Cardio Sleep Review

Dedicated to the Nexus of Cardiology and Sleep Apnea Management

Issue 4,

Continue To See Patients… Even If You Know Nothing About Telehealth!

by Sam Lippolis
Telehealth Educator & Coach

Sam teaches providers in private practice how to plan, implement, and scale telehealth. From video visits to remote patient monitoring, she’s got you covered. Her obsession with workflows and clinician ease of use has allowed practices across 5 states in 19 specialties to thrive and grow with telehealth.

COVID 19 took us from full practice schedules to limping along with a 55% decrease in revenue and a 60% decrease in volume. MGMA reported as of April 8th, 22% of private practices had layoffs and 48% had furloughs. By May the numbers are projected to increase to 36% of private practice will have layoffs and 60% furloughs.

Some practices are staying afloat using telehealth. And the lucky few are thriving using telehealth with 90% patient volume and revenue intact.

What makes one practice thrive at 90% of patient volume and revenue and another, even with telehealth, flounder, close and be driven to layoffs and furlough?

Telemedicine has been around for decades. It’s not new, it’s not innovative. But the barriers of reimbursement and provider acceptance kept wide scale adoption low….until COVID 19. From one week to the next ‘telehealth’ became THE tool to treat your patients.

CMS and private insurers waived geographic requirements and recognized that a video visit in a patient’s home should be reimbursed 100%–the same as face to face services. Now the flood gates opened for telehealth to thrive

Here are the Top 5 Most Common Provider Questions You Should Know About Telehealth

  1. How do providers ensure video visits meet the standard of care and don’t increase liability risk?
    This is easy because malpractice already considers telehealth video-visits low risk. Call your malpractice carrier and inform them you’re incorporating telehealth into your practice. If you get any push back or are asked to purchase more coverage—switch carriers. Telehealth is included in standard malpractice because it is low risk and you don’t need an additional rider for your policy.
  2. What makes a well-functioning, easy-to-use telehealth service
    Well-designed logistical and clinical workflows. This is not about technology. Great workflows ensure you’re meeting the standard of care. Great workflows are the difference between patient acceptance of video visits and “no thanks”, I’ll just wait until I can come in-person’. Great workflows reduce frustration and wasted provider and patient time trying to connect to the video. Great workflows ensure the patient and provider are on time for appointments because there’s no “waiting room” to sit in. For a patient, 30 seconds waiting online feels like 5 minutes. Great workflows give your staff confidence and excitement about telehealth, so they enroll patients, instead of telemedicine being “just one more hassle to deal with”.
  3. What about reimbursement?
    Video visits for new and follow-up outpatient evaluation and management codes reimburse 100% the same as face-to-face. The patient can be in their home via video under the COVID 19 emergency waiver. Set up the telehealth acceptable place of service, modifiers, CPT codes, encounter type and you’re set for reimbursement.
  4. What about technology?
    This is the lowest barrier. You can pick from free, low or high cost technologies. Is it reliable, user friendly and simple? Reliability should be your #1 criteria. Simplicity is #2. Always get a live demo of the system. If the system is glitchy during the demo, it won’t improve later. The old rule of “what you see is what you get” applies here too.
  5. How do you reduce technical issues?
    It’s all about the workflow. Well-designed workflows mitigate technical issues.

There are four tried and true best practices to a thriving revenue generating telehealth service that patients and providers love:

  1. Telehealth clinical champion
  2. Simple reliable technology
  3. Obsession with clinical and logistical workflow design to ensure a standard of care, and patient and provider ease of use
  4. Billing system set up for success

Cardiology has chronic disease patients that should not be waiting weeks or months to be seen until things “get back to normal”. Your patients need you now. They need you to manage their chronic issues which haven’t stopped with COVID 19. Your clinical care can easily be done with video visits.

Now, get out there and get your patients in video visits and don’t let the big telehealth companies take your patients and revenue. The telehealth companies that treat low level urgent needs are NOT losing money. They’re providing 10,000-20,000+ patient visits per day, per company

Visit Sam’s Website

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Cardio Sleep Review
Publisher: Itamar Medical
Editor: Melih Alvo

The Cardio Sleep Review editorial team thanks all those who contributed to this publication.

Itamar Medical, as the publisher of the Cardio Sleep Review, is not engaged in providing any specific medical advice or opinions on any medical symptom or condition.

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