We’re breaking down five common myths of telehealth services and a great resource for you to learn even more.
According to a survey by Foley & Lardner, 89% of healthcare leaders expect telehealth services to transform U.S. healthcare in the coming decade. To stay competitive and meet patients’ expectations for convenience, practices must adopt this new way of delivering care.
Many physicians may not yet understand just how the technology could help them grow their practice, how it fits into their workflow or even where to start but you can’t afford to not find out. If that sounds like your practice – what’s holding you back? We’re breaking down five common myths of telehealth services and a great resource for you to learn even more.
1 – It’s too expensive
You don’t need anything other than a smartphone to start offering telehealth within your practice. With the right partner – you can easily start a telemedicine component for your business without the need for additional apps, special training, webcams, microphones, etc. Plus, as part of a multi-facet patient engagement solution, telehealth services, along with text, gives you easy, mutually convenient ways to connect with patients no matter where you, or they, are – on the phone.
2 – If I can’t get reimbursement for telehealth, what’s the point?
While – by nature of the patient, the service or where you practice – you might not be able to receive reimbursement for telehealth services today, the regulations around reimbursement are changing every day. The fact is, you can’t afford to not start implementing telemedicine into your practice. Patients are willing to seek out providers who offer those types of conveniences. Whether you want to get new patients into your practice or just maintain your current patient base, telemedicine isn’t going away. If you aren’t using it, your competitors probably are. It’s time to get familiar with the technology, seek easy ways to use it to your advantage now and get your patients and staff familiar with the service so that you already have the foundation in place as additional reimbursements opportunities become available. Plus, you position yourself as being more likely to negotiate higher payments when you can show you are already seeing improved outcomes in your practice.
3 – I don’t have the IT resources for telehealth services
Do you have a smartphone? Does your patient have a smartphone? Then, you’ve got all the IT resources you need. Our Video Chat solution was created with the intention of being easy to use, without the need for special apps or things to download. If you can make a phone call, you can hold a virtual visit.
4 – My patients won’t use it
According to a study by EY, 54% of patients would prefer to communicate electronically with their providers. Anyone want more voice mail messages to return? That’s a strong “no” from providers, their staff and their patients. In fact, about 60 percent of individuals under age 55 say they would consider it “life changing” or “very useful” to use telehealth services instead of going for a routine in-person visit with their provider. The facts are that patients want to connect with providers via video chat. The chances are if your patients aren’t connecting that way with you, they’ll find another provider who offers that.
5 – I don’t have the time for telehealth
What if the right solution actually saved you time? Does this sound familiar: Your patient has a follow-up appointment after an orthopedic procedure. They aren’t independently mobile so getting to your office is a challenge for them. They need to arrange transportation. The day of the appointment, they have to reschedule so they leave a voicemail at your office to cancel. Your office manager calls them back to reschedule. Patient needs to confirm transportation again. That appointment time does work so they have to call again for other openings. A few back and forths and the appointment is back on the schedule. A few days later, the patient arrives. All looks well during the visit, but that 15-minute follow-up took hours of staff time and your office wasn’t able to backfill the cancelled appointment, so you missed that revenue. You’re out two hours and a few hundred dollars. A 7-minute virtual visit where you talk to the patient from their home actually puts money in your practice through time and dollars.
Have another telehealth myth you want to bust? Join us for a free webinar “Telehealth in the Real World” on Thursday, Nov. 7, at 1 p.m. EST. During the webinar, two physicians will talk through how they are using telehealth services, what they’d tell you to consider before you start and what they wish they’d known about telehealth first.