What to Know When Implementing Telehealth into Your Practice

telehealth chat with doctor on computer

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recent policy changes on telehealth are transforming the way healthcare practices integrate value-based care models. Not only do telehealth platforms enable practices to provide high-quality care, reduce wait times, and produce better patient health outcomes, but CMS is now giving practices reimbursement benefits in exchange for providing telehealth services.

But before practices implement telehealth into their day-to-day healthcare offerings, they typically have a few questions. At Updox, we gathered the top four most common questions we hear from our telehealth customers:

Is my practice properly equipped to provide telehealth services to patients?

Healthcare practices are more prepared for implementing telehealth than they think. Via a tablet, smartphone or camera-accessible computer, practices can provide virtual services to facilitate their patients’ needs. What are the cost benefits of implementing telehealth?

What are the cost benefits of implementing telehealth?

Telehealth implementation can save practices an average of $200 per patient by reducing costs associated with missed or canceled patient appointments. According to a 2017 study, missed patient appointments cost the U.S. healthcare industry $150 billion per year. With the help of telehealth solutions – like secure video chat services – practices can recoup these losses and easily facilitate follow-up appointments, consultations and ongoing chronic condition treatments.

How will telehealth appeal to my current and future patients?

Today’s healthcare patients span from aging patient populations to millennials, which puts more pressure than ever on doctors to provide on-demand and convenient healthcare solutions. According to eVisit, about 74% of patients are comfortable with using technology to speak with their doctors in place of face-to-face appointments. By implementing a service that caters to today’s patient population, practices can provide a happy medium and quality care.

How will telehealth boost my patient engagement rates and improve health outcomes?

By implementing telehealth solutions, practices will open the lines of communication and create a more consistent dialogue between physicians and their patients. According to an EY study, 60% of individuals under 55 find the use of telehealth services very useful. And, because increased access to practices on demand will provide patients with more education on managing their health, practices can ensure that patients experience 38% fewer hospital admissions, 31% fewer hospital readmissions, and 63% fewer days spent in the hospital each year.

What to Look For in a Telehealth Provider?

Practices must partner with the right telehealth service provider. Here are five features to look for when selecting telehealth software:

  1. Offers multiple easy, convenient and accessible telehealth offerings – like secure patient video chat, broadcast messaging, and SMS & Secure Text
  2. Can scale to meet current and future patient demands, ultimately growing the practice’s business
  3. Provides HIPAA compliant solutions to ensure patient safety and security
  4. Provides step-by-step education to ensure practices fully understand the ins and outs of the platform before, during and after implementation.
  5. Has a track record of success and provides in-depth customer testimonials

Implementing telehealth into a practice’s patient offerings is easy when you know where to start. By knowing what questions to ask and what qualities to look for in a convenient and effective telehealth provider, healthcare practices can seamlessly integrate telehealth into their day-to-day patient care plans.

To learn how your practice can effectively implement telehealth with Updox’s suite of engagement solutions, contact our customer service team to schedule a demo, and download Updox’s new Telehealth eBook, The Case for Telehealth.

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