Posted: May 18, 2020
In order to help slow the spread of disease, several healthcare providers have begun offering virtual visits using a telemedicine platform. Telemedicine uses video conferencing and special software to allow providers to see and hear their patients without coming into direct contact with them. This method protects both the provider and the patient from infectious disease like COVID-19.
While telemedicine provides a safe and convenient way for healthcare providers to evaluate, diagnose, and treat a number of issues, it’s not uncommon to feel nervous about a telemedicine appointment. Understanding what happens during a virtual visit may help patients and providers feel more comfortable using telemedicine software.
Providers use telemedicine solutions to evaluate and treat minor health issues that don’t require lab tests or imaging. Most commonly, providers use a telemedicine platform to evaluate patients suffering from allergies, colds, flu, infections, insect bites, sprains, and gastrointestinal symptoms. Specialists can use telehealth to provide ongoing care for patients regardless of their location in the world or ability to travel to the medical facility. An increasing number of behavioral health specialists and counselors also use telehealth to evaluate and treat their patients.
In addition to minor ailments, providers can use telemedicine to evaluate patients suffering from more serious conditions. Telemedicine allows providers to evaluate and determine whether patients should receive additional testing or in-person care. Of course, it’s important to note that anyone suffering from severe symptoms should go immediately to their nearest emergency room.
During the COVID-19 outbreak, healthcare providers can use a secure telemedicine platform to keep people out of hospitals and waiting rooms, ensuring available beds for those that need them.
A quality telehealth platform ensures patients receive the same level of care as they would during an in-person visit. All patients need to connect with their provider is a reliable Internet connection and a computer device with a camera and microphone.
Telemedicine appointments begin much like an in office visit. The provider asks questions about symptoms and medical history. Depending on the availability of supplies, patients can weigh themselves, check their blood pressure, and take their own temperature. Video allows the provider to conduct physical exams and inspect areas of concern.
After speaking with the patient and evaluating their symptoms, the provider may provide a diagnosis, guidance for additional testing and evaluation, they may refer the patient to a specialist, and/or provide a prescription. All of this is done without physical contact.
Telemedicine visits get coded differently than in-person visits. Mistakes made during the coding process can create payment delays. Different insurance companies have different requirements for how providers log telehealth visits. It’s important that providers check with the plans they participate in to determine the correct coding for virtual visits.
Providers can benefit significantly from implementing a secure telemedicine platform. The right telehealth solution allows providers to provide care to more patients in a shorter amount of time. Telemedicine reduces the number of no-shows, increases patient satisfaction, and makes it possible for providers to connect with anyone in need, regardless of their geographical location in the world.
Let’s Talk Interactive works directly with providers to develop a telemedicine solution, customized to their needs and requirements. Please contact us for more information about our telemedicine solutions for providers.