Virtual Care. Telehealth. Telemedicine. Whatever you call it, there are very real benefits to patients and health systems when you do Virtual Care right. But there are many obstacles too. On this episode, we talk with Courtney Stevens, Director of Virtual Care at Henry Ford Health System and Brian Young, Director of Healthcare Solutions Marketing at Vidyo about how to develop a Virtual Care strategy, gain buy-in from clinicians and patients, deliver service and measure success along the way. They provide a comprehensive overview of the process from start to finish with actionable advice about what to do at each step of the journey.

Highlights from “How to Launch and Grow a Virtual Care Service”

1:36 Henry Ford Health System is celebrating 100 years of helping patients!

3:00 Vidyo specializes in digital enablement. They manage a portfolio of capabilities that allow doctors to deliver care digitally.

4:15 Is it Telehealth or Telemedicine? Neither. It’s Virtual Care.

9:58 What does virtual care mean at Henry Ford Health System and how has it impacted care?

14:45 Internal messaging is huge for getting staff through training and the inevitable hurdles.

16:08 Be the Myth Buster. Pay attention because the myths keep changing at each phase of the adoption curve even within the organization.

18:53 Valid concerns were raised that helped us improve our final product. Plan, do, check, ask cycles of learning are in our DNA!

20:40  Barriers to adoption are all about shifting mindset. “Personalized healthcare without borders.” You need someone who can lead the charge.

27:15 Admin vs Clinician concerns. Battling the misconception of cost. Pay close attention to the impact on staff workflow. Everyone needs to get involved and get trained.

29:55 Store and Forward Messaging Visits are kind of like an email. Patients can initiate care from home by entering information into a questionnaire. The provider will review it and gets back to you.

32:25 What’s the use case for video? It starts with remote specialist access from hospital to rural communities. Stroke care is huge.

34:14 You need a regulatory strategy. How is reimbursement? Telehealth in Michigan has a parody of coverage law but no parody of pay so payors can reimburse visits at a different rate. So far, 38 other states have telehealth parody laws. We get into the details here.

38:52 The difference in reimbursement between in-person and telehealth is that you only get paid for the professional portion of the code, not the facility portion of the code. The clinic to clinic model is more widely accepted across government and commercial payers.

42:00 In 2020, all ACOs will be able to include ‘home’ as the originating site. Employers see it as a way to keep costs down.

43:20 There are so many great use cases where reimbursement doesn’t even matter. Organizations that are skeptical of the reimbursement models should investigate ways to improve access, post-ops, care plan adherence, reducing no-shows, and more. Don’t let reimbursement be your only factor.

44.37 Vidyo’s tech. What are you doing for Henry Ford Health? How do you integrate? What does the patient see?

50:00 What is the feedback from patients?

52:46 How do you measure ROI? I think this is the most metrics we’ve ever had listed by a guest on this show. Get ready to write this down.

Listen to the interview:

Listen on Google Play Music

Or, listen right here:

About Courtney Stevens, MsEM

Director, Virtual Care at the Henry Ford Health System

Courtney Stevens has been with the HFHS for over 10 years. She started at HFHS in Process Improvement as a management engineer, where she has applied her industrial engineering and project management skills to various projects to aid in health system integration and alignment. She transitioned to Customer Engagement where she helped to improve the customer experience through project management, data/root cause analysis, training, and process improvement initiatives. Courtney was integral in the development and deployment of various system-wide (over 24,000 team members) trainings, as well as a standard system approach to leadership rounding. As of 2016 Courtney accepted a leadership role in Virtual Care developing the strategy and standards for telehealth expansion throughout Henry Ford Health System’s continuum of care. These applications, including remote monitoring, E-Visits, Clinic to Clinic telemedicine appointments/consults, MyChart Post Op Follow-Ups, and MyChart Mobile Video Visits, produced over 100 virtual visits/consults in 2015, over 3200 visits/consults in 2016, and over 4700 visits/consults in 2017, saving patients almost 67,000 miles or 86 days of travel and providers over 11,000 miles or over 50 clinic days of travel.

Courtney has a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering from Western Michigan University and Masters of Science in Engineering Management from Wayne State University. She also has 4 years of experience as a Senior Product Engineer at TRW Automotive Occupant Safety Systems in their driver side airbag and steering wheel division.


About Brian Young

Brian Young currently works for Vidyo, Inc. as the Director of Healthcare Solutions Marketing. Brian is responsible for driving Vidyo’s go-to-market strategy within the healthcare marketplace. As an expert in product strategy and strategic marketing Brian has spent the last 20 years helping healthcare providers, payers and patients use innovative technologies to become more interconnected, and to tell their stories. Brian currently resides in Chattanooga, TN with his wife and three children.

About Henry Ford Health System

Henry Ford Health System is a Michigan not-for-profit corporation governed by a 17-member Board of Trustees. Our advisory and affiliate boards comprising more than 100 Trustee volunteer leaders provide vital links to the communities we serve. Wright Lassiter III is the president and chief executive officer.

As one of the nation’s leading comprehensive, integrated health systems, we provide health insurance and health care delivery, including acute, specialty, primary and preventive care services backed by excellence in research and education. Founded in 1915 by auto pioneer Henry Ford, we are committed to improving the health and well-being of a diverse community.

About Vidyo

Our vision is to connect the world by video-enabling any application or idea. Vidyo delivers the highest quality cloud video conferencing service, on-premises solutions and platform-as-a-service for market leaders and innovative upstarts. Vidyo is used by nearly 400 health systems representing over 4500 hospitals.

Vidyo web site

Vidyo Healthcare

2nd Annual Vidyo Healthcare Summit, December 3-5, 2018, Scottsdale, AZ

Making Telehealth Work for You, The Ultimate Guide whitepaper

2018 Trends in Telemedicine – Complimentary eBook

Vidyo APIs allow you to rapidly embed real-time group video chat into your app

Related and/or Mentioned on the Show

PDF of the CMS telehealth fact sheet

American Telemedicine Association –

National Telehealth Resource Center –

Center for Connected Health Policy –

Podcast: HIMSS18: Nathaniel Lacktman | Asynchronous Telemedicine | Foley & Lardner LLP

Subscribe to Weekly Updates

If you like what we’re doing here, then please consider signing up for our weekly newsletter.

You’ll get one email from me each week detailing:

  • New podcast episodes and blog posts.
  • Content or ideas that I’ve found valuable in the past week.
  • Insider info about the show like stats, upcoming episodes and future plans that I won’t put anywhere else.

Plain text and straight from the heart 🙂 No SPAM or fancy graphics and you can unsubscribe with a single click anytime.

The #HCBiz Show! is produced by Glide Health IT, LLC in partnership with Netspective Media.

Music by StudioEtar