The convenience of telemedicine is well established for patients, but many providers and organizations wonder what the benefit is to their operation. While patients would love the opportunity to be seen at home, over-filled clinics may not conceptualize the immediate benefit if they’re already seeing patients throughout the day and rushing from room to room.
Telemedicine provides an alternative for additional billable opportunities while also increasing efficiency within the practices. By working with the right platform and establishing protocols for delivering care, organizations across the country are increasing access and revenue while reducing administrative overhead.
Telemedicine appointments for low acuity concerns are able to deliver the same quality of care in a shorter period of time. Patients wait for less time in the office, and providers are able to diagnose and evaluate complaints more quickly. By triaging patients who do not require a hands-on evaluation and utilizing a telemedicine appointment instead of in-person exam room, patients can receive the care they need without the travel to the office or wait time. Providers can see more patients and complete visits more efficiently while still providing high quality care.
Be In Multiple Places At Once
Providers with multiple offices are able to treat patients in varying locations without traveling to different sites. By working with a kiosk telemedicine solution, providers can treat patients at another location seamlessly. With the right platform, each facility can utilize existing technology to connect patients and providers, and providers can treat patients with just a few clicks. Patients have better access to care and facilities increase treatment hours considerably.
Turn Free Work Into Billable Hours
Many physicians spend hours outside of the office on the phone with patients. Whether they’re addressing emergencies or answering questions that seem like emergencies, those interactions are rarely billable— even though they take the physician’s time. The codes for billing phone calls limit the billable time based on when the provider last interacted with the patient in person. Even if the timing requirement is met, the copay for the visit is often higher than reasonable and customary, so providers receive nothing for their time. By transitioning those telephone calls into telemedicine visits, the providers are creating opportunities for actual, billable, face-to-face encounters. Telemedicine visits are billed using the same codes as in-person visits, so there are no timing requirements like phone calls often have. Providers can introduce the ability to work with patients at a distance, get paid for that on-call time, and still offer valuable medical direction to their patients.
Satisfaction scores for telemedicine visits often rank higher than in-person treatment. Patients appreciate the convenience first and foremost, and they rank the quality of care of telemedicine on par with in-person treatment for low acuity complaints. As we look more and more to patient satisfaction as a metric that determines reimbursement rates, telemedicine can be an important way to bolster those responses.
The Future Is More Efficient
Groups of all sizes and specialties are introducing telemedicine as a way to create opportunities to improve care. Patients with low acuity or urgent-but-not-emergent complaints can be seen quickly and easily without transportation or significant wait times. Patient satisfaction with telehealth is high, and it can lead to opportunities to bolster revenue, reduce no-shows and introduce more efficiency throughout your organization.