BayCare Announces Telemedicine Strategy

BayCare Health System is proud to announce a 5-year, strategic plan to develop, launch and optimize a comprehensive telemedicine program by partnering with American Well, a nationally recognized telemedicine vendor.

BayCare is dedicated to providing our community with best-in-class, patient-centered care and has an obligation to use innovative solutions to fulfill our commitment.

“We are exploring virtual visits as a vehicle by which to improve access to care for our patients and to learn how to best position our care delivery model in an ever-increasing retail market,” said Bruce Flareau, executive vice president and BayCare’s chief medical officer. “In this regard, we are exploring direct-to-patient visits, skilled nursing facility virtual care models, virtual ICU support, and other consultative services using virtual technologies. These activities will continue to develop as the industries mature.”

Over half of all US health systems use some type of telemedicine technology. In 2003 an estimated 350,000 patients utilized telemedicine services and this is expected to increase to 7 million patients by 2018. Virtual visits remove current geographic and business-hour restrictions on patient access, thus increasing competitive market size from regional to a national level.

The initial phase of BayCare’s telemedicine initiative will focus on helping to meet the community’s need for increased primary care access. BayCare Medical Group providers will have the opportunity to practice on the cutting edge of primary care delivery by personally delivering virtual visits or partnering with American Well physicians to expand our patient access to 24/7.

The telemedicine program is positioned to offer a number of benefits to patients and providers.

Benefits For Our Patients

  • ​​Increased access to acute care for established BayCare Medical Group patients through multiple modalities
  • Opportunities for patients to obtain medical evaluation earlier and potentially avoiding complications and/or unnecessary hospitalizations and ED visits
  • Opportunity for BayCare Medical Group to leverage cutting edge technology in caring for patients
  • Future opportunity to provide face-to-face visits for patients where physical access to follow up visits may be difficult

Benefits For Providers​

  • Increase panel size
  • Earn extra income outside of the office
  • Improve patient satisfaction scores by offering an alternative means for access
  • Reduce unnecessary acute care expenses by offering patients earlier and after hours medical evaluation