5 Reasons to Implement Telemedicine in 2021
1. An industry shift to digital health
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, the healthcare industry was leaning towards a more digital space. After the pandemic, there was a fundamental shift that occurred in the industry, resulting in telemedicine, remote patient monitoring, and other technological advancements to be more mainstream. Unless specialized care is needed, a majority of visits for patients around the world have been done globally. Of course, there are barriers to this for some populations, such as internet connection constraints, but there are workarounds to this. Our platform, DrCare247, allows telemedicine consultations with HD video and audio calling with lower internet bandwidth. This has helped patients in even remote areas see their doctors at the touch of a button!
The pandemic has changed the way that people visualize getting care from their doctor. Even after a COVID-19 vaccine gets rolled out globally in 2021, the demand for telemedicine will still be very high. Most patients had a virtual visit during the pandemic, and realized how easy it is. They did not need to miss hours of work, and could easily see their doctor from the comfort of their home. Many patients also have anxiety with being in a hospital or clinic in-person, so this is also eliminated with a virtual visit, benefiting their patient experience. No more unnecessary car trips are needed for a simple conversation with a doctor for a few minutes. Although there are exceptions to this, such as post-operation checkups and specialty visits, general telemedicine is projected to be the new norm for patients of all ages.
Not only do virtual visits save money for the patient, but they are a massive cost-saver for doctors and the health system as well. A study has found that the average in-person visit can cost a patient $43 in lost time alone, and this is excluding the actual amount for the visit itself. Doctors also benefit greatly by being able to quickly see the patient’s health history on a platform, and see their patients at the simple tap of a button. Of course, this is feasible for primary care physicians and behavioral health, as specialty care may need a more in-depth look in-person with the patient. We at DrCare247 offer our clients the option to chat directly with patients, instead of arranging a video or audio call. This is extremely quick for both patient and doctor, and can be priced even lower by the client. This will not only bring the usual convenience to patients but prevent unnecessary cost for patients, over simply wanting to check something with their doctor.
4. Decision Support for Physicians
As the healthcare industry undergoes a change like never seen before, artificial intelligence and decision support are very important to help doctors as needed. But it is important to note that this not only helps doctors, but also patients. For example, with our platform that can blend remote patient monitoring as well, patients can get an alert when the algorithm in our platform detects abnormal readings in vitals. This alert will also trigger communication to the doctor, notifying them that they need to get in touch with the patient as soon as possible. Reach out for a demo with us to see how you can implement our platform with both telemedicine and RPM, and join the market in 2021!
5. Shifting Payment Models
As the pandemic marches on, payment and reimbursement models surrounding telemedicine have been made very flexible in various countries around the world. When it comes to the United States, Chris DeMeo, partner at Sayfarth Shaw LLC, says that “Telemedicine flexibility and waivers are most likely to continue on in their current state post-pandemic. During the public health emergency, a large portion of the regulatory flexibilities and waivers offered to providers involved telemedicine. These flexibilities are temporary, designed only to pay providers for greater telemedicine use during the pandemic. But now that providers know public and private payers are willing to pay for virtual care, reimbursement is likely to stick for telemedicine.”