The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way a lot of businesses work, including the business of healthcare. For individual physicians, small practices, and other providers who don’t work in fields dealing with the health crisis, the way patients are seen has changed. Physicians still need to see patients but it might not be safe to see all patients in the office. One way that physicians are adapting to this crisis is by increasing their use of telehealth services.
According to the Health Resouces Services Administration, telehealth is defined as the use of electronic information and telecommunications technologies to support long-distance clinical health care, health-related education, public health, and health administration. There are many benefits of telehealth for patients as well as for providers.
Benefits of Telehealth for Patients
1. Telehealth Gives Patients Greater Access to Care
One of the biggest benefits of telehealth for patients is that it makes getting medical attention much easier, faster, and more convenient. Whether they are sheltering in place or are unable to come to the office because of mobility issues, patients can get the care they need from home using telemedicine.
2. Recovering Patients Can Get Care At Home
If someone is recovering from an illness or injury, it may be detrimental for them to leave home for follow-up appointments. Patients can have follow-up visits via telehealth and if the physician thinks it’s necessary to see them in person, they can go into the office at that point.
3. Specialists Can Supervise Patients Remotely
Whether a patient is under the care of a physician in the hospital or recovering at home, telehealth makes it easy for specialists to monitor their conditions and consult with other physicians.
4. No Travel Time or Expenses
It is not uncommon for some patients to cancel or skip appointments due to the inconvenience or expense of traveling to the doctor’s office. This is especially true for patients in rural areas who might have to travel long distances to see a doctor. That’s what one of the benefits of telehealth is that there is no need to travel for an appointment.
5. Patients Miss Fewer Hours of Work or School
Patients who have telehealth appointments may be able to miss less school or work. Telehealth visits cut out travel time as well as time spent in the waiting room, meaning patients can return to their normal activities faster.
Benefits of Telehealth for Providers
1. Providers Can Continue to See Patients During Closures
If your office is closed or is operating in a limited capacity, telehealth visits can keep you in touch with your patients and prevent a gap in care. Many practices are only seeing urgent cases in-office but are keeping regular visits and check-ups scheduled using telehealth.
2. Providers Can Serve More Patients
Another one of the benefits of telehealth for healthcare providers is that they can see more patients. If you implement telehealth in an efficient way, these visits can take up less time, allowing you to see more patients each day. You can also offer extended hours on certain days exclusively for telehealth visits. You’ll also be able to reach new patients that live long distances from your practice.
3. More Access to Consults with Specialty Providers
Another one of the benefits of telehealth for providers is that it makes getting consults from specialists easier. Consulting with other physicians on patient care has never been easier than it is using telemedicine technologies.
4. Patient Care Can Become More Efficient
Taking advantage of telemedicine systems can help with patient flow and prioritization. If you triage patients and see non-urgent patients via telehealth visits, then you can use more time-consuming in-office visits for patients who need hands-on care.
5. Telehealth Can Increase Practice Revenue
The final benefit of telehealth for providers is that it can increase practice revenue. It is beneficial to revenue in two ways: it can reduce overhead costs and increased efficiency means more patients are seen. If you see more patients and have fewer expenses, your revenue will increase.
With telehealth rules changing, payers are changing their policies. To make sure you are getting your maximum reimbursement, you need to document everything correctly and have good records. Fast Chart provides accurate and affordable clinical documentation services to hospitals, individual physicians, and healthcare clinics.
Outsourcing your documentation needs can eliminate staffing and management issues. Fast Chart’s HIPAA-compliant medical transcriptionists are highly trained and experienced so they provide the most accurate documentation. They stay up-to-date with the latest federal laws and regulations to ensure proper documentation to support billing for services like telehealth.
To learn more about our services and how Fast Chart can help you with incorporating telehealth services into your practice, contact us at (919) 477-5152.