Neil A. Solomon, Co-Founder & CMO, MedZed
How does a healthcare company ensure consistent and affordable care to patients with complicated medical needs, especially those who have difficulty getting to the doctor? “We use technology to bring the care to the patient’s home,” answers Neil A. Solomon, MD, Co-Founder and CMO of MedZed.
In an era of too few primary care doctors there is an even larger undersupply of doctors who get in the car to make house calls to the neediest patients. The rapidly dwindling number of doctors undertaking house calls is a cause for alarm for patients who are unable to travel to a doctor’s office. The skyrocketing health care costs incurred by these patients heighten the urgency. How healthcare companies overcome one of the most pressing challenges in the industry today: ensuring consistent and affordable healthcare to patients with complicated medical and social needs.
Determined to be the catalyst of change and make a difference in the healthcare industry, Dr. Solomon, along with his childhood friend Scott Schnell, laid the cornerstone of MedZed—a telehealth company focused on delivering quality care to patients with complex medical and social needs in the convenience and comfort of their own homes. With the mission to improve patient lives and reduce hospital admissions and emergency department visits, MedZed brings about better patient outcomes and promotes cost-efficiency by assisting clinicians with innovative approaches and best practices.
MedZed is a trailblazer in telemedicine. Solomon explains, “Our innovative physician house call model— combining medical care with the services to address social determinants in our proprietary telemedicine and technology platform—makes us unique in the arena of connected health.” The company’s 21st-century house call program, “HouseCall 2.0,” features a team comprised of physicians, nurse practitioners, mobile field nurses, patient outreach specialists, care coordinators, palliative care providers, and soon will include behavioral health clinicians.
Doctors and care providers are connected to patients through MedZed’s Tapestry Telemedicine and Information Technology platform. Tapestry, MedZed’s simple and scalable integrated telemedicine, logistics, and scheduling system, tracks patient engagement details to improve patient experience. While the doctors remain stationary and are remotely available, a nurse visits patients to operate medical equipment and assist the doctors in conducting a physical exam. Following this, the nurses aid in organizing a follow-up schedule for the patient. While MedZed’s software proffers an end-to-end telemedicine delivery solution, its telemedicine peripherals and equipment can be transported in a portable backpack. “Our distinctive treatment model linking the doctor to the nurse and patient through technology allows easy interaction between the patient and doctor while enabling the latter to have a full-day schedule,” explains Scott Schnell, Co-Founder & CEO, MedZed.
Insurance companies and large risk-bearing delivery systems benefit heavily from MedZed. Multiple analyses demonstrate that roughly five percent of people drive over half of healthcare costs. “By optimizing the experience of these high-need high-cost patients, we help improve the quality of their care, increase quality scores of medical insurance providers, and simultaneously reduce healthcare costs,” he explains.
In one instance, MedZed was asked to care for a bed-ridden patient suffering from muscular dystrophy. His homebound debilitated situation had compromised his health and care. The man had bedsores because he needed help with frequent repositioning, he had diabetes and other conditions out of control because he had run out of medication, and he was depressed from social isolation. The company treated the patient’s medical conditions; made sure he had a caregiver to assist with turning him and getting him out of bed; arranged for medication delivery; and helped with social interactions. These interventions bolstered his health and improved his spirits. His need for ER trips and admissions dropped dramatically.
Through its evolving contracting model, MedZed is now bearing a major share of the financial risks to its patients, which requires it to be highly attuned to recognizing and reacting to future risks. “We began with chronic care services and have added palliative care and behavioral health services to our offerings to help our patient population. MedZed plans to enter new markets and to continue to offer a broader service range.