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Telehealth for Gastroenterology

Provide efficient & convenient care for the patients who need it most. Whether it’s routine follow-up or addressing an urgent need, telehealth for gastroenterology allows exceptionally efficient follow-up appointments, while maintaining the face-to-face interaction of an in-office visit.

Common telemedicine services provided by gastroenterologists

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Medication management

Many digestive disease medication adjustments can be done remotely. Telemedicine allows gastroenterologists to easily monitor complex medication regimens and offer support for compliance or side-effects.

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Dietary counseling

Significant dietary restrictions require frequent patient check-ins. When done through video visits, it is easy to maintain ongoing patient counseling and responsively manage complications.

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Lab/Imaging results

When reviewing sensitive material like abnormal lab results, patients prefer a face-to-face interaction with their gastroenterologist. Secure video visits maintain personalized care without inconveniencing patients.

Common conditions treated using telemedicine

Crohn’s Disease

Complicated cases of Crohn’s disease require frequent follow-up. When combining the use of corticosteroids and immunomodulators, gastroenterologists must keep a close eye on blood counts and renal and liver function tests. Making quick med adjustments in response to side-effects or flares can easily be accomplished through video-based telemedicine.

 

Hepatitis C

The antivirals prescribed to treat Hepatitis C can have serious side effects, causing many patients to simply discontinue treatment. Scheduling monthly telemedicine check-ins make sure patients are adhering to treatment plans and managing side effects effectively.

 

Chronic pancreatitis

Most gastroenterologists treat patients suffering from Chronic pancreatitis by managing enzyme supplements, offering diet counseling and prescribing pain medications. All of these services, including the discussion of blood and stool test results, are ideal services to be rendered over video-based telemedicine.

The benefits of telemedicine for patients being treated for gastrointestinal conditions

Convenience helps drive engagement

Missed appointments, failure to adhere to treatment plans and infrequent visits all contribute to negative patient outcomes. By offering convenient telemedicine appointments, patients are more easily able to stay engaged with their treatment, while doctors can be confident continuity of care is being maintained.

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No more taking off work or hiring a baby sitter

Even if you have a modern office filled with televisions and endless magazines, parents and busy professionals are always going to prefer not having to sit in a crowded waiting room. They’ll appreciate the option to see their doctor from home or the office.

No more driving or sitting in traffic

The thought of traveling long distances or sitting in traffic often discourages patients from following up appropriately with their doctor. Because of the relative scarcity of specialists such as gastroenterologists, many patients spend a few hours driving to see their doctor. Remote appointments decrease no-shows and reduce the burden on patients who would otherwise spend an entire day going to see their doctor.

Give your patients what they deserve — remote, quality care.

FAQs about telehealth for gastroenterology

Studies show that 97% of patients who are seen remotely by their gastroenterologist feel they receive the same quality of care as an in-person visit.

Even patients who are not technically savvy find telemedicine simple. Basically, anyone with a smartphone or computer and is willing to receive remote care is qualified. The rest is up to their gastroenterologist!

Each state decides if they want to mandate reimbursement for telemedicine visits. If you’re among the 26 states that do mandate it, you’ll be reimbursed at the same level as an in-person visit. (Check our state map to see if you live in a state with a parity law.)

Because patient information is being exchanged, telemedicine software is required to be HIPAA-compliant. To find out more about purchasing telemedicine software, reference the next section, “Finding the best telemedicine software.”

The two terms are essentially the same as far as gastroenterologists and other practitioners are concerned. Certain states differentiate between the two in the legislation, but the distinctions don’t influence the regulations around practicing telemedicine or telehealth.

Finding the best telemedicine software

Here’s what to look for if you’re shopping for a telehealth solution

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Real-time audio and video

In order to be reimbursed for telehealth services, the remote interaction must contain real-time audio and video. Additionally, the video quality should reflect that of an in-person interaction and avoid frequent freezes or choppiness.

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Completely HIPAA-compliant

Because sensitive patient information is being exchanged, any telehealth software you decide to purchase must be secure and HIPAA-compliant. Skype and FaceTime, for example, are unsecure video conferencing platforms and should therefore never be used for patient appointments.

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Appointment logs

For record-keeping purposes and in the unlikely event an audit is requested, telemedicine software needs to provide a record of every interaction, including patient, payer and provider details.

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Patient eligibility checks

Even if telemedicine reimbursement is mandated by a state, certain insurance plans may still be exempt. Selecting telemedicine software that performs eligibility checks is a great way to lessen the burden on office staff.

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Integration with your EHR

The best way to ensure telemedicine software adoption will be simple for you and your staff is to find a product that integrates directly with your existing EHR.

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Compliance Support

Every state has specific regulations surrounding the practice of telemedicine. By finding a product that offers compliance support, doctors don’t have to worry about researching their state’s telehealth regulations.

See how telemedicine is transforming gastroenterology

Join the thousands of physicians on the leading edge of follow-up care.

 

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