Caitlin Clement|10/5/2023|3 min read

Recent Telehealth Trends, Insights and News - September 2023

Costco expands into virtual care, Google’s digital health funding, new AMA insights on payer coverage

telehealth trends, insights and news for September 2023

It can be hard to stay on top of all the news, trends, technology and insights breaking through in the digital health space. The industry continues to grow faster each day. That’s why, while you focus on serving your patients, we’ll do the work for you with a September telehealth recap. 

Curious about what’s new in telemedicine? Stay up to date on Costco’s expansion into virtual care, Google’s recent digital health funding, new AMA insights on payer coverage for digital health and the renaming of OpenLoop’s headquarters to OpenLoop Tower.

Technology, Insights and News

Costco expands healthcare footprint, teams up with Sesame to offer members $29 virtual care visits

Costco is joining retail competitors Walgreens, Walmart and CVS Health by expanding its healthcare footprint. The big-box retailer teamed up with startup Sesame to offer special discount pricing to Costco members on a broad range of outpatient medical care services, including telehealth visits. Members can then book appointments through Costco with Sesame cash-pay pricing. 

Read the full FierceHealthcare article here >> 

AMA Releases New Insights on Commercial Payer Coverage for Digital HealthCare

A new study released by the AMA and Manatt Health summarizes publicly available coverage policies of commercial health insurers for 21 unique digital medicine services. The study was done to better understand the existing landscape of commercial payer coverage and the decision-making process behind coverage determinations. Some of the 16 commercial payers include Aetna, Cigna, BCBS and UnitedHealth Group.

Read full American Journal of Managed Care article here >>

Policy and Regulatory Updates

Sustaining Momentum In Digital Health Care Data Exchange Amidst Regulatory Changes

More than ever, the need for digital architectures that foster data sharing and interoperation between systems within the health care sector is crucial. However, there are federal rules that could pose a threat to that momentum. Specifically, a rule that would allow organizations to opt-out of interoperability obligations risks by allowing TEFCA members to not offer EHI if the recipient also participates in TEFCA. The article continues on to explain why this is premature and what negative impacts could follow. 

Read the full Health Affairs article here >>

Industry Conversations

In a Maturing Digital Health Market, Players Must Adapt Their Game Plan

Following the boom of digital healthcare in 2020, venture capital skyrocketed, reaching a high of $29.1 billion. However, the following years saw funding fall to about $15.3 billion and around $6 billion in the first half of 2023. With funding not where it used to be, players in the digital health space have to learn to pivot in order to service and thrive. Read on the uncover how we got here and what this funding decrease means for stakeholders. 

Read the full mHealthIntelligence article here >>

Q&A: Breaking down the racial divide with digital health

Dr. Dale Okorodudu, author and founder of Black Men in White Coats, and pulmonary and critical care physician at Dallas VA Medical Center, discusses the connection between healthcare diversity and optimal health outcomes in this MobiHealth Q&A. Dr. Okorodudu discusses how lack of diversity affects providers, patient adherence, his own experiences and how digital health can help build better health equity. 

Read the full MobiHealthNews interview here >>

Growth, Funding and Innovation

CommonSpirit Health launches national value-based care platform and sees $1.3 billion loss in operating costs

CommonSpirit focused its efforts in Q4 on growth that resulted in reduced labor costs, including contract labor; enhanced revenue yield; optimized length of stay; and continued value capture efforts. Thanks to this rollout, the large Health Systems saw $1.3 billion with a -3.9% margin.

Read the full Health Finance article here >>

Google announces funding for AI-enabled digital health projects

In mid September, Google announced that it is funding 15 AI-powered projects that include digital health initiatives in order to improve provider experience and patient access to care. Sparked by its commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, the eight digital health initiatives will receive $3 million each. These initiatives include providing low-source hospitals with AI-enable platforms to triage patients, combining music and wearables to decrease agitation for dementia patients and more.

Read the full mobihealth news article here >>

OpenLoop News and Resources

OpenLoop Named Finalist for 2023 Prometheus Awards

The Technology Association of Iowa’s Prometheus Awards, presented by UHY, unite Iowa innovators and leaders across the state in the fields of technology, business, education and government to celebrate the year’s most momentous achievements. We are proud to announce that OpenLoop was named a finalist in the Small/Medium Iowa Technology Company of the Year category and OpenLoop’s CEO, Dr. Jon Lensing, was selected as a finalist for the CEO of the Year Award.

Read the full press release here >>

Des Moines’ Bank of America Building Renamed OpenLoop Tower

OpenLoop Health, a national leader in white-label telehealth support services, announced the renaming of their Downtown Des Moines headquarters at their ribbon cutting ceremony on September 14, 2023. Experiencing rapid growth and a newly renovated 2nd floor office space, the Des Moines based startup is now the building's largest tenant. The former Bank of America Building will now be called OpenLoop Tower. 

Read the full press release here >>

OpenLoop Health Receives 2023 Economic Impact Award

OpenLoop Health, a national leader in white-label telehealth support services, was selected as the 2023 Deal of the Year at the Greater Des Moines Partnership’s Economic Impact Awards. “This generous funding has allowed OpenLoop to continue expanding our local footprint to keep up with the booming client, clinician and patient demand we’re seeing in the virtual care market,” said OpenLoop CEO and Co-Founder, Jon Lensing.

Read the full press release here >>

Unlocking Nationwide Telehealth: Your Guide to the “MSO-Friendly PC Model”

In this whitepaper, we break down the "MSO-Friendly PC Model", all of its independent stakeholders and why it's essential when building a compliant, nationwide telehealth business!

Check out the entire whitepaper here >>