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UW Health to launch telehealth services later this year, American Well to partner

The service will be available to UW Health employees; a direct-to-patient program will come later, American Well says.

Beth Jones Sanborn, Managing Editor

Photo by <a href="http://photos.uc.wisc.edu/photos/3665/view"> University of Wisconsin-Madison </a>Photo by University of Wisconsin-Madison

UW Health, the integrated academic health system associated with the University of Wisconsin-Madison, will launch a new video visit service later this year.

American Well, a well-known telehealth company, will partner with UW Health on this initiative, American Well confirmed.

The new telehealth service will provide patients the ability to access care from home or work instead of having to travel to a UW Health facility. First, the service will be available to UW Health employees. Later, a direct-to-patient program, including on-demand and scheduled video visits, will be implemented. Further details will be announced later this year, American Well said.

[Also: 20% of consumers would swap doctors for one that offered telehealth services, American Well says]

UW Health, whose anchor facility is University Hospital in Madison, is a certified Level 1 trauma center for both adult and pediatric patients and includes a burn center verified by the American College of Surgeons. The system is comprised of six hospitals and 80 outpatient sites, serving more than 600,000 patients annually. The system employs 1,400 physicians and 16,500 staff.

The growing demand for telehealth services was illustrated in an American Well's 2017 Consumer Study, the results of which showed that 20 percent of respondents would switch their primary care physician to another one in their area if they offered telehealth visits. That would amount to 50 million Americans, American Well said.

Twitter: @BethJSanborn

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