There is room for a new company on the Airbnb model with a reduced take of 10-15%, leaving more money in the doctor’s pocket with reasonable compensation. It is time for physicians to quit being slaves to a system that focuses on patient metrics and data entry.
Telehealth will eventually surpass office visits with new devices like “med wand” that add real time vital signs with a stethoscope and otoscope with a virtual physical exam. There will always be a need for office visits, and in-person care as well as for face-to-face patients visits and education—but get prepared for a new frontier where physicians and practices can break the tether to large health systems or geography.
Perhaps national organizations in primary care could form a non-profit telehealth support for individual providers and offer scheduling and an electronic record and liability coverage to expand access to care at a reasonable cost.
So I take heart that telehealth will bring power back to patients and physicians and help us cut out the “middle men” who currently control healthcare.
Marcus Higi, MD
Albuquerque, New Mexico