The Virtual Care Insider

How SSM Health Creates Low-Cost, Operationally Efficient Virtual Care

in Zipnosis In the News

Zipnosis Team

Zipnosis Team
August 9, 2019

During an era when many health systems are exploring the best way to offer urgent care telehealth services, SSM Health has taken a low-cost, high-efficiency approach that dovetails with services offered through its Health Express Clinics at Walgreens.

The St. Louis–based non-profit health system’s virtual visit program only charges $25 per call, doesn’t file insurance, and limits service hours. One differentiating factor that boosts provider productivity: patients complete an online questionnaire that guides them through their history and symptoms before a nurse practitioner, who also works at the retail clinics, initiates the virtual visit.

Erin Powell, RN, system director for retail health at SSM Health, says this model meets multiple organizational strategies: to provide quality healthcare at an affordable price, grow patient volume, and direct consumers to the lowest cost care venue. She offers a look into five strategic and operational elements behind this approach that enhance efficiency for the health system, which operates 23 hospitals in four Midwestern states…

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