Telemedicine continues to grow at a rapid pace, with the industry set to jump from $38 billion in 2019 to $130 billion by 2025. Yet only about 15% of physicians incorporate this service into their practice.
Why the resistance? Common misconceptions about telemedicine have slowed adoption among most physicians. With healthcare providers frustrated with difficult EHR software platforms, crowded waiting rooms, and confusing billing issues, telemedicine is often overlooked as a beneficial tool.
What are these misconceptions? Let’s discuss the top five:
1) Too Complicated
At first the rapidly evolving telemedicine industry may seem too complex. Physicians still remember being told that electronic health records would make their lives easier. What they found were cumbersome applications that required them to be software engineers instead of medical doctors. Therefore, it is understandable why healthcare professionals may be averse to telemedicine. However, there are ways to ensure a seamless use of this growing technology that can actually alleviate some of the headaches providers deal with today.
The first step is to find a reliable platform from a telemedicine company that offers ways to ensure success. Beam’s platform requires no intricate training and can be set up within minutes. The provider simply creates an account and from there they can begin adding their patients. Beam provides free marketing materials in the form of email and text campaigns. We also create a patient facing website to help the provider attract new patients.
When a consult is ready to begin, the patient receives a link via text message to a secure video conference. There is no need to download any difficult apps or learn any new interfaces. It’s that simple!
2) Too Expensive
Indeed new technologies can often break the bank. However, the truth is telemedicine need not be expensive.
Some platforms do offer affordable startup/monthly fees. Beam takes our pricing model a step further. Whenever a physician completes a consult, Beam collects $10 and the rest goes to the physician. No start up fees. No monthly fees. No hassle. Just consistent revenue with no chance of losing money.
Furthermore, telemedicine can provide ways to generate additional revenue for practices. In the past, phone calls to discuss patient symptoms or results would be time spent by physicians that was unbilled. Today, with Beam you can be compensated for your time, while conducting the same amount of work.
3) Patients are not interested
This couldn’t be further from the truth. A recent survey found that 77% of patients wanted access to their physician via smartphone. With advancements in technology, individuals are quickly transitioning from patients to consumers of healthcare. And as with all consumers, they are searching for simplicity. What can be more simple than a doctor’s visit in the comfort of one’s home?
Even more applications exist when you consider elderly patients who have difficulty ambulating to appointments, and also those who have issues with accessing quality medical care due to distance. Telemedicine is not only a means to simplify healthcare, it is a chance to revolutionize access to care.
4) What about a physical exam?
According to the National Institute of Health, 70% of consults can be completed virtually.This does not mean a physical exam is not important. However, there are many conditions that for which it is not necessary, particularly when the physician-patient result has been established. In these cases a determination can be made based on patient history. Additionally, physicians often give medical advice over the phone without touching or seeing the patient. Now things such as results and medication refills can be conducted through video consultation. This means more streamlined and efficient care.
5) I won’t be reimbursed
Today, 39 out of 50 states have telemedicine parity laws. This means that telemedicine services are required to be treated the same as in-person consults by insurance carriers, which means reimbursement also must be the same. In fact, patients are more than willing to pay for the convenience that telemedicine brings. The result is turning unbillable time spent making phone calls, into additional revenue. Looking ahead even further, adding telemedicine can grow practices as patients are attracted to the convenience this service brings.
With the rise of telemedicine services, it won’t be long before these laws exist in all 50 states. In fact, legislation at the federal level is already being spearheaded by members of congress with bills such as the CONNECT for Health Act which aims to ease the use of telemedicine services for rural counties. Whether physicians are ready or not, telemedicine certainly seems to be the future of healthcare.
Learn how Beam can help you attract new patients and grow your practice. Schedule a demo today!