Home » OPINION » Columns » ALAN TURNER – TeleHealth One: Cutting edge health care for Mississippi

ALAN TURNER – TeleHealth One: Cutting edge health care for Mississippi

David Powe

David Powe

Heather Mangum

Heather Mangum

Jini Erickson

Jini Erickson

Todd Barrett

Todd Barrett

Recently, I met with some of the folks who are developing TeleHealth One at the Madison County Biomedical Business Collaboratory.  As many of us know, the whole concept of providing health services via long-range digital means is an emerging and rapidly growing field in this country, and TeleHealth One intends to be a part of that success.

In the discussions were David Powe, CEO; Todd Barrett, COO; Heather Mangum, Chief Nursing Officer, and Jini “Jae” Erickson, Patient Care Coordinator.  These folks are no strangers to health care.  Dr. Powe recently retired from UMMC, where he was the Chief Administrative Officer.  In prior work, he served in senior management positions with NASA.

“TeleHealth One is the first privately owned such firm in Mississippi,” he said.  “Our goal is to deliver cutting edge, personalized care to patients in Mississippi, the nation, and for that matter, the world.”

He believes this category of health care will see “phenomenal growth” in the next decade.

“For one thing, it can help to deliver care quickly and efficiently when it is needed, and it can also help to control costs.”

For simple problems, this could, for instance, reduce the number of emergency room visits that are today performing routine care.

“You might be looking at a cost of $65, versus perhaps $2,000,” he said.  “That would obviously make a very substantial impact on the cost of routine care.”

“We can do full remote diagnostics on all vitals, and we’re available on a 24/7/365 basis,” he said.

Barrett, whose background has been primarily in the pharmaceutical industry, believes that “TeleHealth One can certainly improve the efficiency of delivering health care.”  As he sees it, the company’s services will enable a truly “personalized” experience for patients, and will be better for them than conventional care options, because “they won’t have to travel long distances and sit in a waiting room for a long period to see a health care professional.”

He said that the company expects “about 30 percent” of their patients to be Medicaid recipients, and that the company can deliver those patients “the full spectrum of health care, where they might not be getting that at present.”

“Generally speaking, it’s about delivering excellent care at reasonable cost,” he said. “So many people are reticent to go to the doctor, and wait until their problem has become advanced.

“We hope to work with them in the diagnosis and treatment of small problems before they become big problems. We know that people will do whatever is easiest, so we want to make their experience with us as easy as possible.”

Heather and Jae both agreed, and their goal in patient interaction is to make certain that strong relationships are formed with patients.

“We want to work at reducing the complexity and confusion that many people, especially older folks, tend to experience.  It’s all about immediate access, and understanding their needs,” Heather said.

“That’s true,” Jae agreed.  “We hope to encourage family members to be involved in the care and treatment of their loved ones, and that’s all too often missing in the conventional health care world.”

“Some of us still remember when a doctor would pay a visit to you in your home when you were sick,” David recalled.  “In a certain way of looking at things, we’re working to restore that experience, as you’ll be seeing your health care professional in the comfort of your own home.  And people seem much more comfortable sharing their problems and issues when they’re in a familiar setting.”

As we all know, one of the great challenges facing Mississippi and the entire country, is the rapidly escalating cost and complexity of health care.  It would certainly seem that new technologies and companies such as TeleHealth One, can play a vital role in continuing to make American health care a model for the world.

A short video on TeleHealth One can be seen on our website, MSBusiness.com, or on our YouTube channel, mbjournal.

Contact Mississippi Business Journal publisher Alan Turner at alan.turner@msbusiness.com or (601) 364-1021.


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