New Front Door to Care: Telehealth is Here to Stay

This article is first in a series examining the long-term impact of COVID-19 on health and healthcare issues for the self-insured industry.

As the COVID-19 pandemic has restricted patients’ access to their physicians, the use of telehealth has grown exponentially in 2020 – and we may be only scratching the surface of its role in the future.

So far this year, virtual care visits have reached more than 1 billion, with 500,000 for COVID-19 – an increase of 64.3 percent, according to a recent analysis by Frost & Sullivan. Telehealth’s $3 billion revenue market has the potential to grow to $250 billion, according to McKinsey & Company. Consumers have been 1.6 times more likely to use telehealth after their first experience, so an increasing number of providers are offering it – 53 percent more than before the pandemic began.

Telehealth’s unprecedented rise has captured the attention of public policymakers as well. On August 3, President Trump signed the Executive Order on Improving Rural and Telehealth Access, which extends the availability of virtual care benefits for Medicare beneficiaries during the pandemic. The order, which calls for permanent expansion, accentuates that telehealth may become a lifeline in rural areas with more limited access to in-person care. With multiple telemedicine bills brought to the House and Senate this year, there is broad bipartisan support for Congress to pass legislation that would keep coverage in place.

For self-insured employers, brokers and third-party administrators, the growing emphasis on telehealth facilitates early engagement with members in diagnosing and treating conditions, as well as disease management for chronic care patients. The convenience of telehealth allows members to take charge of their health and promotes care continuity for long-term wellness. Additionally, the surge in telehealth adoption will open up opportunities to better serve members with other virtual care models, such as remote patient monitoring, texting, digital symptom checkers, and online health coaches.

Member demand for virtual care is undeniable. Frost & Sullivan estimates that the U.S. telehealth market will display staggering seven-fold growth by 2025. Surveys this year by McKinsey & Company indicated that providers are seeing 50 to 175 times the number of patients via telehealth than before COVID-19. Of the survey respondents, 76 percent were highly or moderately likely to use telehealth going forward, and 74 percent of telehealth users reported high satisfaction.

Although in-person doctor visits are unlikely to become a thing of the past, telehealth is here to stay. Signs point to its continued growth as a key healthcare delivery tool for the next 12-18 months – until a vaccine becomes widely available – and beyond. For members, telehealth services can offer the benefits of more accessible care, minimized exposure and health risks, ease of use, and improved patient outcomes – the fruits of our labor to reimagine care.

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Rob Gelb is Chief Executive Officer of Vālenz™, one of the nation’s leading medical cost reduction and claims flow management organizations offering expanded solutions to support the self-insured industry.

Vālenz Ranks No. 2065 on Inc. 5000 List of Fastest-Growing Private Companies

PHOENIX, Ariz. — Inc. magazine today announced that Vālenz™ ranks No. 2065 on the annual Inc. 5000 list, the most prestigious ranking of America’s fastest-growing private companies. The Inc. 5000 list represents a unique look at America’s most successful independent small businesses. Over the years it has included such leading-edge organizations as Microsoft, Vizio, Intuit, Oracle, Zappos.com and many others.

“We are honored to be recognized as one of the fastest-growing companies in America, and it reinforces what our clients already know – that controlling health plan costs, serving the plan member and helping the employer group are all connected,” said Rob Gelb, Chief Executive Officer at Valenz. “Our rapid growth is a function of everything we do to control costs, deliver quality, and create new paths of opportunity for employers, TPAs, and brokers to improve plan design, reduce plan spend, and enhance member lives.”

Moving forward, the company is poised for future growth. As the innovators behind an ecosystem that combines health data analytics with healthcare service delivery across the entire lifecycle of every claim, Valenz is laser-focused on changing the trajectory of healthcare costs – which they call lowering the Claim Cost Arc℠ – for the self-insured industry. Data and information flow through the Valenz ecosystem from the company’s core products, clients, platform partners and industry sources, and in doing so, it fuels ever-expanding analytic and predictive capabilities. That data-driven decision enablement, coupled with member- and client-centric service delivery, creates continuous value for every individual and organization within the ecosystem.

“If you are excited about what Valenz has accomplished for your business in the three years since we first envisioned our ecosystem, you will be very pleased with what the future holds,” said Gelb. “By engaging early and often for smarter, better, faster healthcare, we are continuously creating new opportunities for self-insurers to target the small percentage of claims that drive their majority of health plan costs.”

“From health and software to media and hospitality, the 2020 list proves that no matter the sector, incredible growth is based on the foundations of tenacity and opportunism,” said Inc. editor-in-chief Scott Omelianuk. Together, the companies in the 2020 Inc. 5000 achieved three-year average growth of more than 500 percent and a median rate of 165 percent, with aggregate revenue accounting for more than 1 million jobs in the same time frame. Complete results of the Inc. 5000 can be found at www.inc.com/inc5000.

About Valenz

Through a complete health administrative ecosystem, Valenz connects cost and quality data on a single-source, end-to-end analytics platform for smarter, better, faster healthcare. Valenz solutions integrate data from comprehensive care management services (Valenz Care), high-value provider networks (Valenz Access), claim flow management (Valenz Claim) and solutions for payment integrity, revenue cycle management and eligibility compliance (Valenz Assurance) into the ecosystem. More information is available at valenzhealth.com. Valenz is backed by Great Point Partners.

About Great Point Partners

Great Point Partners (“GPP”), founded in 2003 and based in Greenwich, CT, is a leading healthcare investment firm, currently with approximately $1.8 billion of equity capital under management and 28 professionals, investing in the United States, Canada and Western Europe. Learn more at www.gppfunds.com.

About Inc. Media
The world’s most trusted business-media brand, Inc. offers entrepreneurs the knowledge, tools, connections, and community to build great companies. Its award-winning multiplatform content reaches more than 50 million people each month across a variety of channels including websites, newsletters, social media, podcasts, and print. Its prestigious Inc. 5000 list, produced every year since 1982, analyzes company data to recognize the fastest-growing privately held businesses in the United States. For more information, visit www.inc.com.