Dr. Terry Knapp
Primary care, urgent care, and specialist providers are increasingly being challenged to demonstrate the value of their care for reimbursement purposes, rather than being reimbursed solely for the volume of the care delivered. This implies that providers can systematically drive better patient outcomes and document actual clinical improvement, and maintenance of that improvement over time, on a case-by-case basis. With the care of chronic conditions, this can be a daunting task, unless an integrated cycle of care can be imposed. CareSpan’s Integrated Digital Care platform (a/k/a the “CareSpan® Clinic”) blends remote patient monitoring (RPM) with analytics, early recognition of patient decline, and immediate intervention with virtual care, to stabilize, maintain and improve the clinical course of the patient—generating quantifiable outcome improvement.
CareSpan was established with an ambitious vision: to create a digital healthcare delivery platform that could enable the delivery of outpatient medical care to any person on earth having connectivity to the Internet. The founder, Dr. Terry Knapp, a Stanford-trained reconstructive surgeon, had worked around the world in developing countries for decades. In 2011, he assembled a start-up team and began the R&D effort of building a comprehensive digital health company for the delivery of primary care and multi-specialty care virtually. The Company was incorporated in 2012.
One can say that patients have been subject to fragmented care for generations due to the silo-ization of healthcare information, difficulty in orchestrating care team collaboration, lack of timely access-to-care, and lack of care-provider recognition of the impacts of social determinants of health. CareSpan solves that by creating a digital ecosystem of integrated technologies, along with services that are enabled by those technologies, that enable, include, and foster patients’ participation in their own healthcare. On the flip side, payers continually experience avoidable losses due to clinical crises that generate emergency department over-utilization and unnecessary hospitalizations, especially among the chronically ill. The CareSpan Clinic platform and integrated digital care model are specifically designed to generate better outcomes and systematic reduction in cost-of-care, particularly among the 20+% of the population with a chronic illness that generates 86% of U.S. healthcare spend.
Customer benefit examples associated withCareSpan’s RPM and COVID-19 Screening and Response, and other such programs, which are integrated into the CareSpan Clinic, illustrate the power of integrated digital care. For example, an RPM parameter alert triggers a triage response by CareSpan’s Care Continuity Services monitoring personnel that may then trigger, when appropriate, an immediate virtual encounter intervention by the prescribing provider. Such a timely response can stabilize a clinical condition, avert a pending crisis situation, and avoid an ER visit or a hospitalization. All stakeholders benefit. CareSpan’s RPM Program is a plug-in application that integrates seamlessly with the care delivery aspects of the CareSpan Clinic. Clinicians prescribe CareSpan RPM according to federal (CMS) regulations and CareSpan’s RPM, Care Continuity Services for monitoring and the CareSpan Clinic itself create the complete RPM-response-and-intervention cycle necessary to avoid crises and optimize outcomes. Coupled with clinical decision support tools, it becomes possible for clinicians to also utilize CareSpan RPM to assist in reversing the effects of certain chronic diseases and document those outcomes.
Another example is screening and response for the novel coronavirus. Screening of concerned patients at home by a nurse using the CareSpan Clinic’s automated COVID-19 screening-and-analysis tool quickly places any patient in either LOW or HIGH-risk category. HIGH-risk patients are referred for testing. Any symptomatic person, whether testing positive or negative for the virus, can be cared for at home via the CareSpan Clinic unless hospitalization is indicated. Post-discharge care may also be rendered at home via the CareSpan Clinic.
From the beginning, CareSpan’s integrated digital care platform-the CareSpan Clinic— was to be entirely cloud-based for scalability, affordability, and ease of upgrades and maintenance. After two years of assembling and testing various components with a team of software developers, the Company determined that, based on requirements, it would be best to build the CareSpan platform internally, starting with the all-important database architecture. CareSpan is focused on building a cloud-based, integrated digital care platform that is scalable worldwide and enables medical providers to manage and optimize medical care outcomes. CareSpan’s clinic-in-the-cloud, the CareSpan Clinic, enables both patients and clinicians to engage in clinical encounters, regardless of the distance between them, from any modern computing device (desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone) with an HTML-5-compliant browser (e.g., Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge) regardless of operating system and without any installed software. The only requirement is an Internet connection, including 4G/5G, WiFi, etc., with moderate bandwidth (minimum 500Kbps up/down).
Under the leadership of CEO, Rembert de Villa, CareSpan’s initiatives in the U.S. center on expanding its affiliated provider networks—American Advanced Practice Network, PC, consisting of nurse practitioners, and CareSpan MedPsych Network, PA, consisting mainly of behavioral/mental health clinicians. Internationally, CareSpan has partnered with ICME Healthcare, a Europe-based multinational healthcare management consulting company and a major investor in CareSpan, to bring CareSpan Clinic-supported integrated digital care services to the E.U., Middle East, and Africa. In Asia-Pacific, CareSpan is partnering with Argosy Partners to deliver the platform in the region.
CareSpan is continually seeking to add to the array of sensors, devices, applications, evaluations, and specialty-specific digital support technologies to integrate into its ever-developing CareSpan Clinic infrastructure—a process that has no end as newer “best of breed” modalities are developed worldwide.
Dr. Terry Knapp