When simply adjusting a medication or checking in for refill requests, there’s no need to bring patients back into the office. However, a 10- or 15-minute conversation is often necessary, or at least recommended. Instead of discussing over the phone without reimbursement, many providers are using telemedicine to provide fully billable consults.
For patients with chronic conditions, such as diabetes or hypertension, frequent touch points with their healthcare providers is essential for effective disease management. Telemedicine enables practices to offer this level of service without interrupting the busy lives of their patients.
Whether it’s counseling for diet and exercise, smoking cessation, or behavioral health, telehealth allows providers to conveniently check in with patients who need frequent follow-up. Best of all, these counseling sessions are fully reimbursable and can be done from the comfort of the patient’s home or office.
Thoroughly reviewing abnormal lab and imaging results with patients is important. Most practices ask patients to return to the clinic. The problem is: these visits are inconvenient and often missed. Other practices follow up over the phone. While convenient for patients, your practice isn’t reimbursed. With telemedicine, you get the best of both worlds.
Incorporating telemedicine into the practice workflow helps providers maximize the number of patients they see each day. Office space is reserved for those patients requiring in-person physical exams. Office staff spend less time processing patients who don’t need to be seen in-office and are better able to focus on their many other duties.
Telemedicine helps your practice boost revenue by maximizing the number of patients you’re are able to see each day. In most states, providers are reimbursed at the same rate for telehealth visits as they are for in-office visits.
It’s no secret that Americans are busy people. By offering remote care to your patients, they’ll appreciate the special attention you pay to ensuring convenient appointments. We consistently see patient satisfaction rates increase when a practice starts offering telehealth.
Busy schedules often cause patients to miss appointments. When patients continue to miss follow-ups with their healthcare providers, they become less engaged in their care and begin lapsing on treatment plans. With telemedicine, it’s easy for patients to stay engaged, leading to better long term health outcomes.
You may have a modern office full of flat screen TVs and trendy magazines, but patients still have to take time out of their day to see you. This often involves seeing you on their lunch break, using PTO, or hiring a sitter. They’ll appreciate the option to see you from the convenience of their home or office!
No one likes sitting in traffic or driving around in circles to find a parking spot in the middle of the work day. When you see your patients over videoconferencing, they don’t have to hassle with either of these. They’re able to save time and money in the end.
Telemedicine and telehealth essentially mean the same thing. While some states differentiate between the two — defining telehealth as a more broad category of healthcare that contains telemedicine — they both refer to the ability of physicians to provide care to patients while the patient and provider are not in the same physical location. Visit our telemedicine regulations page to learn more about legal terms used in telemedicine.
We have extensive information about state-by-state policies on reimbursement for telemedicine. There, you can learn about reimbursement legislation for both private payers and Medicare/Medicaid.
Specialists can absolutely benefit from adopting telemedicine into their practice workflow. It’s ideal for managing patients with chronic conditions or those who simply require frequent follow-up care.
May I treat patients for the first time over telemedicine, or do I need to first conduct an in-person physical exam?
This is determined on a state-by-state basis. For instance, in Texas, you do need to establish an in-person relationship before providing services via telemedicine. However, in California and many other states you may provide telehealth care to patients you have not previously seen in person. Visit our telemedicine regulations page to learn more about providing remote care in your state.
Even patients who have a very simple understanding of technology find telemedicine easy to use. Anyone with a computer or smartphone should be just fine! We recently had an 83 year old patient follow up with their physician. It’s pretty straightforward.