We talk to people who are thinking about adding telemedicine services to their practice all of the time. As you can imagine, people have a lot of questions. Many are about the nature of telemedicine itself. (We’ve answered a bunch of those here.) Some are about the product. And some are about us and how we work with our clients. We think that people are wise to look into more than just the features of any telehealth company they consider.
If you are ready to increase practice revenues and make better use of your time by offering video visits, we suggest you follow the lead of some of our smartest clients and ask these important questions.
1. Can the solution be integrated with my EHR?
The point of adding telemedicine to your practice is not to throw out all of your existing technology, or to waste your team’s time with double data entry. Therefore, look for a telehealth provider with a product that integrates with your existing technology. Information will flow between the systems for seamless scheduling.
2. Does the solution meet all HIPAA requirements and will you sign a Business Associate Agreement?
There are lots of video conferencing tools on the market. Very few meet HIPAA’s high standard for patient confidentiality. Any telehealth company you consider should happily enter into a Business Associate Agreement, accepting responsibility to handle your data with the same care you exercise.
3. How is reimbursement eligibility handled?
One of the most important things your telemedicine solution will do is verify eligibility for reimbursement. From a software standpoint, that’s pretty straightforward. But development of the rules that govern verification is incredibly complex. Laws and payer policies change all the time. Consequently, you want to find a telehealth provider with a team of experts who continually work to keep verification accurate.
4. What happens if the insurer doesn’t pay a verified claim?
There is one right answer here. If the vendor verifies a claim and the insurer doesn’t pay, the vendor should resolve it with the payer or pay you themselves. Full stop. So don’t settle for anything less than a reimbursement guarantee.
5. Does the solution include patient self-scheduling?
This is one feature that people often don’t realize is available. Enabling patients to schedule appointments directly on your website is ideal for a few reasons. It is obviously convenient for patients. But it also keeps them coming to your website where you can provide useful health information and make patients aware of additional services that you provide.
Asking these questions up front will help you know that you’ve chosen the best telehealth company for your practice.