Many companies have started to invest their time, money, and human resources into the emerging telehealth market. They can see patient demand raising and are looking to be ahead of the curve. According to Zion Market Research, an estimated $38 billion will have been invested by the year 2022 by companies such as Google, IBM, Samsung, and many more. This means there will be plenty of money to go around for there to be an abundance of telehealth solutions for practices and patients. So, why does patient and provider usage remain surprisingly low?
Why the Reluctance?
All things are leading to explosive growth in the telehealth market but physicians seem reluctant to implement virtual care into their practices. Currently, practices are losing patients at a rapid rate to on-demand telemedicine services and urgent care clinics. If there is a simple tool that could aid in decreasing patient leakage, why aren’t doctors using it?
Doctors fear not being able to provide the same quality of care as they normally would for an in-office visit. Many patients share this concern. Advisory Board said that quality of care was 21% of respondent’s top concern when asked about adopting telemedicine into their regular lives. Patients are nervous they won’t be diagnosed correctly and will end up having to go to a clinic anyway. Thus rendering their time and money spent worthless. However, when Chiron Health asked patients if they received the same quality of care after their telemedicine experience 95% agreed or strongly agreed with this statement.
Another main concern for physicians is that offering video visits won’t be worth the money it costs to adopt. Luckily, changes in regulation on the federal and state level are tearing down barriers that made it difficult for doctors to get easily reimbursed. Telemedicine brings in incremental revenue from lowering overhead costs and keeping patients out of the office that don’t need a physical exam. Physicians will see an increase in appointment volume and revenue if video visits are employed correctly.
The Telemedicine Tipping Point
The market demand for telemedicine exists and consumers are more than likely to reward those who are willing to supply the services they are seeking. 75% of patients are open to trying telemedicine services according to the Virtual Visits Consumers Choice Survey. However, only 20% have ever actually experienced using telemedicine while interacting with their physician.
Patients want to be able to pay for the care they need at their convenience. This means that for those doctors who are early adopters of telemedicine will likely experience an increase in patient satisfaction, volume, and engagement – three things that every physician wants for his or her practice. Telemedicine can be utilized in a multitude of ways. According to Advisory Board, 75% of patients said they could see themselves using virtual care for refills or adjustments on medication, prescription questions, remote chronic care management, reviewing lab results and minor urgent care. All of which are great applications of telemedicine, making it easy for doctors to get reimbursed for their time.
No More Waiting
All of this allows you to keep patients out of the office unless necessary for a physical exam. This frees up slots for physicians to see more patients in the office. Patients will be able to schedule appointments fewer weeks in advance and will have shorter wait times when they come in for visits. Additionally, they can save themselves 3-4 hours of travel and wait time when they choose to meet over video. Telemedicine will drive increased patient volume, time, revenue, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness for any practice that is willing to take the leap.
90% of large employers plan to offer telemedicine services by the end of 2017. Adopting Telemedicine doesn’t have to be a hassle. If you follow these simple steps you will be able to implement video visits into your practice and train your staff in no time. Making the benefits of meeting virtually known and showing it will produce the same quality of care may help convince more reluctant patients. The telehealth market is here. It’s time physicians take advantage of this powerful tool before they fall behind the times. Get started today with Chiron Health’s user-friendly platform!
(How much additional revenue could your practice be making after adopting telemedicine? Use our Telemedicine Calculator to find out!)