Telehealth services have emerged as a valuable tool for healthcare providers looking to expand their scope of billable services. These remote services allow providers to offer everything from consultations to patient treatments across a wider service area and to those who might not have direct access to them otherwise.
For providers, improving access to care also increases revenue stream opportunities. As telehealth continues to become standard, positioning your practice to offer these services can unlock new opportunities — and challenges. It’s critical to understand how they affect your revenue cycle management (RCM) practices before rolling them out to patients.
Identifying telehealth opportunities
Telehealth, also known as telemedicine, provides greater availability to a larger field of medical professionals and services so patients don’t have to come in for in-person visits. It is particularly helpful to patients who find it difficult to travel, be it due to distance or illness severity.
There are several ways to engage in telehealth, such as:
- Real-time interactions over the phone or via video chat
- Email, secure file exchanges, and secure messaging
- Remote monitoring devices
Providers can offer a wide range of telehealth services, from consultations to prescription drug management. But the best services for your practice will depend on your patients’ care needs, preferences, and remote methods they are most comfortable with.
Marketing telehealth services
Once you have determined the telehealth services to provide, you need a marketing and pricing plan. A marketing plan will announce the services to your patients and highlight their benefits. To justify the pricing of your telehealth services, establish a professional setup and robust infrastructure to support a high-caliber experience. For example, ensure a well-lit dedicated space, high-speed internet, and high-resolution video equipment for video consultations.
Additionally, invest in your online presence with a more informative website. And consider integrating a HIPAA-compliant patient portal where patients can see their records and communicate securely with you.
Telehealth billing and reimbursement
Telehealth billing and reimbursement policies vary in accordance with federal and state laws and insurance company guidelines. Understanding these regulations is crucial before launching your services. Otherwise, unnecessary confusion can result regarding medical billing and filing claims.
Take the time to research all telehealth coding and billing requirements applicable to your practice. With this knowledge, you can adjust your revenue cycle management (RCM) system to account for these new services. Finally, adopt best practices to maximize reimbursement so patients will be inclined to use your telehealth services.
The time is now for telehealth
Telehealth offers numerous opportunities for providers to improve their cash flows by expanding their scope of billable services. But to realize new revenues, providers must understand the nuances of telehealth billing and reimbursement. Establishing strong RCM practices before introducing telehealth options sets the tone for a seamless, revenue-driven billing process — not one rife with rejected claims and reimbursement headaches.
Learn more about telehealth revenue opportunities at trubridge.com.