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How Practices are Scaling With Telemedicine In The COVID-19 Era

| April 22, 2020

How Practices are Scaling With Telemedicine In The COVID-19 Era

If you’re a medical provider, the coronavirus pandemic presents an incredibly stressful chapter in your professional career. As the disease spreads to all 50 states and beyond, many of your patients have questions. Thanks to the internet, they also have access to a wealth of information––some good, some bad––which increases confusion and the need for a reliable source to look to.

The Role of Telemedicine in Healthcare

Your clients rely on you to tell them what is proper and to be a voice of calm, strength and intelligence during a maelstrom of reporting. And while they rely on you, there is also the deeply personal side of things that come with the profession. You have to worry about keeping your own family members safe and following CDC guidelines at your practice. There’s also the obvious, publicized shortages of equipment that many medical providers are dealing with. The list is seemingly never ending.

With all of these things swirling around and demanding attention, one thing that you cannot take the time to worry about right now is the financial side of your practice including revenue cycle management, credentialing, and telemedicine collections. More than ever, it’s necessary that doctors focus on their patients and provide the highest-quality possible healthcare.

Even in the best of times, most doctors don’t want to worry about billing and coding. Unfortunately, the coronavirus presents a new series of obstacles. There are nearly a dozen different codes that come with a COVID-19 diagnosis, and using Med USA as your billing partner allows us to focus on the paperwork and you to focus on your patients.

During this time, it’s important to utilize as many tech resources as you can. Investing in telehealth services, such as virtual appointments can protect both you, your employees and your patients. Here are a few things you’ll want to consider in the next few weeks:

Applications Limits

A covered health care provider who wants to use telemedicine with patients should limit the applications to trustworthy, reliable interfaces like Apple Facetime, Facebook Messenger, Google Hangouts, Microsoft Teams, Zoom for Healthcare or GoTo Meeting. Using a platform like Facebook Live, Twitch or TikTok should be avoided at all costs because they are public-facing products and risk patient privacy.

Telemedicine is a two-way street.

Both you (the doctor) and your patients play an important role. Before you roll out telehealth services at your practice, it’s important your patients know what to expect. To better educate them, you may want to dedicate an entire page of your website to the telemedicine process. You should also create a downloadable consent form that your patients can digitally sign and submit.

Provider Eligibility

There is a list of eligible providers who can hold a telemedicine consultation. These eligible providers include physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nurse midwives, clinical nurse specialists, clinical psychologists, clinical social workers and registered dietitians or nutrition professionals.

For obvious reasons, the amount of telemedicine visits has exploded in popularity and desire among people. Forrester Research has predicted that there will be 1 billion virtual telemedicine interactions this year, with the number in March surging 50% during the coronavirus pandemic.

Teledoc reported that it was hosting more than 15,000 telemedicine video requests per day and that may only increase with more states holding shelter-in-place orders such as in New York and New Jersey, where doctor’s offices are holding virtual appointments.

There is also the growing popularity for telemedicine for smaller practices after the federal government said Medicare and Medicaid would pay the same rates for virtual visits as for in-office appointments. Additionally, the government temporarily eased regulations to allow the use of mobile devices for virtual visits.

Is Remote Patient Monitoring Right For Your Practice?

Even before the global pandemic, there was a growing appetite for people to use telemedicine for various reasons. Having remote monitoring allows doctors to have greater patient engagement, plus it expands the ability for care that patients can have in an age where there are regions that have lost convenient access to in-person health care.

Because telemedicine can be a more efficient way to see patients, physicians can have increased revenue when scheduling their patients effectively. Being virtual allows practices to reduce the overhead costs in some cases and it can cut patient costs in remote regions.

With more than four decades of building profitable relationships, Med USA is a medical billing and practice management company that provides customized solutions including an integrated Electronic Health Record (EHR), Medical Coding and Credentialing Services. Our services are based on the concept of adaptability. We provide solutions for office-based​ physician practices, hospital-based practices and billing companies with services based on the concept of adaptability, and we provide scalable solutions for all types of providers, from small practices to large systems. Get in touch with us today and find out more about how we can work together and help your revenues increase.

Making the transition to telemedicine doesn’t have to be scary. We’re here to assist you every step of the way. Talk to a telemedicine expert today! 

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