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Crafting a Telehealth strategy

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Telehealth is rapidly becoming an accepted mode of mainstream care delivery. Federal, state and private insurances are covering telehealth services and are encouraging the use of telehealth services.

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Crafting a Telehealth strategy

  1. 1. Craft a telehealth strategy for additional revenue
  2. 2. 2 Introduction Telehealth or Telemedicine provides a means to offer clinical assistance via telecommunication channels eliminating the need for the patient and the care giver to be at the same location. Although physical interaction at the time of care giving is vital, this mode comes with a lot of limi- tations. A patient in a state of sickness having to commute to the clinic location can cause incon- venience, but in some cases can also lead to de- terioration of health. Specialty care providers are scarce in certain areas, in which case a patient has to travel long distances or has to compro- mise on the level of care received. Telehealth technology is useful across all special- ties and clinical settings; however, chronic care and home health settings have to frequently as- sess their patients, and therefore can benefit the most from telehealth followed by providers who provide post-hospitalization care. Telehealth technology not only includes live video (synchronous) but also embraces store and for- ward (Asynchronous) and remote patient moni- toring (RPM). Telehealth is rapidly becoming an accepted mode of mainstream care delivery. Federal, state and private insurances are covering telehealth services and are encouraging the use of tele- health services. Several studies have identified that telehealth not only optimizes clinical work- flow and improves revenue, it also improves pa- tient satisfaction. Craft a Telehealth Strategy for Additional Revenue 2
  3. 3. 3 Benefits of Telehealth Ϋ CONVENIENCE  Save travel time - Provider’s time wasted in travel to distant clinics in rural and remote areas can be better utilized for serving more patients.  Post-discharge treatment - This would re- duce the burden on patients, to travel to the clinic location, post hospitalization. § MORE DOLLARS  More new patients - Telehealth facilitates fast and easy access to patients in rural areas, hence more patients from rural areas, who otherwise could not have been consulted, can now be reached.  Extend service in after-hours - Incorporating telehealth technology in the practice allows providers to consult outside office hours, without being present on clinic premises. This not only helps increase revenue, but also helps clinics achieve value based care objec- tives of expanding practice access.  Reduce no-shows - A primary factor for reve- nue leakage faced by a clinic is “patient no- shows”. A patient, who for some reason is not able to arrive at the clinic at the time of the appointment, causes revenue loss. With vid- eo consultation facility, a patient can now re- motely log into a telehealth solution and consult, thus reducing the clinic’s revenue loss.  Minimize idle time - A clinic can schedule short video consultations for routine consul- tations between face-to-face encounters. This allows providers to utilize their free hours more productively, leading to an increase in clinic’s revenue.  Cross state barriers – With telehealth, provid- ers can service patients across states as well. A well designed solution can ensure that the providers ‘pick’ their patients based on their chosen criteria to maximize their revenues or get maximum patient volumes. ╬ CHOICE  Wider choice of doctors - Apart from the obvious benefit of convenience, a telehealth solution, which acts as an open portal with multiple providers available for consultation, can act as a marketplace for ad-hoc, short consultations. A patient can consult with a doctor of their choice and can possibly pay out of pocket for that ad-hoc consultation. Barriers to Telehealth implementation Just like any other technological interjection in the healthcare space, a significant barrier to tele- health implementation is retaliation from users who are not tech savvy. Another few case studies have identified that providers, initially, find it diffi- cult to provide consultations using the un- conventional telehealth technologies. Also, dur- ing some telehealth implementations users real- ized that much more human effort was required in coordinating telehealth encounters, which in- clude setting up the encounter, assisting patients and providers with the technology, etc. This led to an added administrative burden and added costs for additional staff, and staff time of exist- ing staff. In addition, technology infrastructure Craft a Telehealth Strategy for Additional Revenue 3
  4. 4. 4Craft a Telehealth Strategy for Additional Revenue 4 About Nalashaa Nalashaa believes in simple solutions to derive meaningful insights and in exceeding your expectations. Our clarity of thought has earned us many laurels in this fast paced world where healthcare technology advance- ments are rolling out continuously. About the Author Nisarg Khandekar, Healthcare Consultant Nisarg has worked on a variety of healthcare IT products and has helped medical profes- sionals by understanding their pain points and assisting them adapt to the rapidly chang- ing healthcare IT spectrum, for almost half a decade. Experienced in Meaningful Use and ONC HIT certification processes and currently holding a keen interest in understanding how the analytics and population health management areas are shaping up. Download the full version

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