Elderly person at home having an engaging virtual care conversation with their assigned care coordinator over the phone.

Overcoming Social Determinants of Health Through Virtual Care

There is no question that virtual care management has transformed and modernized the delivery of patient care. By providing access to a medical team from anywhere at any time, virtual care has opened a world of possibilities for patients and providers alike.

It’s an unfortunate reality that for many individuals and families, there are greater challenges to accessing the care they need. These factors – social determinants of health – have greatly exacerbated pre-existing, socioeconomic disparities in health outcomes, largely due to limited access to medical care.

Mitigating Barriers to Accessing Care

The variables that impact an individual’s ability to access medical care are often a result of a geographic constraints, financial limitations, or a lack of specific resources such as transportation or time off from work. These determinants can also include the conditions in which people are born, grow, and work in that may affect their health.
Fortunately, virtual care management and the tools available to providers and patients offer multiple solutions that help to overcome the barriers that would otherwise prevent individuals and families from getting the health care they need.

Common Obstacles to Accessing In-Person Medical Care

Some of the most highly reported limitations affecting peoples’ ability to access in-person medical care include:

  • Lack of transportation
  • Lack of childcare
  • Work or school schedules
  • Cost of care

There is evidence to suggest that virtual care can help to close the gap between those with limited access to health care and those who have greater access.

One study found that when low-income patients were given the opportunity to use mobile/video tools to consult with their doctors, they were identifiable improvements in diabetes management, medication adherence and smoking cessation, compared to those who did not have access to this technology.

With the ability to reach patients where they are, virtual care has the potential to provide much needed access to quality health care for those who need it most.

The Benefits of Virtual Care Management for Underserved Communities

Virtual care management enables providers to conduct more frequent, more effective outreach to high-risk patients. More convenient access to medical care is a motivating factor for patients to act for their health.
Spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic, many studies have been conducted to assess the viability of virtual care platforms through a variety of different lenses/applications.

An analysis of multimodal technologies for chronic care management found that patients who used a digital platform to manage their chronic disease had lower levels of hospitalization and emergency department visits than those who didn’t use the platform.

Another study found the increase of virtual care delivery options to be effective in reducing hospitalizations for patients of low-income households. This suggests that virtual care is a pragmatic way to improve outcomes for patients of underserved backgrounds.

Shaping Health-Conscious Behaviors Through Increased Touchpoints

Virtual care management (VCM) is an effective way to improve access to medical care and better develop a health-conscious approach toward preventive care. In addition to more convenient access, meeting with a care team via virtual appointment provides more frequent touchpoints and consistency in keeping their health journey top of mind. Patients are more likely to stay engaged in their health and make positive changes.

By increasing patient engagement and compliance with treatment plans, VCM reduces unnecessary utilization of emergency care services, and nurtures the development of health-conscious behaviors.

Partnering with TimeDoc Health

You’re aware of all the benefits of VCM, but what about implementing it? It can seem like a massive undertaking, especially for smaller practices or providers who think they don’t have the resources.
No matter where your organization is on their VCM journey, TimeDoc Health can help. TimeDoc Health has partnered with hundreds of healthcare organizations to deliver care management programs at scale, according to best practices, and supported by proven technology.

Your Program, Your Way

With three different models to choose from, providers can choose how to deploy TimeDoc’s industry-leading care management platform and care coordination services to support their virtual care management program. You and your team can have a customized solution, expanding care for patients and enhancing revenue for your organization.

  • Engage with patients on preventative measures
    Between clinical assessments, medication adherence, coordinating referrals, obtaining necessary durable medical equipment, ensuring transportation needs are met, and more, our care managers take care of all the needs to ensure patients are proactively managing their own health.
  • Keep providers in the loop of patient health
    By understanding provider communication preferences and using our EHR integrated software, our care managers proactively communicate with provider teams to ensure they are kept in the loop of patient health status between visits.
  • Provide health coaching and education
    Our care managers help patients better manage their chronic conditions by understanding the goals set on their care plan and working through any obstacles to achieve them.

Click here to request a demo and learn more about our comprehensive and cost-saving program, with the tools and resources to elevate your care delivery options to the individuals and communities that need it most.