Modernizing Medicare: CMS Proposes Reforms Promoting Digital Health

The potential for telehealth and other digital health services to improve patient engagement and relieve some of the major challenges facing health care is abundant. Yet, despite the data proving how digital health effectively supports patients, the health care industry as a whole has been slow to catch up and put these technologies into practice. A variety of reasons factor in, such as reimbursement challenges, liability concerns, and health care organizations not yet being able to offer the technologies as an option. However, proposed updates to the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule and Quality Payment Program for 2019 announced by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on July 12 (2018), signal that change could be coming. With the goal … Continue reading Modernizing Medicare: CMS Proposes Reforms Promoting Digital Health

The Growth of Telehealth to Better Address Complex Disease Care

Stakeholders understand that health care delivery in the U.S. continues to be fragmented, expensive, hard to access, and not driven by the patient experience. Fueled by a need to tame costs, provide better care to patients in remote areas, meet the needs of a growing aging population, support the surging number of patients with chronic conditions, while addressing the shortage of clinicians, telehealth is increasingly being seen as a promising solution for the shortcomings of health care delivery. And interest is growing. According to Endocrine Today, in 2016, the telehealth budget for the Department of Veterans Affairs was $1.2 billion, and in 2017, Kaiser Permanente health system had more telehealth visits than in-person visit. A 2017 survey from the American … Continue reading The Growth of Telehealth to Better Address Complex Disease Care

Leveraging Connectivity for Long-Term Weight Loss

Weight issues are endemic nationwide. In 2014, 71 percent of American adults were overweight, with 35 percent of men and 40 percent of women diagnosed with obesity. About one in three children and teens are overweight or obese in the U.S. On a global scale, obesity has nearly tripled since 1975. As of 2016, more than 1.9 billion adults, were overweight. Of these, over 650 million were obese. Being overweight or obese is often a catalyst for other serious health issues, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and some cancers in adults, and high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease in children. The financial burden of obesity is exorbitant on the U.S. health care system with costs … Continue reading Leveraging Connectivity for Long-Term Weight Loss

Overcoming One of Health Care’s Greatest Hurdles: Patient Nonadherence

Maintaining adherence is key to improving the health of patients living with chronic or serious disease. For some, it’s a matter of life and death. Yet, as we know, the data of how many patients actually take their medications as prescribed paints a bleak picture. According to the CDC, of the 3.8 billion prescriptions written each year in the U.S., one in five are never filled. Among the prescriptions that are filled, approximately half are taken incorrectly, while some long-term therapies for chronic disease are abandoned completely by the patient. Nonadherence is harmful to patients, accounting for 33 to 69% of all hospital admissions, and very expensive. The CDC estimates that health care costs related to poor adherence have grown … Continue reading Overcoming One of Health Care’s Greatest Hurdles: Patient Nonadherence

Meeting Complex Health Needs Across Patient Populations

Managing complex and chronic disease is complicated, and for some patients, there are numerous factors which can make the task especially difficult and therefore, seemingly impossible. The health care industry has relied for far too long on the episodic approach to care, i.e. a patient walks into a provider’s office, receives a diagnosis of chronic disease, is given medication and instructions, and is then assumed to have the tools they need to manage their new disease (and its impact on their life) successfully for at least the next three months when they see their provider again (again, assuming they will see this same provider in the advised time frame). Episodic care is an unrealistic and ineffective approach for educating patients … Continue reading Meeting Complex Health Needs Across Patient Populations

The Promise of Workplace Wellness Programs

Employee wellness programs have greatly evolved with our understanding of what constitutes total wellness for an individual. To be in “good health” no longer assumes only physical health, but the holistic portrait of an individual, including mental and behavioral health. Coinciding with this newer, more inclusive understanding of individual health, is a surge in companies adopting wellness programs for their employees. The industry grew from $1B in 2011 to $6.8B only five years later, and in 2017 almost a quarter of employers increased their wellness offerings, wrote the Los Angeles Times. Many of these programs are shifting their scope to better support employee across the wider spectrum of health, whether that’s support for a person at risk for diabetes or … Continue reading The Promise of Workplace Wellness Programs

Advancing Solutions for Kidney Disease

Every day we see the potential technology provides to create better pathways of care—for the people delivering care and the patients they treat who are managing their own chronic disease(s). Rock Health reported that since 2011, $23B has been invested in thousands of digital health companies. Yet, historically, innovative solutions for kidney disease have been static at best and from a funding perspective, largely very quiet. However, a slew of innovation and new initiatives created to encourage advancements in kidney disease management are aiming to change this cycle of inactivity, offering the potential of new solutions for patients where currently there are very few. Bringing dialysis into the 21st Century For people with kidney failure and end stage renal disease … Continue reading Advancing Solutions for Kidney Disease

New Solutions for Managing Epilepsy Show Promise

Epilepsy is a chronic neurological condition that affects 3.4 million people in the U.S. and 65 million worldwide. Despite the number of people with the disorder, “one-third live with uncontrollable seizures because no available treatment works for them.” Stigma, which has surrounded those living with epilepsy for years, also presents significant barriers to treatment. Adults and children are often unfairly ostracized socially or judged due to a public who is largely misinformed about the condition. According to the Epilepsy Foundation, “Public perception and treatment of people with epilepsy are often bigger problems than actual seizures.” And the CDC notes that “Public misunderstanding and stigma can limit life opportunities for people with epilepsy.” Epilepsy can be difficult to manage, especially without … Continue reading New Solutions for Managing Epilepsy Show Promise

We’re on a Mission

At Welkin, we take pride in describing ourselves as “mission-driven.” We were founded in 2013 to 1) build software and 2) create a solution which helps solve a social problem. That solution has evolved into patient relationship management software and services, which empower health professionals with the tools they need to reach patients efficiently and effectively. We are passionate about patient care, and appreciate every opportunity to create outstanding programs with our customers so they can do the important work of helping patients live healthier, happier lives. A couple months ago, we began exploring how to best convey this. We determined that it should start with our mission statement. Our current mission statement was: Welkin believes that human connection paired … Continue reading We’re on a Mission

Supporting New Mothers Managing Addiction

The scope of the opioid addiction crisis in the U.S. has forced our health care industry to take a much closer look at how we manage the disease of addiction. In 2016, drug overdoses killed roughly 64,000 people in the U.S. with overdose deaths from fentanyl increasing 88% every year between 2013 and 2016. The reach of the opioid epidemic has been far and wide, and undiscriminating. With such large communities being impacted, digital health has shown great promise as a tool to effectively manage the disease of addiction, especially for at-risk populations with unique needs. A lack of support for those most at-risk A story in the Boston Globe reported that in Massachusetts, “nearly four in 10 deaths among women … Continue reading Supporting New Mothers Managing Addiction