Many medications prescribed by neurologists have significant side-effects that must be closely monitored. Employing telemedicine for frequent med checks increases compliance and ensures that side-effects and drug interactions are managed appropriately.
Many patients with neurological disorders require lifestyle counseling in order to slow the disease progression. Doing this over telemedicine is ideal in that a physical examination is not required. The ease of initiating a telemedicine appointment helps increase treatment adherence and promotes a closer doctor-patient relationship.
Although patients suffering from neurological conditions need to be seen in-office for things like CT scans, MRIs and blood tests, bringing them back into the office to discuss results is often not necessary. In fact, it can be quite an inconvenience. Telemedicine allows neurologists to discuss these results face-to-face without asking patients to leave their home.
Treating Neuropathy typically involves managing symptoms. Lifestyle counseling to help limit the disease progression and adjusting medications like antidepressants, antiepileptics and cannabis can all be done over telemedicine.
Although about 70% of cases can be controlled through medication, frequent in-office lab work is still necessary. Using telemedicine to adjust medications, discuss symptom progression, and the review of diagnostic imaging results and blood work helps minimize trips to the office for epileptic patients.
Once someone is diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, therapies involving the use of Levodopa or dopamine agonsists to help control motor function can be managed through telemedicine. Although in-person rehabilitation is required, neurologists can also use telemedicine to counsel patients on dietary changes, exercise adjustments, and palliative care.
Because many medications such as corticosteroids, interferons, and pro-/anti-inflammatory can cause serious side effects, frequently monitoring their progression is essential and can be done effectively over telemedicine. Additionally, reviewing liver and blood tests or offering emotional counseling can also be done through telemedicine without losing the face-to-face interaction patients desire.
By minimizing one of the biggest barriers to care, poor access to transportation, patients are less inclined to miss appointments. Through telemedicine, they are able to see their doctor more frequently, provide regular updates, and improve treatment plan adherence.
Over 50% of neurology patients are unable to drive and must therefore find someone to take them to the doctor. Telehealth eliminates this barrier — patients can simply see their doctor face-to-face from their home.
Telemedicine increases overall patient engagement by reducing barriers to care. Numerous studies have shown that increased patient engagement leads to better health outcomes, which is reflected in lower hospital readmission rates and decreased healthcare costs.
of patients using teleneurology are just as satisfied with remote care as they are with in-person care.
of Neurology patients who begin receiving remote follow-up care want to continue it.
Will my patients feel they’re receiving the same quality of care via telemedicine as they do in-person?
A two-year study showed that 90% of patients were fully satisfied with their telemedicine visits, including being pleased with the quality of care received and the cost of appointments.
Very few. Studies show that only about 5% of patients have neurologic conditions so complex that care over telemedicine would be inappropriate. Furthermore, about 40% of services performed by neurologists can be done through telemedicine. Even patients with only the most basic understanding of technology find telemedicine easy. The rest is up to the neurologist!
Telemedicine reimbursement mandates are determined on a state-by-state basis. Anyone who practices in one of the 26 states that mandates private payer reimbursement will be reimbursed at the same level as an in-person office visit. (Check our state map to see if you live in a state with a parity law.)
Absolutely! Telemedicine is required to be secure and completely HIPAA-compliant. See the following section, “The best telemedicine software for Neurologists,” to further guide your telemedicine buying process.
In the legislation itself, some states differentiate between the two terms. However, people in the industry use the terms interchangeably — they essentially mean the same thing.
The most widely used form of telemedicine is real-time audio and video. This is also a requirement for reimbursement in most states. Additionally, the video software should reflect the same quality as in-person interactions. Avoid anything that freezes frequently or provides only blurry/choppy video.
Telehealth products must be secure and HIPAA-compliant and fully encrypted. Because sensitive patient information is being exchanged, services like Skype and FaceTime should never be used to see patients.
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.
Even in states where private-payer reimbursement is mandated, certain plans will be exempt. By finding a telemedicine product that offers telemedicine specific eligibility checks, reimbursement complications are minimized.
With all of the software neurologists are being asked to use, make sure a prospective telemedicine platform integrates directly with your EHR. This makes workflows easier on doctors and staff.
The type of care that can be provided via telemedicine is highly regulated on a state-by-state basis. In order to ensure adherence to legal regulations and best practices, choose a telemedicine platform that offers compliance support for its clients.