The developer of a leading telemedicine platform and a health care staffing agency have teamed up in a pilot program to provide clinical and emergency tele-urology services across the United States.
The partnership between PercuVision LLC, developer of the DirectVision DVS-III Telehealth Hub, and staffing agency LocumTenens.com, is expected to improve access to care by extending urology services to urban and rural areas where there are few or no urologists, the companies said in a joint statement.
According to the AUA’s 2018 State of the Urology Workforce and Practice in the United States, the shortage of urology specialists is particularly acute compared with other specialties, with 62% of U.S. counties having no practicing urologists. PercuVision and LocumTenens.com said the partnership addresses this pressing need by expanding the geographic practice areas of urologists, allowing health care facilities to offer a range of urologic services via telehealth.
Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, and Wyoming are targeted for the pilot study because of the size of their populations located many miles from full-service medical centers. The states also provide telehealth parity for reimbursement through their Medicaid programs or reimbursement at the same rates as in-clinic care. In addition, the states allow out-of-state physicians who have applied for telemedicine permits to practice in their states, according to the companies.
The DirectVision products were created to improve patient outcomes by advancing the standard of care through the application of vision technology, according to Errol Singh, MD, a practicing urologist who is PercuVision’s founder.
“Vision should be the first resort, especially for patients at risk for difficult urinary catheterizations, not the last,” Dr. Singh said. “With the PercuVision Telehealth Hub and the clinicians staffed by LocumTenens.com, who have a wealth of telehealth expertise, urology services will be available to many more patients in greatly expanded service areas.”
LocumTenens.com, whose clinicians help deliver care to more than seven million patients nationwide, has a dedicated telehealth division that creates custom-built workflows and optimizes providers’ tele-urology requirements. Non-urologic providers guided by LocumTenens.com urologists using the PercuVision DirectVision Telehealth Hub can manage urology patients with image-guided instruments for a number of urologic examinations and services, including video interventions and catheter placement.
“Access to specialized medical care, particularly within certain regions of the U.S., continues to be a critical issue,” said Chris Franklin, president of LocumTenens.com. “The partnership between PercuVision and LocumTenens.com brings together innovative medical technology, telehealth, and specialized staffing solutions in a way that can truly impact people’s lives.”