Approximately 84% of health care leaders expect telehealth in the coming decade to change our U.S. healthcare system. Medical practices will need to embrace this modern way of providing treatment to remain competitive and fulfill patient needs for convenience. Most office managers, administrators, and doctors do not yet understand how technology can help their practice, how it fits into their workflow, or even where to start, but you can’t afford to sit by and ignore it. Here, we break down five common misconceptions about telehealth.
Myth 1: Telehealth Is Too Expensive
At the most basic level, you really do not need anything more than a computer to begin providing telehealth service to your patients. You can easily start a telemedicine program for your practice with the right partner, like Jollitot, without the need to purchase additional software, provide special training to your staff, webcams, microphones, etc. Also, as part of a multi-faceted patient engagement solution, telehealth offers you simple, mutually convenient ways to communicate with patients virtually by video on the mobile phone, no matter where you – or they – are.
Myth 2: Telehealth Is Not Reimbursable
This is no longer true. Beginning in January 2019, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) started to reimburse healthcare providers for a broad range of telehealth services. The regulations around reimbursement has been expanded even more while the nation is combating the COVID-19 pandemic.
Patients today want convenience and are actively searching for providers who are providing telehealth services. If you’re trying to get new patients into your practice or just keeping your existing patient base, you can guarantee that telemedicine isn’t going anywhere. If you are note using telehealth, you can bet your competitors are. It is about time for you to get familiar with telehealth, actively find easy ways to use the technology to your advantage, and get your staff and patients comfortable with the service so you can quickly receive the available reimbursements.
Myth 3: Telehealth Needs IT Resources
Do you have a computer? Does your patient have a smartphone? Then, you have all the IT resources needed to provide telehealth services. Video calls were created with the goal of being familiar and easy to use for everyone. If you can make a phone call, you can definitely hold a virtual visit with a patient.
Myth 4: Patients Won’t Use Telehealth
Over 54% of patients would much rather communicate electronically with their providers. Does anyone really want more voicemail messages to return? The answer is a strong “no” from providers, their staff, and their patients. In fact, about 60% of patients say they would consider it “very useful” and “more convenient” to use virtual visits instead of going to a routine in-person visit with their provider. Many studies have show that patients want to use telehealth. If your patients are not connecting with you via telehealth, they will eventually find another provider who does.
Myth 5: Don’t Have Time for Telehealth
So, ask yourself this simple question. What if the right solution actually saved you time? Would you consider it?
This may sound familiar to you. One of your patients has a routine, low-risk prenatal appointment. It is difficult for the patient to get time off from work, their child is home sick from daycare, or it takes them over an hour commute in traffic to get to your office. Whatever the reason, the day of the appointment, the patient has to reschedule the appointment. They leave a voicemail at your office to cancel. The office manager calls them back to reschedule. The patient needs to confirm if the new time works for their job. That time doesn’t work, so they have to call again for other openings. A few back and forth exchanges later, the appointment is finally back on the schedule.
Fast forward a few days, and the patient arrives to their scheduled appointment. All looks well during the visit, but that 15-minute appointment took hours of staff time, and your office couldn’t backfill the cancelled appointment, so you missed out on that revenue. You are out two hours and a few hundred dollars. Think about how often this happens to you throughout the year. It can quickly add up! A seven-minute virtual visit where you talk to the patient from their home actually puts money in to your practice through saved time and dollars.
Hear from a panel of doctors discussing telehealth and how it is helping their practices grow. If you are just beginning to learn about telehealth or are ready to introduce it in your practice, we at Jollitot are here to help guide you on your journey towards improved patient interaction and convenience. Contact us and we will be happy to answer your questions.