VA To Offer Telehealth Services To Veterans Through New Initiative

TOPIC ALERT:

The Department of Veterans Affairs and American Well recently announced an initiative to provide telehealth services to veterans in their homes, workplaces and other locations using American Well's platform, Healthcare IT News reports (Monegain, Healthcare IT News, 11/7).

American Well is one of 13 organizations to win an award from VA's Industry Innovation Competition. The VA Innovation Initiative, or VAi2, runs the competition (VA release, 11/4).

Details of the Initiative

Jonah Czerwinski, director of VAi2, said American Well's telehealth technology will allow veterans to consult with health care providers and multidisciplinary care teams over the Internet. He added that health care providers will use two-way videoconferencing tools, text-based messaging and phone calls to talk with patients about symptoms, provide medical advice and prescribe medications (United Press International, 11/4).

As part of the initiative, VA and American Well plan to establish three online medical practices for veterans. The online practices will be led by the:

  • Minneapolis VA Health Care System, which will set up an online behavioral health practice; and
  • Nebraska-Western Iowa Health Care System, which will establish an online oncology practice and an online perioperative practice (Healthcare IT News, 11/7).

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