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Should Your Practice Consider Telehealth?

Should Your Practice Consider Telehealth?

Investors are pouring money into digital health companies, with $5.8 billion invested in 2015 alone, according to CBInsights. Of the several subcategories of digital health, telehealth continues to gain momentum with patients and physicians. The term telehealth has been circulating the industry for years, but as healthcare becomes more digitized, it is now at the forefront. Therefore, it is important to understand the different types of telehealth and how each can benefit patient care. According to the Center for Connected Health Policy, telehealth encompasses a broad variety of technologies and tactics to deliver virtual medical, health, and education services. It is not a specific service, but a collection of tools to enhance care and education delivery. Consumers are rapidly embracing the telehealth trend, especially live video services, which help combat busy schedules and the desire to avoid physical visits to a doctor’s office. In fact, as many as 15 million people used telehealth services in 2015, up 50% from 2013, according to the American Telemedicine Association. While there are multiple types of telehealth services, most fall in four basic categories.   Synchronous This is what most people think of when they hear telehealth. It is a live, two-way, video-based interaction between patients and providers, or between two providers. This technology allows physicians to interact and visually consult, diagnose, and suggest treatments in real time.   Physicians can sign up to be available through service providers and deliver consultations via the web or a mobile app. Insurance companies are paying for these “televisits” because they are more cost effective than face-to-face visits. Physicians’ reimbursement rates are often lower, but they...
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