Drobac gave the audience a deep dive into the behind-the-scenes actions that drive new regulations and laws around telehealth and home healthcare. As Executive Director at Alliance for Connected Care, a 501(c)(6) organization dedicated to ensuring that all patients are able to realize the benefits of telehealth and remote monitoring and founder of Moving Health Home, where she leads a team of regulatory and legislative professionals in implementing the vision of the coalition members around making the home a clinical site of care, she is able to see the larger picture of the state of telehealth. 

She started out by sharing what everyone in the audience can probably agree upon – accessing healthcare outside of institutional walls and on the go is the future. However, she said that members of Congress are still skeptical of these new models of care even when their constituents and other advocates are showing massive support. This is why the capturing and sharing of data around telehealth is so critical. Because to push through the red tape, everyone will have to work together. 

“Transformation requires government action because we’re in such a heavily regulated environment, so helping us convey the urgency of patient and provider preferences and the evidence around the new models,” said Drobac. 

Drobac emphasized the massive impact the pandemic had on gathering research, saying that patients finally got the full experience of utilizing telehealth which meant we could see how the patients, care providers, and institutions reacted to such a shift. What research showed is an overwhelmingly positive response.  “People got to try it, and so now we get to ask them what they thought of it and expand,” said Drobac. “Among providers, ninety percent said that they thought that expanding telehealth increased access to care. They wanted, believe it or not, actually, providers have said that they are more likely to stay in the profession if they can continue to practice telehealth.” In addition to attitudes surrounding this new care model, research also debunked some negative perceptions around telehealth. 

She wrapped up with a call to action for the audience, sharing that pushing crucial legislation in favor of telehealth requires all those in healthcare to work together and share information. 

For updates on legislation and votes, follow Alliance for Connected Care on Twitter:

Read more about Krista Drobac. 

Steve Ommen, MD 

Medical Director, Consumer Products & Platform Strategy, Center for Digital Health at Connected Care: The Mayo Clinic Story

Joining us again for Telehealth Academy was Dr. Steve Ommen to share the timeline of Mayo Clinic’s digital health innovation, how they approach telehealth implementations, and the data behind their initiatives. 

Dr. Ommen first laid out how Mayo Clinic measures the value of telehealth integration. They ask Do patients like it? Are they more likely to get care? Is it causing more work for care teams? Is it saving lives and preventing hospital admissions? Does it make sense financially? How does it work within the regulatory framework?

By asking those questions during the development of digital health solutions, Mayo Clinic created a model that resulted in high levels of patient satisfaction across the board. 

“The survey showed that the majority of patients reply that they would have chosen telehealth over in-person visits,” shared Dr. Ommen. “Patients are not perceiving any difference in relative care they receive. They feel like they’re having the same outcomes. Likewise, providers feel like they’re getting the same outcomes from the care that we’re delivering so great news that there’s no perception.”

To illustrate the point, Dr. Ommen gave an example of telehealth improving outcomes when compared to a group that did not participate in telehealth. 

Dr. Ommen shared the financial incentives of telemedicine they have observed as well, including remote patient monitoring. 

“There are penalties to hospitals for readmissions for patients with these diagnoses. So this is penalty avoidance and, gosh, isn’t it good to keep patients out of the hospital, anyway? They get fewer infections, et cetera. So again, positives beyond just this week’s dollars and cents but long-term dollars and cents, and keeping patients out of the hospital is always a good thing,” said Dr. Ommen.

He argues that telemedicine can allow hospitals and clinics to scale, save patients money, improve outcomes, and have a positive impact on the environment. He concluded that on the flip side the cost of not adopting telehealth is just as real as the benefits. 

Read more about Steve Ommen, MD. 

Bruce Brandes

President of

The Era Of The Smart Care Facility Is Here. Only Leaders Will Survive.

Capping off the day was Bruce Brandes, President of with a call for healthcare facilities to stop with small, short-term solutions and instead embrace the power of AI. 

Brandes shared that 77 healthcare CEOs have left their post due to the unprecedented pressure and difficulty of leading an organization in the current climate. He expanded, saying that this pressure is also on the caregiving staff, rising to a level that no human could ever hope to conquer. He stated that a fundamental shift in the way we deliver care is the only way forward. 

“I would submit to you that care organizations must reimagine their underlying business and clinical models of how they deliver care with a transformational change, not incremental improvements,” said Brandes. “Identifying opportunities where they can substitute technology for labor, not just in their back office functions which have been tackled but actually finally addressing the sacred cow, which is how care fundamentally gets delivered”.

Brandes pointed out that we have all seen a great number of companies come in with innovations for pieces of the healthcare system but they have failed to deliver on the scale needed. This leaves healthcare decision and policymakers confused about how to move forward. However, Brandes pointed out that other industries have provided a guide on how to make systemic changes. From Amazon Go stores to FedEx tracking capabilities – the technology that could help healthcare is already in place elsewhere. To make a bit more sense, he shared an example from the auto industry, saying backup cameras reduced parking lot accidents but the future is in self-driving cars that can perceive, learn, and adapt. Which led him to introduce the SmartCare facility of the future. 

