Setting Up a Telemedicine Program in Your Medical Practice
As organizations and individuals around the globe look for ways to reduce costs while maintaining high quality service, practices of all shapes and sizes have begun realizing the profound benefits of telemedicine. Using a secure telemedicine platform, providers can reach more patients in less time than possible with in-person visits. This reduces operational costs and enables providers to evaluate, diagnose, and treat a wide range of conditions regardless of patient location or ability to travel to a healthcare office location.
Although most providers understand the advantages of telemedicine, many aren’t sure how to implement a telemedicine program into their practice. Fortunately, telemedicine doesn’t require a large commitment to get started. Practices can begin with a modest investment then build on the telemedicine services they offer as they become more comfortable with their program.
Make a Plan
Every practice has different needs and requirements. Is important that medical practices fully analyze their needs to determine exactly what they hope to achieve with their telemedicine program. This might include increasing accessibility to patients in remote or rural areas, or offering telehealth services to patients after hours.
The telemedicine program will likely impact several departments within the practice. Discussing the program with staff can get staff members excited and help locate additional goals for the telemedicine program.
Research Reimbursement Rules and Regulations
Every state has different rules and regulations regarding telemedicine reimbursement. Currently, no standard exists. Coverage can vary widely based on insurance company. Prior to implementation, providers should research state laws and check with the insurance plans they participate in to verify the rules and requirements for reimbursement.
Locate the Right Telemedicine Solution Provider
Providers will want to make sure to partner with a knowledgeable and experienced telemedicine solution provider. The telemedicine solution chosen should be easy for both staff and patients to use. It’s also crucial to ensure a secure and HIPAA-compliant telemedicine platform.
Market the Telemedicine Program to Patients
A telemedicine solution does no good if patients don’t know about it. Providers should notify patients of their telemedicine options by posting signs, sending emails, and/or postcards. Providers may also want to mention their program during in-person visits. Although patients might not use these services immediately, they may in the future if they find themselves unable to travel to the office or ill while on vacation.
Following implementation, providers may find that they need to reassess their goals. It’s not unusual to have to tweak the program to fulfill the objectives of both staff and patients. Collecting feedback can help locate areas that could benefit from improvement. This provides valuable information and can help the practice determine if they need to expand their program to provide their patients with more offerings.
Let’s Talk Interactive provides cost-effective, secure, HIPAA-compliant telemedicine solutions for practices of all shapes and sizes. In addition to telehealth video conferencing software, we also carry a wide range of telemedicine products like telehealth carts and kiosks.