You’ve likely heard by now about how healthcare is becoming more of a consumer landscape in recent years. This is absolutely true and it’s affected more than just how patients choose and interact with providers. It’s also changed what patients expect in the billing process. Let’s take a look at what exactly healthcare consumerism means and what it means to you when working to collect patient payments.
There are certain considerations a practice should take when implementing a telehealth program. First of all, the practice should make sure that they start small. As with anything else, trying to do too much, too fast, could be overwhelming and lead to failure. It’s best to identify the areas of your practice where you could use the most help and that would be most likely to benefit from telehealth applications. Choose just one of those areas where you feel the impact would be the most significant and implement telehealth there first.
Next, it’s important to account for all related costs. While you do want to add convenience for your patients and streamline workflow for providers, ultimately a medical practice is still a business and that means return on investment (ROI) is an important consideration. In order to be sure you’ll have an acceptable ROI, you first need an accurate picture of the investment you’ll need to make. Don’t start anything until you’re sure you know exactly what it’s going to cost you.
In the same vein, make sure you’re gathering all the reimbursements that you’re eligible for with regard to telehealth. This starts with understanding what’s allowable through your various payers for telehealth services and focusing your implementation on those services. Then make sure you’re submitting those claims appropriately and that you’re getting the reimbursements as you should.
The importance of marketing also can’t be understated. No matter what else you do, if patients don’t know about or use the telehealth program, it won’t succeed. Put up signage in your waiting room, email your patients, and put notices into your patient portal to make sure your patients know that telehealth is an option.
Step by Step Plan
Step 1: The first step in this plan is to establish a vision for how telehealth will be conducted in your practice. This allows your organization to clearly define the objectives that you plan to achieve with telehealth as well as how you plan to achieve them. Within this step, you’ll want to set specific short -and long term goals that are measurable so that you can determine if your program is successful along the way.
Step 2: The next step is to build a long-term financial plan for your telehealth program. This is where you’ll set goals that are specifically financial in nature. You should also make sure that you know how you’ll measure your success financially.
Step 3: Once your vision and finances are set, you’ll want to create a work environment that’s both effective and convenient. Telehealth is most useful when it’s available when and where it’s needed. For this reason, it’s important to have the tools you’ll use for telehealth in a location that’s conveniently located for your providers. Make sure the technology you choose for your practice is not only effective but also as easy to use as possible. You should also try your best to choose technology that fits in well with the rest of the exam room so as not to be disruptive.
Step 4: Next you’ll need to start the process of determining how you’ll bring telehealth services into the standard care workflow. One of the most important considerations to make in this step is how to make telehealth services as similar as possible to the same services when delivered in office.
Step 5: Planning effective training is the next step, and it’s a critical one. Remember that timing of training is equally important to the actual content of the training. All telehealth training should include the following basics: • Clinical technology
• Communication technology
• Diagnostic devices used both in-office and for patients
• Workflow and protocols
• Troubleshooting and how to reach technical support
While training, try to keep scenarios as realistic as possible and allow for hands-on practice when possible.
Step 6: By this time you should have your telehealth focused staff in place. You’ll need to decide based on your specific practice’s needs if it will take a full-time employee to schedule all telehealth sessions, make sure the technology is working properly, and encourage the use of the program.
Step 7: Finally, before launching the program, you’ll want to get your marketing going. A good rule of thumb is to make sure you position the program to your patients by acknowledging the need that telehealth will fill for them. This will make the value of telehealth obvious to your patient pool and likely encourage many early adopters.
Telehealth is a great way to increase practice revenue while providing the convenient services your patients have come to expect in all areas of their lives. If you’re ready to take the plunge and get started with telehealth in your practice, Henry Schein Solutions Hub can help by getting you set up with medpod. Medpod integrates proprietary telehealth software with professional medical and laboratory devices that are absolutely best-in-class in order to provide groundbreaking telediagnostics with real time active polling and transmission of patient clinical data. With the ability to choose the level of telehealth you wish to implement in your practice, medpod is the right solution for your practice, no matter where you are in your telehealth journey.
Visit henryscheinsolutionshub.com or call 833-433-2482 for more information or to get set up