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Telemedicine for OB/GYN

How is telemedicine used in OB/GYN?

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Manage medications

Adjusting medications for things like depression & anxiety, blood pressure, and birth control–or simply refilling prescriptions–aren’t reason enough to bring busy patients into the office. Instead, OB/GYNs can offer to manage any non-scheduled medications remotely.

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Provide postoperative care

In order to ensure patient safety and provide the highest quality of care, OB/GYNs must provide high-touch postoperative care. Especially for women who have undergone a serious procedure like a C-section, scheduling remote appointments allows doctors to provide that level of care without placing a physical burden on the patient.

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Discuss lab results

Discussing sensitive material like STD-screening results, PAP smears, and biopsies, face-to-face conversation should always be prioritized. Telemedicine helps OB/GYNs provide that level of care at no inconvenience to the patient.

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Observe treatment plans

Especially for conditions like gestational diabetes and postpartum depression that require frequent monitoring, remote video appointments are ideal. They allow you to keep close tabs on patient progress, and you still get fully reimbursed for services rendered.

What conditions can OB/GYNs manage using telemedicine?

Postpartum depression

Offering convenient access for women suffering from postpartum depression is an essential part of providing perinatal care as an OB/GYN. Use telemedicine to frequently check in with patients suffering from depression and ease the burden of travel on these new mothers. Even for women who aren’t suffering from postpartum right away, remote video appointments are an ideal way to monitor if such a condition develops during the weeks following childbirth.

 

Gestational diabetes

Once a woman is diagnosed with gestational diabetes, special meals plans, scheduled physical activity, and even daily insulin self-checks are essential for effectively managing the condition. Checking in with your patients, even as often as weekly, is necessary to understand the progression of diabetes and the effectiveness of the individual treatment plan. Instead of checking in with a non-reimbursable phone call, schedule weekly or semi-monthly telemedicine appointments to keep tabs on your patients suffering from gestational diabetes.

 

Hypertension and preeclampsia

Although in-person physical exams are often necessary to monitor the progression of hypertension to preeclampsia, frequent check-ups to discuss symptoms (such as headache, blurred vision, or sensitivity to light) can be done effectively over telemedicine. It also allows OB/GYNs to offer patients face-to-face interactions should sudden issues or concerns arise.

 

Follow up on Well Woman exams

While annual Well Woman exams require a head-to-toe physical exam, following up on blood work and other screenings is ideal for a remote telemedicine visit. These remote visits also give OB/GYNs the opportunity to discuss how the patient can make smart lifestyle decisions in order to improve overall health – which is especially important when abnormal results are found.

 

Family planning and preconception care

Whether you’re managing birth control doses for patients not yet wanting to have children or assisting a couple that’s ready, telemedicine can be used for ongoing counseling, modifying lifestyle treatment plans, and adjusting hormone-based medications.

Patient benefits for telemedicine for ob/gyn

Convenient care keeps them engaged

Missed appointments, failure to adhere to treatment plans, and infrequent contact with an OB/GYN are a few of the reasons that can cause the long-term health of women to suffer. Make “seeing” their OB/GYN easy by offering remote video visits.

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They save time by avoiding traffic and parking

For many women, simply the hassle of battling traffic and finding parking is the biggest barrier to seeing their OB/GYN. Especially for women who are full-time mothers or have full-time jobs, remote appointments make accessing care simple.

No time off work or paying a sitter

Even if you have a modern, chic office equipped with TVs and trendy magazines, busy moms and business women still prefer to avoid waiting rooms. They’ll appreciate not having to take time off work or hire a sitter.

Women are asking for telemedicine with their OB/GYN.

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of women said they would rather have an online video visit with their OB/GYN than an in-office visit.

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even said they would switch to a provider that offers telemedicine, and this number is rapidly increasing.

FAQs: Telemedicine for OB/GYN

Our patient satisfaction survey has found that 96% of patients who are seen remotely by their OB/GYN feel they receive the same quality of care as when they’re seen in-person.

Telemedicine reimbursement mandates for private payers are determined on a state-by-state basis. If you practice in one of the 26 states that mandate private payer reimbursement, you’ll be reimbursed similarly an in-person visit. (Check our state map to see if you live in a state with a parity law.)

We’ve found that even patients with very little technical knowledge find telemedicine easy to use. Chances are, your patients are already using similar technologies like Skype and FaceTime. You’ll be surprised at how many of your patients pick it up right away!

Yes, but only if your vendor is using full encryption and signs a Business Associate Agreement (BAA) with your practice. Check out our additional buying tips below as well.

For all intents and purposes, yes. As an OB/GYN providing remote care, use whichever term you prefer when discussing this option with patients.

Finding the best telemedicine software for OB/GYNs

Here’s what to look for when you’re shopping for a telehealth solution

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Real-time face-to-face video and audio

In order to be reimbursed for telemedicine, the remote interaction must be a real-time video visit. Additionally, the video quality should reflect that of an in-person interaction–avoiding frequent freezes or poor visibility.

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HIPAA-compliant

Because sensitive patient information is being exchanged, any telehealth software you decide to purchase must be secure and HIPAA-compliant. Skype and FaceTime, for example, do not meet HIPAA standards and should never be used for patient encounters.

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Accurate appointment logs

You should make sure your telemedicine vendor provides a thorough audit trail of all encounters — including the length of the visits. This is important from both a reimbursement and medicolegal standpoint.

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Patient eligibility checks

Even in states where telemedicine reimbursement is mandated, there are still certain plans that will not reimburse for remote visits. By selecting a telemedicine provider that offers eligibility checks, you won’t have to take on this administrative burden.

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Integration with your EHR

Ideally, the telemedicine solution you select should integrate seamlessly into your existing workflow. The best way to ensure this is by finding a product that integrates directly with your EHR/PM.

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Compliance Support

Telemedicine is a rapidly changing area of healthcare. It’s important to select a technology partner that also helps your practice manage the increasingly complex regulatory compliance aspects of telemedicine.

See how telemedicine is transforming women’s care

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