Executive MBA/MS in Healthcare Leadership Program Presents Panel on Virtual Care Trends

The Healthcare Lightning Talks presented by the Executive MBA/MS in Healthcare Leadership program invites a panel of experts to highlight trends and innovations within different aspects of the healthcare industry. In the latest event, panelists shared their perspectives on virtual care models and trends. Notably, they discussed the many changes in telemedicine since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The panel was moderated by Richard Lee, MD, MBA, associate professor of urology and population health sciences at Weill Cornell Medicine and academic director of the EMBA/MS program.

Panelists included Rahul Sharma, MD, MBA, FACEP, chair and professor of clinical emergency medicine and professor of clinical population health sciences at Weill Cornell Medicine (WCM), as well as founder and director of the WCM Center for Virtual Care; Robin Gelburd, JD, president of FAIR Health Inc., a nonprofit that manages the nation’s largest database of privately billed health insurance claims; and Jamie Meyerson, MBA, vice president of provider operations at Maven Clinic, a virtual clinic offering support across fertility, pregnancy, adoption, parenting, and pediatrics.

Dr. Rahul Sharma

A consensus across the panel was the need to make virtual care not only accessible but also of high quality. Dr. Sharma noted that the challenges associated with in-person care do not go away with virtual care. “We have seen a digital divide and language barriers with underserved populations regarding telemedicine,” he said. “We have to address those ongoing issues.” 

Training and education around telehealth is crucial in creating high-quality care across populations. “Since the initial surge in 2020, we have implemented more programs and we are happy to say that we were definitely early adopters of telemedicine and have been focusing on training and education, including our Center for Virtual Care,” Dr. Sharma said. This provides basic telemedicine training including “web-side” manner, remote patient examination skills, modality-specific decision-making, and other essentials to conduct successful virtual care.

Robin Gelburd

FAIR Health, Inc. receives over two billion healthcare claim records each year to create a picture of healthcare costs around the country. Such an overwhelming amount of data can quickly turn into noise without the proper procedures. “We strive to parse through the data and move from transparency to clarity,” Gelburd said. “In other words, our goal is to take that noise and turn it into something actionable."

While virtual care has seen huge growth over the last two years, Dr. Sharma and Meyerson highlighted the fact that a hybrid of in-person and virtual care is better than just one alone (especially in certain specialties). When Meyerson thinks about the evolution of telemedicine, she sees the industry moving towards more holistic care plans that connect to primary care providers. “We want this to be a patient-centric experience with providers who show care and empathy,” she said.

Jamie Meyerson

Regarding artificial intelligence as a powerful tool, Meyerson also sees the value of a provider-assisted approach. “That data connection point between the two providers is important,” she said. “I might not necessarily be supportive of a visit where I click through a series of questions and a computer spits out with 99.9% confidence what I am dealing with, but I would be supportive of a physician reading that and tailoring her or his decision with the support of AI data.”

The panelists also noted the importance of keeping virtual care costs in perspective, especially as in-person care becomes more available as the pandemic wanes. They will continue to monitor how social determinants of health impact virtual care needs and access, along with many other aspects playing a role in this dynamic healthcare system.

As populations continue to adapt to life during the pandemic and beyond, the healthcare industry is sure to see many more shifts in how care is delivered. Join us for future Lightning Talks events to stay updated on the latest changes and information sharing among experts.

The Cornell Executive MBA/MS in Healthcare Leadership Program is a dual-degree program created by two powerhouses in graduate education—the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management and the Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences— that focuses on building general management skills and developing a deeper understanding of the healthcare industry. Learn more about the program here.

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