Virtual Primary Care highly effective in complex pediatrics

Virtual Primary Care highly effective in complex pediatricsAs we witness the positive impacts of our virtual care services on the lives of our patients — adults and children — we’re delighted to see a growing body of research demonstrating the benefits of Virtual Primary Care. In a new study in Pediatrics, researchers found that Virtual Primary Care substantially improved clinical outcomes and reduced costs for comprehensive care of medically complex children. The findings come from a clinical trial of 422 medically complex children. Half of trial participants had comprehensive care alone — experienced PCPs, 24/7 phone access, same-day in-clinic illness care on weekdays, and hospital consults when inpatient — while the rest had that same comprehensive care plus access to audio-video telemedicine visits with their PCPs. Notably, at first, parents often declined telemedicine visits, and the PCPs were skeptical that virtual visits would add much benefit to comprehensive care. Despite that initial resistance to virtual care, and with encouragement and support, virtual care utilization increased in the cohort with telemedicine access. The final results demonstrated medically complex children with comprehensive care and telemedicine access had an average of four fewer days of care outside of the home per year, reduced rates of serious illness, and fewer hospital admissions and pediatric ICU admissions than the group with comprehensive care alone. Remarkably, these improved clinical outcomes came with an average reduction in health system costs of $7,563 per year per child, and the setup costs for telemedicine patients was just $308. Sources: Telemedicine for Children With Medical Complexity: A Randomized Clinical Trial, Pediatrics
Let Telemedicine Enhance Your Medical Home, Pediatrics

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