By LeeAnn Huntoon
7 Benefits of Adding a Telehealth Feature for Your Practice
With a global focus on health and wellness, finding safe ways to see a medical professional has never been more important. Providing virtual options for your patients allows your practice to distribute health-related services and information through telecommunication technology on a national level.
From 2016 to 2017, the national utilization of telehealth has grown by 53%. The versatility of remote health tech provides clinical contact care, monitoring, and advice to your patients virtually. An article in mHealthIntelligence says, “Specialists are now finding that they can launch their own telehealth platform to consumers, offering their services online much like a banker, real estate agent or other business people.”
There are several advantages to using telehealth technology and digital tools that not only benefit your practice but also your patients. Here are a few benefits to taking your healthcare and services practice digital.
Expands Patience Access to Care
The opportunities provided by transitioning your practice to a digital format are endless. Telehealth can be used for mid-level patient education as well as physician diagnosis, reaching a variety of people in new ways. The digital tools allow clinicians to discuss a case over a video conference or a physical therapy session to be done via digital monitoring via a live feed. Home monitoring can be maintained with an online video conference tool.
Telehealth or telemedicine allows physicians to bill for uncompensated phone calls while extending hours to capture more billable time. The use of telehealth has been proven to cut down on no-shows and improve the overall efficiency of a practice. Telehealth’s new models of care can also provide a competitive advantage by attracting and retaining more patients outside your area.
Expedites Timely Care for Patience
By the end of 2018 seven million Americans were using telehealth technology. Since then telehealth has increased access to healthcare providing expedited care to patients. In doing so patients are being diagnosed and treated earlier improving outcomes and requiring less costly treatments.
In fact, Patients with Telehealth access have substantially reduced mortality rates, reduced complications, and reduced hospital stays.
Improves The Quality of Healthcare
Telehealth or telemedicine provides remote clinical services, such as diagnosis and monitoring. This tool bridges the gap when rural settings, lack of transport, a lack of mobility, decreased funding, or a lack of staff restrict access to care.
Telehealth solutions have the potential to improve hospital workforce stability while empowering local physicians through access to distant specialists that can collaborate on diagnosis and a patient’s treatment plan.
Reduces Overhead Costs for Your Practice
Using modern digital technology tools reduces the average overhead costs for medical practices. Reaching patients in new ways through phone, texting, and video chat has proven effective by allowing physicians to consult with patients remotely.
This not only saves on travel time but also eliminates the need for on-site follow-up visits, freeing up schedules to increase the volume of patients that can be seen. The use of telehealth tech has also shown a massive reduction in same-day cancellations and no-shows minimizing the wasted time for most medical practices.
Increases Practice Efficiency
Healthcare organizations that utilize telehealth technology can take a more direct approach when treating people. By enabling real-time, two-way interactive video consultations with remote patients, healthcare practices can increase staff efficiency while reducing cost. Telemedicine does this all while improving quality of care without compromising patient satisfaction.
With fewer in-person visits, healthcare staff has more time to handle administrative tasks such as patient scheduling, data entry, billing and more. On the same note, Physicians are able to chart the patient visit during the virtual consultation improving accuracy. Virtual appointments are also quicker than in-person appointments. Studies show that an average video appointment is 12 minutes while an in-person appointment is roughly 20% longer.
Delivers Savings To Patients
Telehealth can change the current paradigm of care allowing for improved access and health outcomes in more cost-effective ways. It was reported by Regence Health Plans that patients save an average of $100 per visit when using a telehealth clinical service instead of in-person visits. The telehealth cost savings were associated with medical claims, mileage, and time spent waiting to see a doctor.
HIPAA and Telehealth
HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) was passed by Congress in 1996. It was designed to reduce healthcare fraud and abuse, partially by setting industry-wide standards for health care information on electronic billing and other processes. It requires the protection and secure handling of specific patient health information at all times.
When transitioning your business to a digital format it’s imperative that your practice remains compliant with HIPAA standards. Similarly to in-person visits, the same requirements for patient privacy and confidentiality apply to visits conducted over video. The provider also has a responsibility to protect patient information. The storage of electronic files, video, and images needs to be handled with the same care as physical documents.
Services such as Skype and Facetime, do not support HIPAA compliant video conferencing because they are not encrypted. To remain compliant with the law your digital healthcare practice should look for the following features when considering any telehealth technology.
- Fully encrypted data transmission
- Peer-to-peer secure network connections
- No storage of video
How a Virtual Terminal Works With Your Digital Healthcare Practice
Medical professionals need to be able to reliably and securely collect payments from their patients. The use of a virtual terminal keeps customer information including payment information on file to help streamline recurring payments. Cards on file are stored securely and the system automatically keeps card information updated before it expires, ensuring you get paid every time.
Fattmerchant’s Omni Virtual Terminal also integrates invoicing, allows recurring billing and in-person charges, as well as over-the-phone payments. You’re able to create, customize, and send invoices to patients to get paid on time all with flat-fee processing. This not only saves your healthcare business time but also money.
Related Content: What is a Virtual Terminal and How Does it Work for Merchants?
Our virtual terminal is a smart solution for healthcare businesses that take payments online or over the phone. With simple invoicing, recurring charges, and online bill pay, you’ll get paid faster with Fattmerchant. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation for your business.
* For the purposes of collecting financial transactions, our application is HIPAA compliant when used as intended and based on your practice’s internal HIPAA compliance policies.