UPMC: Expanding Organization Reach via Telemedicine and Virtual Care
University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) is a large integrated delivery system that includes a health plan and stands aside a research university. This unique organizational structure affords UPMC the opportunity to truly integrate delivery across the provider-hospital side and insurer-health plan side while incorporating innovative care solutions. The organizational structure further enables a rich data and information ecosystem that allows for diverse monetization activities, which have enabled the health system to develop new services, expand into new markets, and broaden its customer base, all while also achieving cost savings.
Among the notable areas where UPMC has effectively leveraged innovation technology, analytics, and data governance to monetize its data assets are telehealth and telemedicine. UPMC’s focuses, in particular, on its Anywhere Care app—a virtual urgent care direct to consumer (D2C) mobile app offering a 24/7 virtual urgent care service for UPMC members and patients. Satisfaction ratings for the service are consistently above 4.8 on a 5.0 scale. UPMC Anywhere Care offers an intuitive user experience, originating from a virtual waiting room experience with an average wait time of less than six minutes.
Since its launch in November 2006, more than 17,000 successful Anywhere Care visits have been completed, resulting in a blended documented outcome savings rate of $132 per visit versus other costly alternatives. As stated earlier, monetizing the value of patient satisfaction is elusive, but the industry’s data scientists and analysts recognize its importance and the added benefits that are derived from satisfied patients, including optimized recovery and treatment plan compliance.
UPMC leverages a portfolio of best-in-class technologies with back-end master patient index integration to create a seamless, optimized virtual care experience for patient members, with truly coordinated care. UPMC also is leveraging technology to provide real-time virtual follow up visits with physicians so patients don’t have to leave the comfort of their homes.
Ted Curran, senior director and chief data governance officer, UPMC Insurance Services Division, says: “From a data governance perspective, we have supported the effort with ensuring policies and procedures are followed, ensuring appropriate data access is in place, and facilitating integrated analytics that supports treatment, payment, and healthcare operations. We also have worked hard to ensure dashboards maintain consistent calculations/controls to ensure managers have the data to track key performance indicators and can rely on the analytics provided.”
UPMC is continually expanding the capacity and reach of its telehealth service and the data analytics ecosystem that supports it. The health system perceives the value of telemedicine as a way to introduce many new patients to its clinical expertise: Patients’ positive experiences with Anywhere Care gives them a direct experience with the healthcare organization, facilitating strong growth and retention as the initiative expands into new regions.
Through this effort, UPMC has enjoyed tremendous success with data monetization, supporting the creation of new services and products, reaching new customers and new markets, realizing cost savings and, most important, increasing value to member-patients while ensuring access to the highest quality care.
See related article: Monetizing Data: The Key to Realizing the Value of Data Analytics