The AI-enabled facility is omnipresent, omniscient, contemporaneous, and compassionate. 

Through advanced camera systems, automations, and telehealth, these systems can gather and process the information humans are not capable of. By integrating with this comprehensive system caregivers will be able to access more patients, reach them in time, improve outcomes, and give caregivers more time to do the work that they are passionate about – providing the personal care that makes all the difference. 

“I really encourage you all to think about why the vast majority of our caregivers chose to go to medical school or nursing school in the first place – to heal those in need, to love others, to help people live and extend a healthier life, and unfortunately, too much of their jobs today takes them away from doing what they went to to be trained to do in the first place,” said Brandes. “By getting technology out of the way, leveraging ambient intelligence, we free our caregivers up to do what only a human being can do, which is to provide care with a human touch.”

Read more about Bruce Brandes here.

Cameras Off and Ready for Nashville 

Another fantastic 2-hour block packed with actionable insight from some of the most innovative leaders in healthcare across the country! That wraps up our virtual sessions and gives us a lot to look forward to next Thursday. 

We want to give a huge thanks to our sponsors, council members, and industry experts for making this event possible. Please join us next week for our all day, in-person session at Omni Nashville. If you haven’t already, grab your tickets for this not to be missed event. We hope to see all of you there!

Next Week (September 29th, Omni Hotel, downtown Nashville – 13 Sessions, 38 Speakers, 12 Sponsors, 12 Community Partners): 

The Trajectory Of Healthcare Delivery

  • Paul Keckley, Managing Editor / The Keckley Report

Telehealth’s Role In The Future Of Healthcare At HCA

  • Christopher Northam, VP, Enterprise Telehealth / HCA
  • Jessa Kelley, VP of Strategy and Innovation / HCA Healthcare
  • Kelly Nye, VP of Digital Strategy and Development / HCA Healthcare

LifePoint Health – LifePoint Forward

  • Jessica Beegle, SVP & Chief Innovation Officer / LifePoint

LifePoint Health Innovation

  • Chris Altchek, CEO & Founder / Cadence
  • Chris Frost, MD, National Medical Director, Hospital-Based Services / LifePoint Health
  • Heather Barrett, COO/ Specialist TeleMed (STeM)

Telehealth Academy Inaugural Survey

  • Dan D’Orazio, CEO / Sage Growth Partners

Reaction Panel – Telehealth Academy Inaugural Survey

  • Ben Steinhafel, Director of Policy and External Affairs / Center for Telehealth and e- Health Law (CTeL)
  • Christopher Northam, VP, Enterprise Telehealth / HCA
  • Jessica Beegle, SVP & Chief Innovation Officer / LifePoint
  • Rob Rebak, CEO Forefront Telecare 

Telehealth’s Integration Into Medical Education And Workforce Strategies

  • Bruce Brandes, President /
  • Anderson Spickard, MD, Interim Dean & Assistant to the President / Frist College of Medicine at Belmont University
  • Frank J. “FJ” Campbell, MD, Chief Medical Officer / Ardent Health
  • Michelle Nichols, MD, SVP, Clinical Affairs / Meharry Medical College
  • Sara Horst, MD, Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Evidence-Based Models For Tracking Telehealth Progress

  • Mario Ramierez, MD, Consultant / Akin Gump
  • Ann Mond Johnson, CEO / American Telemedicine Association
  • Heide Bajnrauh, Senior Policy Advisor / Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

Feeding The Beast: Investor Perspective On The Future Of Telehealth

  • Sachin Agrawal, President / eVisit
  • Chase Williams, Growth Equity / Goldman Sachs
  • Grant Chamberlain, Senior Managing Director, Healthcare Investment Banking / Ziegler Capital and Investments
  • Robert Chamberlain, Principal / Rock Health Consulting
  • Stephanie Davis, Senior Managing Director, Healthcare Technology and Distribution / SVB Securities

The New Models Of Care Delivery: Case Studies

  • Aaron Sheedy, COO & Co-Founder / Xealth
  • Bradley Crotty, MD, Chief Digital Engagement Officer / The Froedtert & Medical College of Wisconsin Health System
  • Juli Stover, Chief Strategy Officer, eVisit 
  • Brian Wayling, Executive Director, Technology & Development, Intermountain Healthcare
  • Steve Ommen, MD, Medical Director, Consumer Products and Platform Strategy, Center for Digital Health, Mayo Clinic
  • Katie Smith Green, Head of Content, Current Health / Best Buy Health Company
  • Ryan Starnes, Senior Director, Operations, Vanderbilt Hospital at Home / Vanderbilt University Medical Center
  • Tara Horr, MD, Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Where Do We Go From Here?

  • ​​Brian Moyer, Tech Entrepreneur & Advisor
  • Chemu Langat, COO / Best Buy Health
  • Marc Watkins, MD, Chief Medical Officer / Kroger Health
  • Ryan Donnelly, VP, Strategy and Innovation / Premise Health

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