Telehealth Challenges and How to Overcome Them in Your Practice (Part 2)
- Video Quality
Now we’ll discuss three additional concerns that often come up for clinics trying to implement these technologies.
For small clinics, one hurdle is not having the resources to provide a high level of technical support for a new software program. Depending on the telehealth software you choose, you could be on the hook to do all the technical support on your own, which means hiring IT staff members (at a time when you’re probably already strapped for cash) or trying to figure it out on your own (which takes away from valuable time with your patients).
A better solution is to work with a company that offers complete support for its products, taking care of all the tech support details while you simply log on and use the platform. AdvancedMD has a team of technical support professionals to answer any questions that come up while you’re using the platform, and all you need to do is have an internet connection to access our cloud-based system. No IT pros or experience required.
For clinics that have long done things a certain way, asking people to completely change the status quo is difficult. This was actually one of the most significant hurdles to implementing new technology that would allow for more telemedicine visits prior to COVID-19. However, the rapid change during the coronavirus pandemic has helped push people who otherwise may not have wanted to move forward with telemedicine straight into the world of virtual visits.
While there are no simple solutions to help people overcome the fear of change or concerns that something new will disrupt a system they perceived as working just fine, having a simple telehealth platform with a user-friendly interface can help reluctant patients and providers feel more comfortable with new technology and new processes.
Reimbursements have also been difficult, with some major payers (including Medicare) reimbursing telemedicine visits at lower rates than in-person visits. While there are some other advantages that telemedicine can offer, including the ability to streamline visits and get through them quickly without all the distractions a typical medical clinic has, reimbursement remains a sticking point. Even in the pandemic, the rapidly shifting federal and private payer policies have made it hard for doctors to get paid what they feel is appropriate.
Fortunately, CMS, along with everyone else, has been forced to rapidly evolve as COVID-19 spread, and the increase in telemedicine has pushed them to change fee schedules to reimburse telemedicine visits just like an in-person one. Hopefully, that will stick around post-pandemic.
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