Should You Continue to Offer Telehealth Appointments?

Despite telehealth’s rising popularity, telehealth use recently fell almost 7%. Still, over 64% of broadband households used telehealth services in the past year.

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Telehealth has been in the spotlight since COVID-19 first began. Prior to that, telehealth was experiencing an uptick in use, but COVID-19 caused exponential growth.

A recent study found that telehealth was more popular for mental and behavioral health treatment, as opposed to being used for physical conditions.

The study found that telehealth for behavioral health was used more widely with men, under age 60, with greater than a high school education.

Telehealth coverage continues to expand in various states and with various payors.

Certain healthcare entities have had major successes with telehealth, while others were left scrambling during the pandemic.

Entities planning on offering telehealth into the future can learn from the studies, along with the success stories.

One health system, Ochsner Health in Louisiana, has had particular success with telehealth. Ochsner got a head start on telehealth, starting over ten years ago to help their rural community get care.

In the last four years, Ochsner has made large investments into telehealth. Ochsner has been targeting chronic conditions and utilizing connected wireless devices to provide more accurate care.

In 2020, Ochsner performed over 300,000 virtual visits with a patient satisfaction score that was higher than satisfaction scores of Netflix or Amazon.

What can you learn from recent telehealth studies and success stories?

  1. Certain visits or services may better lend themselves to telehealth appointments, such as behavioral visits or even managing certain chronic conditions.
  2. Spending time to put the correct infrastructure in place is important for the continuity of care.
  3. Understanding patient hesitations or obstructions to utilizing telehealth services can be instrumental in addressing potential problems at the outset.
  4. Connected devices, like glucometers and blood pressure cuffs, can ensure visits go smoothly and that proper care is provided.
  5. Mobile applications for telehealth services must be both user-friendly and secure.

If your practice is suited for remote appointments and your patient base is interested, telehealth is a great option for convenient appointments.

If you have any telehealth questions or want to learn more about telehealth, make sure to tune into our webinar, Upcoming Changes to Telehealth Policies. We are partnering with The Physician Alliance on October 20, 2021 at 8:00 a.m. EST to bring you up to date information on telehealth. Register HERE.

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