Grow Your Practice with Telehealth Services

Patients Love Telehealth

Healthcare providers and patients used to see medical care as something best done in-person. But the COVID-19 pandemic changed everything including a massive transition to virtual care. According to McKinsey Consumer Health Insights Survey, patients still prefer the convenience of digital engagement and virtual care options. This patient preference is an opportunity for you to grow your practice with telehealth services. It’s an interesting fact that while patients are preferring telehealth services, providers want to return to pre-COVID-19 norms. The same McKinsey survey also highlights the point that providers and patients see telehealth differently. 60 percent of patients think virtual health is more convenient than in-person care while only 36 percent of providers find it more convenient for themselves. Let’s discuss key actions that need to be taken by you to provide telehealth services for better patient reach and satisfaction.

Grow Your Practice with Telehealth

Determine the Most Clinically Appropriate Setting

Clinical appropriateness is the key factor for deciding how and where to increase the utilization of telehealth. Almost half of providers said they regard telehealth as appropriate for the treatment of ongoing chronic conditions, and 38 percent said they believe it is appropriate when patients have an acute change in health. However, providers remain conservative in their view of telehealth’s effectiveness compared with in-person care. As a practice owner, you must consider asking your frontline clinical-care delivery teams to determine the clinically appropriate setting for each type of care, taking into account whether your providers are confident that they can deliver equally high-quality care for both virtual and in-person appointments.

Assess Patient Preferences

Patient demand for telehealth remains high, but expectations appear to vary by age and income group, payer status, and type of care. McKinsey survey highlights that younger people (under the age of 55), people in higher income brackets (annual household income of $100,000 or more), and people with individual or employer-sponsored group insurance are more likely to use telehealth. Patient demand also is higher for virtual mental and behavioral health. Sixty-two percent of mental-health patients completed their most recent appointments virtually, but only 20 percent of patients logged in to see their primary care provider, gynecologist, or pediatrician. It’s crucial to base care delivery models on a deep understanding of patient preferences, with a range of both in-person and virtual care options to meet the needs of multiple patient segments.

Assess Provider Preferences

As mentioned earlier, many healthcare providers are turning away from the virtual operating model while some prefer them. McKinsey survey mentioned that 46 percent of providers said they prefer to offer, at most, a couple of hours of virtual care each day. Twenty-nine percent would like to offer none at all. Just 11 percent would dedicate one full day a week to telehealth, and almost none would want to offer virtual care full-time. As a practice owner, you must consider these provider preferences and work on a module to adopt them. You could offer highly virtualized schedules to physicians who prefer telehealth while allowing other physicians to remain in person only. Matching the preferences of physicians may create the best experience for them as well as for patients. Greater flexibility and greater control over decisions about when and how much virtual care to offer could also help address chronic physician burnout issues.

Communicate with Patients

Healthcare providers consistently emerge as the most trusted source of clinical information by patients. 90 percent of patients consider providers trustworthy for healthcare-related issues. Providers could play an important role in counseling patients on the importance of continuity of care, as well as what can be done safely and effectively in in-person and virtual care. Providers’ ultimate goal must be to help patients receive the care that they need in a timely manner and in the most clinically appropriate setting.

Telehealth is Must

Note that the provider-patient relationship is changing after the pandemic. Healthcare providers reported that they had lost patients to other physicians or to other health systems since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. 35 percent of patients reported seeing a new healthcare provider who was not their regular primary care physician (PCP) or specialist in the past year. What’s more, Medicare regulations now give patients more ownership over their health data, and that could make it easier for them to switch providers. As a practice owner telehealth is no longer an option, it’s mandatory.

We referred recent McKinsey survey report to express our views on how you can grow your practice with telehealth services. If you are worried and not providing telehealth services due to fear of non-payment then we can assist you. Medical Billers and Coders (MBC) is a leading medical billing company providing complete revenue cycle services.

We are well versed with telehealth billing guidelines for various medical specialties, payer-wise. We ensure providers will get accurate insurance reimbursements for the delivered telehealth services. To know more about our telehealth billing and coding services, email us at: info@medicalbillersandcoders.com or call us at: 888-357-3226.