The TIPAAA Annual Meeting provided me a lot of information to think about, but there were some topics that I didn’t know I needed to think about!
The break out session on Tele-Medicine was extremely interesting to me. The presenters believe that Tele-Medicine is already here but will become more impactful on patient care in the next few years.
So, what does Tele-Medicine have to do with your practice? According to the session, Tele-Medicine will help increase revenue for private providers, reduce burn out and increase patient satisfaction.
In the US right now, major health care insurers such as United Health Care, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Aetna, and Anthem Health already have over 100 million combined users and perform over 7 million online consults yearly.
More astonishing is that the AMA has estimated that almost 80% of office visits could have been handled via Tele-Medicine in 2018. Think about how crowded your waiting room can get. Now think of the number of people that your office could have taken care of with just a phone call or video chat. By freeing up your office time, doctors have time to get back to patient care.
Who can benefit from Tele-Medicine?
Any medical provider! Think about the dermatologist who can see a patient’s rash over video chat and prescribe any necessary medications without having their waiting room clogged.
A physical therapist can observe the gait of a patient without making them come in for a visit. Follow-up surgical visits can be performed via video chat, saving both the doctor and patient time and money.
Tele-Medicine will provide added revenue to medical providers and allow them to remain independent.
Is Tele-Medicine right for your patient load? Listen, there are always going to be patients that will want to come in to the office for a consultation.
But for a lot of people today, the convenience of Tele-Medicine makes it very attractive. Patients won’t have to miss a day of work, it reduces any travel time to and from the doctor’s office, reduces the number of Emergency Dept visits and, best of all, they don’t have to sit in a room full of other sick patients.
As stated, more and more insurance companies are willing to pay for Tele-Medicine if it means keeping patients out of the hospital. Patients find it to be convenient. Doctors have to decide what is right for them.
I think it is worth looking in to. Your practice can benefit from Tele-Medicine financially and in patient care.
General Operations Manager