Opportunities in the Health Care Sector


There are things actually within that space that are not going to be affected by elective procedures because they're not an elective procedure. But I've been very careful. I've certainly cut back. It's not zero, but a lot of them have certainly gone down a great deal. And I'd also say that if you look at the projections from a month ago about how many beds we're going to need and how many people are going to die, we seem to be doing much better than that right now. There is a possibility that elective procedures might be able to come back a little earlier than we all thought a few weeks ago. This is an extremely fluid situation. I am listening to Andrew Cuomo’s comments every day and it feels to me like New York is maybe a week earlier or better. I don't exactly know how or what word to use, but things are getting better a little faster than people expected and we're hearing that in other parts of the country. So maybe elective procedures come back sooner. I will have to see where the data and the facts take us and we'll address that when we have a sense of where it goes. Teresa McRoberts : There's a couple of ways they can make money. The first one is if you are a large employer or you are a health plan you may contract with a telemedicine company. So that pre-COVID, which I know it's hard for us to remember, on one of the initial impetuses to use telemedicine was instead of you going to an emergency room on a Saturday morning because you don't feel well, if you can have a telemedicine consult in your home that keeps you at home instead of that expensive emergency room visit, it’s better. It's better for the health plan. It's better for the employer, better for you, because then you can do it in your home. If you have an a managed care plan, you may have access to telemedicine and that plan, depending on how they structure the arrangement, may pay the telemedicine company, for example, I'm just making this number up, a dollar per member per month so that you have that access. And then they may charge you a fee if Speaker Question : Telemedicine has certainly been a topic with the pandemic and the quarantine. How is it that telemedicine companies actually make a profit?

you use that or they may not. It's all about how your employer and your health plan wants to structure the benefit. The predominant way is they get enrollees because employers or insurers want to give people another option instead of that expensive visit to an emergency room. But over time it's evolved. There's some things that we found that certain demographics would prefer to do a mental health visit with the provider at eight o'clock at night when they come home from work rather than taking time out of their day. And that's become a source of revenue. Someone who's not sick per se but needs to go visit a doctor, a dermatologist because they have pink eye or something, it would be cheaper if they didn't have to leave their desk. If the doctor could take a look at their eye and say, oh yeah, you have pink, I'm going to write you a script. You've saved that person being away from their desk for an hour or two. There are also hospitals that often use the telemedicine technology to create their own. Cleveland Clinic uses someone there. They started with another vendor rather than try to make their own telemedicine and they've enhanced it to reflect them. Because you need these visits to be recorded in your medical records, there's a record of what said of what they told you, what they prescribed. So that's how they're generally paid. They're not paid for “I could just do this on Zoom or FaceTime,” they're actually not HIPAA compliant. The health plan, the employer, they need a record so they can understand there was a visit just like if you went to a doctor, there would be a record that you went to a visit. That's how they're paid. And there's a lot of excess physicians around. You may think, oh, we're short of physicians because of COVID. Actually, there are some hospitals that talk about they've emptied out their hospitals and they're waiting for their COVID patients, which may have a lot of doctors doing nothing. and so many of those doctors are happy to do telemedicine consults because it gives them a source of pay while they're waiting for either COVID patients to show up or for them to be able to go back to doing the orthopedic surgery, for example.

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