06.25.2014|Business Tech

Verizon Expands Access to Medical Care for Patients, With 'Verizon Virtual Visits'

NEW YORK -- Verizon today (June 25) announced the immediate availability of Verizon Virtual Visits, which provides an easy, convenient and cost-effective way for patients to be seen remotely by a clinician for a cold, flu, sore throat or other simple, acute condition via video on their smartphone, tablet or computer. Verizon's new solution is built to provide an enterprise-class platform for health systems, health plans and employers to meet the needs of their specific patient or member population base, helping to reduce visits to the emergency room for non-urgent care - estimated to run $4.4 billion this year alone.1 Verizon Virtual Visits also enables patients, who may not otherwise have convenient and timely access to care, see a clinician. Recent studies show that as many as 62 million Americans have difficulty accessing primary and preventative care, with 27 days as the average time for a new patient to schedule an appointment.2 According to Rich Black, vice president of Verizon's healthcare practice: "We are seeing a shift in how care is delivered in the U.S. With Verizon Virtual Visits, patients and providers alike can benefit from the use of technology to provide medical care via an enterprise-class technology solution developed with the security, performance and reliability essential to healthcare delivery. "We believe our latest mobile health offering can go a long way to enable a more efficient and effective U.S. healthcare system," said Black. In addition, with Verizon Virtual Visits health systems can benefit from reducing the burden on clinical staff by seeing patients remotely, while health plans can help satisfy members, particularly younger generations, who are increasingly demanding more convenient and less costly options for care. Verizon Virtual Visits can also benefit employers by helping to reduce the time employees take off from work to seek care for themselves and their families. How Verizon Virtual Visits Works Patients can connect online with a clinician through a secure app on their smartphone or tablet, or via a Web portal. Once logged in, patients are taken through a set of health-related questions followed by a discussion with a clinician, who evaluates the patient's condition and provides an appropriate care plan. Clinicians also can use the platform to electronically send a prescription to the pharmacy of the patient's choosing, where legally permitted. Data shared between the clinician and the patient is encrypted during the online visit, as well as afterward when the data is stored in Verizon's HIPAA-enabled Cloud.3 Clinicians are required to use two-factor authentication (user name/password plus a dynamic code sent to a mobile device) when logging in to see patients. Verizon Virtual Visits joins the company's mobile health solutions portfolio and is an illustration of its corporate strategy to deliver converged solutions that leverage the company's extensive mobility, cloud and security assets, and its technical and consumer engagement expertise to address big societal challenges. Verizon Delivers a Comprehensive Set of Healthcare Solutions Verizon's healthcare practice offers a comprehensive portfolio of managed, IT and consulting services and mobile health solutions. Our vision is to create a world in which individuals and healthcare organizations are empowered with innovative digital technologies that improve health outcomes, lower the cost of healthcare and transform access to care. Verizon is focused on improving healthcare delivery through increased patient engagement, enhanced patient-provider communication and better coordinated care delivery.
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Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, Nasdaq: VZ), headquartered in New York, is a global leader in delivering broadband and other wireless and wireline communications services to consumer, business, government and wholesale customers. Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, with more than 103 million retail connections nationwide. Verizon also provides converged communications, information and entertainment services over America's most advanced fiber-optic network, and delivers integrated business solutions to customers in more than 150 countries. A Dow 30 company with more than $120 billion in 2013 revenues, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of 176,900. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.
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Verizon Enterprise Solutions Online News Center: News releases, blog posts, media contacts and other information are available in Verizon Enterprise Solutions' online News Center at http://www.verizonenterprise.com/about/news. News from Verizon Enterprise Solutions is also available through an RSS feed at http://www.verizonenterprise.com/rss-options/.

1 National Association of Community Health Centers, March 2014 http://www.nache.com/client/PIBrief14.pdf2 Health Affairs, vol. 29, no. 9, Sept 2010, p. 1630-1632 3 Each client remains responsible for ensuring that it complies with HIPAA and all other applicable laws and regulations.

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