The Department of Veterans Affairs provided over 2.6 million telehealth episodes in Fiscal Year 2019, making it the largest telehealth program in the country. In addition to a 235% in video visits, there was a 17% increase in overall telehealth services over the previous fiscal year, according to new data released by the VA. During this time, more than 900,000 veterans accessed the agency’s telehealth services in a clinic or at home.
FY 2019 was the first full year of the VA’s Anywhere to Anywhere initiative, which enables care teams to treat veterans regardless of their location, including across state lines or outside a VA facility. The new program is particularly beneficial for veterans living in rural areas who would otherwise need to travel a considerable distance or across state lines to receive care.
Use of VA Video Connect, the agency’s video app, increased by 235% this year. More than 99,000 veterans used the app at home, eliminating a trip to the nearest VA facility. More than 200,000, or approximately two-thirds of the 294,000 VA Video Connect appointments this year were for tele-mental health visits.
Read more at Health Data Management: https://www.healthdatamanagement.com/news/va-reports-235-increase-in-video-telehealth-visits-in-fy19
Creating Opportunities Now for Necessary and Effective Care Technologies (CONNECT) for Health Act of 2019 has bipartisan Senate and House support and would expand telehealth services through Medicare. The bill “aims to improve health outcomes, make it easier for patients to connect with their doctors, and help cut costs for patients and providers” according to a statement released yesterday by the bill’s sponsor Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i)
“Telehealth is the future of health care. The technology is advancing, more providers and patients are relying on it, and we have broad bipartisan support,” said Senator Schatz. “This bill will help ensure that every American gets the care they need no matter where they live.”
The CONNECT for Health Act of 2019 builds on the progress made in recent years to increase the use of telehealth through Medicare. Specifically, the legislation would:
- Provide the Secretary of Health and Human Services with the authority to waive telehealth restrictions when necessary;
- Remove geographic and originating site restrictions for services like mental health and emergency medical care;
- Allow rural health clinics and other community-based health care centers to provide telehealth services; and
- Require a study to explore more ways to expand telehealth services so that more people can access health care services in their own homes.
One of the benefits of Clocktree telehealth is that it’s portable! Providers and Clients can connect for a video appointment from just about anywhere using a mobile device. You can use Clocktree on both Android and iOS devices, but this blog post is specifically for iPhone and iPad users.
Use Safari Browser
There is no special software or app to download. Simply log into your Clocktree account via Safari browser, just like you would on a computer.
Add the Clocktree icon to your home screen
For quick access to your Clocktree account, you can add a Clocktree icon to your home screen. Here are steps to do this:
- Visit Clocktree.com using Safari
- Click the “Share” icon at the bottom of your browser (see below left)
- Click the “Add to Home Screen” icon (see below right)
- Click “Add”
No 3-party video calls
One limitation when using an iPhone or iPad for Clocktree telehealth sessions is that it doesn’t accomodate video calls with more than 2 people. For family or group sessions, it’s best to use a computer if you need to see all parties. But for standard sessions between two people, it’s a great alternative.
Use WiFi when possible
It’s important to get the strongest internet signal possible for a high quality Clocktree video call. Typically this means connecting your iPhone/iPad via WiFi instead of the 4G or LTE data signal.
Clocktree telehealth is web based and should work on any modern computer or mobile device with a camera. Access Clocktree via browser, no matter what device you are using. Preferred browsers are:
- PC (Windows): Google Chrome
- Android tablet or phone: Google Chrome
- Mac (Desktop or laptop): Google Chrome or Safari
- iPhone or iPad: Safari
In many cases, Clocktree will work on other browsers such as Edge or Firefox, however we recommend Chrome or Safari for the most reliable video and audio connection.
It’s also important that both ends of the video call have sufficient internet speed. You can test your internet speed at www.speedtest.net This gives you three speed metrics for ping, download and upload. The upload speed is the most crucial for video conferencing and it should be above 5 Mbps for a good connection.
Some tips for maximizing your internet speed are:
- Connect your computer to the router via ethernet cable, as opposed to WiFi, if possible.
- If using WiFi, position yourself as close as possible to your router.
- Avoid streaming content from the internet on other devices connected to your network – you share bandwidth so let your Clocktree connection use all of it!
- Restart your computer right before your Clocktree session and don’t open other software or apps that might use internet or processing power in the background.
And finally, make sure your camera and microphone are functional and check your lighting and background prior to a video call. To do this, log in to your Clocktree account and select Test Audio/Video.
As always, contact our Customer Care team at 302-990-8935 or email@example.com if you need any help!