Telemedicine isn't just the future of medical care. It's here now and your medical practice needs to implement it. Still not sure if offering telemedicine is the right choice for your patients? Perhaps the reasons outlined below will convince you of its necessity.
1. It Addresses the Changing Demands of Your Patients
Originally touted as a way to help medical providers assist their patients in managing chronic conditions and as a method of providing better care to those in rural areas, telemedicine has expanded in its scope.
Today, it's often used to help medical professionals assess the condition of their patients and determine if they need to be seen. This strategy fits in well with the millennial mindset of using technology to take care of their needs.
2. It's Flexible
In spite of the increasing rate of medical practices in the adoption of telemedicine, there is not a typical method of implementation. In some cases, a medical practice might operate as a virtual hospital with one central location that is supported by a dedicated staff assigned there. In a completely different approach to telemedicine, Cleveland Clinic set up a system. It features a core group of staffers that manage and support it for the thousands of physicians and other medical providers who access it as a method of delivering care.
3. Payment Approaches are Changing
Not surprisingly, the biggest stumbling block for the adoption of telemedicine by a medical practice centers on the challenges of getting adequately reimbursed. Fortunately, the situation is improving though improvements still need to be made in order to the full potential of telemedicine to come to fruition.
Even though parity law states that private insurers must reimburse telehealth visits at the same rates as those completed in person, this has not become the reality in all states yet. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) recently expanded its billing criteria to include additional telemedicine options.
In addition to covering virtual care in rural areas and when consultations are first initiated in established healthcare facilities, CMS expanded to give those patients with Medicare Advantage the ability to engage in telemedicine in any of its forms. This means that medical providers can receive reimbursement for telemedicine because it's a core benefit rather than just a supplemental one.
In fall 2018, CMS also relaxed its rules and gave medical providers the ability to bill Medicare for brief check-in appointments completed on a virtual basis as a means of assessing the patient's condition and determine if they need further care. The evaluation of images and video recordings on a remote basis is also covered under this new CMS change.
4. It Increases Productivity While Slashing Costs
In spite of a concerted effort by medical practices to reach out to patients and confirm their scheduled appointments, no shows continue to be a trend that stymies them. Not only can no shows put a patient's health in danger, they can also affect the medical practice's profit margin.
In the case of a patient who is too ill to come into the office or who lacks reliable transportation, telemedicine creates a billable interaction while also ensuring that the patient's health needs are addressed.
According to a telemedicine survey completed in 2017, most organizations who have adopted telemedicine have seen a significant return on their investment. More than 50 percent stated that they've had 11 percent or more in savings while nearly one-third experienced more than 20 percent in cost savings.
That same survey found that more than 80 percent were planning to expand digital healthcare. In the very near future, if your medical practice doesn't offer digital healthcare options, it will be left behind. M-Scribe can help streamline billing with its up-to-date coding system. You'll never need to worry about staying abreast of the latest changes in reimbursement rules when you partner with M-Scribe. Contact us today and learn how we can save your medical practice time and money.