Telehealth at a Tipping Point – September 2017
By: Betty A. Hovey, CCS-P, CPC, CPMA, CPCD, and Cheryl Toth, MBA
What’s a service orthopaedic practices can offer that is popular with patients, reimbursed by most payers, not too expensive to implement, and deliverable in all 50 states?
Telehealth: Although it’s obviously not suitable for every type of patient encounter, the value telehealth confers to patients, practices, and payers has pushed adoption to the tipping point. These services also allow practices to differentiate themselves.
Why consider telehealth?
According to the American Telemedicine Association (ATA), telehealth has four primary benefits, as follows:
- Improved access
- Reduced costs
- Improved quality/safety
- Improved patient satisfaction
Indeed, a 2015 Harris Poll found that 64 percent of patients were willing to participate in telehealth visits because of convenience. The ATA says more than 15 million Americans received at least some medical care remotely in 2015, and it expects those numbers to grow by 30 percent in 2017.