A popular ice breaker in meetings or at small events these days is, “3 Truths and 1 Lie.” Each person says three little-known true things about themselves and one lie. Everyone else tries to guess which is the lie. It is a fun way to learn a little bit about people and get some insight into how they think. Lately, there have been a lot of variations of his game floating around social media. “10 bands I’ve seen – and one lie,” is Facebook famous at the moment.
Today we bring you, “9 truths and 1 lie about telemedicine.”
9 Truths About Telemedicine
Telemedicine is convenient and cost effective for patients
When an in-person visit is replaced with a video visit, patients are relieved of the time and expense of traveling to the office. They don’t have to take time away from work or arrange for child care. They are saved the time of waiting in the office and they reduce their chance for potential exposure to illness from other patients.
Telemedicine improves practice profitability
The most valuable commodity in any medical practice is the provider’s time. Telemedicine maximizes this resource by shortening the amount of time each encounter requires. This allows for more visits to be completed each day. It also makes it possible to extend office hours and reach patients in a larger geography without any additional investment.
Telemedicine is safe and effective
While not every case is appropriate for a remote visit, studies have shown that, when used in the right situations, telehealth is as effective as in-person care.
Providers can get reimbursed for video visits
Although not every state or payer has the same approach to reimbursement, many states have telehealth parity laws that require payment on par with in-person visits. Providers can ensure that they receive reimbursement by selecting telehealth technology with built-in eligibility verification. (Even better, choose one with a reimbursement guarantee.)
Patient demand for telemedicine is increasing
Recent surveys indicate that increasingly patients see the option of video visits as a “must-have” when it comes to choosing a healthcare provider. The approach is particularly compelling for parents and young adults
Telehealth improves patient health outcomes
In addition to being safe and effective, telehealth can have a net positive impact on patient health. It makes it easier to comply with follow-up visit recommendations, stay on top of medication management, and receive help with lifestyle changes like quitting smoking or losing weight. It also enables patients to see specialists from a wider area, making sure that they get the best care for the condition at hand.
Telemedicine addresses some of the big challenges facing the US healthcare system
The population of the US is growing and aging and the number of people with chronic conditions such as heart disease, cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, and hypertension is growing rapidly. At the same time, we are facing a growing physician shortage and a weak pipeline of providers to replace the surge of retiring physicians. A new paradigm will be needed to address the healthcare needs of the population in the future. Telemedicine is one way to extend the capabilities of the practices and providers that we do have and to address the more intense healthcare needs of the elderly and chronically ill.
Video visits improve work/live balance for providers
Conducting visits via video is a great way to give providers more flexibility without reducing billings. Visits can be conducted from home or while traveling. They can be scheduled after hours or on the weekends.
Medical office staffs love telemedicine
Video visits reduce the workload on the office staff, freeing them up to do more than patient check in. Fewer people in the waiting room reduces stress for office workers and minimizes their exposure to communicable illnesses. With an integrated telemedicine solution with the EHR, duplicate data entry is eliminated and setting up a video visit is painless.
1 Lie About Telemedicine
Telemedicine is too technically complicated for practices and patients
At one point, it was true that telemedicine required specialized equipment and extensive training. That’s why it was primarily used to connect providers in one location with specialists in another. Fortunately, there have been mass amounts of innovations in the last 10 years and that is no longer the case. Easy-to-use, intuitive web-based applications are now available for practices. Many patients are already comfortable video chatting with a mobile app. Telehealth software isn’t much more difficult to use than other software that people use every day. It is true that specialized software is necessary in order to ensure patient privacy and HIPAA compliance. However, the best solutions have produced software that is both safe and simple.
I doubt that “9 Truths and 1 Lie about Telemedicine” is going to explode on Facebook, but hopefully, you’ve found some useful facts about the approach. To learn more, visit our Complete Guide to Telemedicine.