When using telehealth to deliver care, private practices have many considerations to take into account, to survive as a business in the near term, and thrive in the future. Just make sure to steer clear of these five common pitfalls.
- Preparing a telehealth services strategy without considering use cases. Practices that are successful with telehealth plan in advance by a) collaborating with providers and staff about the overall business approach to telehealth, b) aiming for a specific number of virtual visits to schedule each day, per provider, c) knowing the types of telehealth visit the practice will conduct, during a national emergency and afterward, and d) knowing and keeping track of evolving telehealth requirements in your state and specialty.
- Selecting a consumer-grade telehealth solution. Consumer video applications usually aren’t HIPAA-compliant, and therefore aren’t a long-term solution for practices after the national emergency abates. Practices are best positioned for success with a telehealth solution that integrates into the way providers manage their workflow and healthcare industry requirements.
- Forgetting to check with your medical malpractice insurer about telehealth coverage. It’s critical that you check in with your malpractice insurance provider to see if your policy includes telehealth coverage. Many insurers automatically include coverage for telehealth services in their policies; however, others only include it if requested, or only offer limited coverage. For example, some policies only cover telehealth services if the insurance company and/or healthcare provider are licensed in the same state where the patient is located during the telehealth visit. Talk with your insurance provider about your plans and your current coverage to adjust as needed.
- Not paying close attention to Medicare fee schedules, and state regulations and requirements. How your practice can use telehealth and receive payment for appointments requires knowledge of your state’s laws and regulations, especially in this time of national emergency. Review your state requirements to follow evolving policies and legislation about telehealth services.
- Failing to properly market telehealth to your current and prospective patients. If you don’t have a strategy to tell current and potential patients about your telehealth services, your practice will miss out on opportunities to book this type of appointment. Telehealth information needs to be clearly visible on your practice website homepage and service pages, as part of your overall approach to care. Include virtual visits in your online scheduling options for patients. To take it a step further, telehealth should be featured in your search optimization strategy, so your practice will rank well in telehealth search results. Also, update your Google My Business profile to include telehealth services. Emails and blog posts directed at your patients can also raise awareness and prompt telehealth appointments.
Learn more about PatientPop Telehealth by visiting patientpop.com/telehealth.