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Embracing Virtual Medicine and Not Looking Back

    The age of virtual care is not approaching—it's upon us, as population health management efforts appropriately reduce utilization and lower-cost provision of high-quality care. But at the same time, many provider organizations have limited or no experience with telemedicine, and are struggling to decide whether and how to invest in virtual care programs.

    Mercy Health System, a large integrated delivery network headquartered near St. Louis with hospitals from Arkansas to Oklahoma, is investing in telemedicine as a major pillar of their delivery system, along with their facilities and their physicians. Mercy has employed telemedicine from the early days, but the organization's commitment to telemedicine for the future is demonstrated by their investment of $50 million in a dedicated, 120,000-square-foot structure that will serve as their central control hub for system-wide telemedicine programs.

    In this brief, we explore Mercy's massive undertaking, from the project's governance and administration to technology models and future plans.

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