Bloomberg BusinessWeek reports Thomas Jefferson Hospital has started telehealth in response to the Affordable Care Act.
With hospitals accounting for a third of the $2.9 trillion annual U.S. healthcare bill, large academic medical centers such as Jefferson University Hospital are among the most expensive to places to receive care. Therefore, the Affordable Care Act is nudging providers to treat people in the lowest-cost settings possible.
Jefferson has invested $20 million to open two urgent-care center, including one three blocks from the existing emergency room, to treat patients with routine medical needs, and build a program that allows physicians to perform consultations using video apps so that other patients never have to leave home.
The overall goal is to invest in services to have only the most necessary patients in the ER, and others will be given consultation accordingly.
Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, out of Philadelphia, PA is an 894 bed short term acute care hospital.