The telehealth revolution is still in its nascent stages

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A fresh round of funding for Cityblock

Investors must think Cityblock Health’s math works out. After raising $192 million four months ago, the startup, which uses technology to deliver primary care to people covered by Medicaid, has tacked on another $400 million in funding, sources told Erin. That brings the valuation of the company to $5.7 billion. Cityblock’s model is inherently risky: Typically, it gets paid a lump sum to cover patients for a year, and uses a team of health care providers, social workers, and more to try and keep patients healthy and out of the hospital — splitting the savings with insurers if it succeeds, and taking a hit if it fails. Read more in Erin’s story.


The (still nascent) telehealth revolution

Commercial telehealth companies are still reporting large year-over-year increases in virtual appointments. But most U.S. hospitals say telehealth visits now account for less than 20% of their visits, according to a new survey by the Center for Connected Medicine. The organization not only found a sharp dropoff in telehealth use since the early days of the pandemic, but also that few hospitals are measuring how virtual care is affecting patient outcomes. Only 28% of the 96 survey respondents said they are measuring outcomes to assess the impact of telehealth. Far more hospitals were tracking non-clinical metrics, such as “visit volumes” and “patient satisfaction.” The findings seem to suggest that the growth in telehealth use, while significant, is still tinkering at the margins.


Is more information always beneficial?

The federal ban on information blocking seems universally positive on its face: It allows patients to get unfettered access to their medical records and supports seamless coordination between providers. But a new viewpoint published in JAMA Oncology offers a more nuanced picture of the potential impacts. In examining the parallel Open Notes project, in which providers voluntarily shared detailed notes and records with patients, the authors from Johns Hopkins and Northwestern point out that the increased information sharing can also lead to patient confusion, anxiety, and more frequent calls to providers. The point is not that information should be blocked, but that organizations must carefully consider the consequences of unleashing it.

A case for Covid-19 acceleration data

As Covid-19 case counts ebb and flow, it can be hard to turn those raw numbers into a sense of how fast outbreaks are changing. So STAT’s Emory Parker came up with a new metric — case acceleration — to help understand the rate of change in Covid-19 outbreaks. On this page, you can now check daily on weekly case acceleration in U.S. states and territories, helping to contextualize each wave’s intensity and duration.

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Source: STAT