U.K. Should Learn From VA's Experiences With Telehealth, Report Says


The United Kingdom's National Health Service would benefit from emulating telehealth services developed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs' Veterans Health Administration, according to a recent report by not-for-profit group 2020health, Modern Healthcare reports.

About VA's Telehealth System

According to the report, 50,000 VA patients use telehealth services, making VA "the world's No. 1 provider of telehealth at scale."

2020health predicts further growth in the telehealth industry, stating that VA's deployment of telehealth services "represents a vital element in the shift toward more home-based care, reducing the imbalance between hospital and primary care spending and making better use of scarce clinical resources."

Implications for NHS

The report states that "as a fully integrated, national health care system that is both funded and operated by the federal government, the (VA) has many parallels with the NHS."

NHS currently spends about 70% of its budget on 15 million patients with chronic medical conditions. According to the report, such patients could benefit from care administered through a telehealth system.

The report's authors recommend that NHS establish a telehealth system that builds on VA's experiences and serves as a "centralized care-coordination service on a local/regional basis" (Conn, Modern Healthcare, 1/19).

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