John Shufeldt, MD is CEO of MeMD, a Scottsdale, AZ-based telemedicine company that serves patients in all 50 states via a board-certified network of 304 providers. With a background in urgent and emergency care, Shufeldt founded the company to offer patients timely and affordable access to quality healthcare for minor ailments.
How do you see telemedicine fitting into the greater ecosystem of urgent and primary care?
Primary care practices can benefit in the same ways urgent care practices can. Telemedicine offers both the chance to widen their reach (to patients) and their available hours (potentially up to 24/7 coverage). It can also be more cost efficient, especially in the modern age of ever increasing healthcare insurance deductibles. Finally, telemedicine allows a practice to fully embrace the latest, widely available technology in the delivery of patient care including computers, the Internet, and mobile devices (both smartphones and tablets).
In addition, a primary care provider can offer a more cost-effective solution for chronic-disease monitoring and care by utilizing telemedicine. When three out of every four US healthcare dollars are spent on the care and management of chronic disease (e.g., diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, lung disease, stroke, etc.), the opportunity to bend the cost curve with telemedicine in these settings (e.g., avoiding unnecessary hospitalizations), is enormous.
How do you hope to differentiate the company from larger players such as Teladoc and American Well?
MeMD’s differentiators include efficient customer service delivered through care coordination; comprehensive policies and procedures and evidence-based pathways for improved patient outcomes; claims processing and group level reporting; and the ability to maximize patient access through single sign-on technology.
How did the Indiegogo campaign go to help the company develop a mental health platform?
While Indiegogo is a great platform for launching a number of tech products and goods, it didn’t seem to lend itself to a more conceptual service offering. Despite this, we are moving ahead with the development of our own behavioral health platform.
Why did MeMD want to get involved with the Indiana Health pilot program? What are the program’s goals, and how will the outcome affect MeMD’s future?
This telemedicine pilot allows MeMD to participate in providing high-quality, cost-effective, and well-liked patient care (i.e. patient satisfaction) in the state of Indiana without the need for a prior, live patient evaluation. Many states already allow this practice and it has been proven to be very successful. Being on the cutting edge of this practice in Indiana will allow MeMD to participate in the positive changing of Indiana’s healthcare future, while giving us a head-start building a reputation for high-quality and affordable care in the state.
How do you see the company evolving within the next five years?
We will continue to evolve by adding services and expertise to our suite of offerings in direct response to consumer demands. To that end, we plan on partnering with other forward-leaning providers so that, together, we can change the care-on-demand landscape both nationally and internationally.