Telehealth Programs

Will Starting A Telehealth Service Expand Your Practice

Will Starting A Telehealth Service Expand Your Practice

Let us take pause, as innovations in Telemedicine have steadily emerged as an extension of health systems and healthcare providers. Telemedicine is a way to provide

Familiar Telehealth terms we should know (Courtesy of medicaid.gov)

A few key terms used to describe telehealth services are as follows: 

1.    Distant or Hub site: It is the location site where the physician or other licensed practitioner delivers the telehealth service when the patient is receiving the service by way of the telecommunications system. 

2.    Originating or Spoke site: The site where the Medicaid patient is when they receive services through a telecommunications system. In some instances, tele-presenters at the originating spoke site may facilitate the delivery of the service.

3.    Asynchronous or "Store and Forward": In this process, the patient’s information is stored and sent forwarded from the patient’s site to the provider’s site for a review and comment.  Transferred data from one site to another with a camera or similar device that records (stores) an image, and sends it (forwarded) via telecommunication to another site for consultation. Asynchronous or "store and forward" applications Medicaid do not consider this telemedicine, but they may utilize it to deliver services.

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Telehealth Services Planning Considerations…

Boardwalk, Washington (2015) EBT

A tangible benefit of telehealth services is that they will improve the health of people everywhere, and it will provide a pronounced benefit for those that live in the rural and the under-served areas.  

While preparing for the implementation of telehealth services, one should carefully avoid mistakes of thinking anything should precede delivering patient care.   The patients will be the consumers, and so all developed processes should focalize on them and the care they should receive.  The dominant interests when planning telehealth services should start and end with the patients.  

As a precautionary note: avoid thoughts of using the financial incentives that may come with providing the telehealth services as the primary focus for developing telehealth programs. It could lead to the demise of all planned efforts.  

It will take commitment and discipline to ensure the telehealth services deliver quality patient care and satisfied patients. As a result, select the planning teams carefully.  They will need to be unbiased and honest in the planning. 

Remember, peripheral interests besides maintaining a patient focus can and most likely will present conflicts. Therefore, when conflicts occur, the resolutions must be rooted in meeting the patients' interests.  With this mindset, one will ensure the process meets the intent.  

...All said, when doubt, check it out.  Contact us for assistance if necessary, as we are always here to help.  (everb@evertaylorpc.com)