Author: kimberly b

Study finds 2/3 of healthcare providers aren’t familiar with changes to telehealth reimbursement

Study finds 2/3 of healthcare providers aren’t familiar with changes to telehealth reimbursement

According to a recent survey by Reaction Data, 67% of healthcare providers surveyed weren’t aware of major changes to telehealth reimbursements laws in effect as of January 1.

On November 1, 2018, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued an update to payment policies and payment rates for services provided under the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) on or after January 1, 2019. The specific changes can be found here:  https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/fact-sheets/final-policy-payment-and-quality-provisions-changes-medicare-physician-fee-schedule-calendar-year

Generally, the new rules expand reimbursement for healthcare providers using telehealth platforms (like Clocktree) for virtual care.

One of the previous barriers to using telehealth services was the lack of reimbursement to providers, so this should help boost telehealth adoption rate. However, 53% of the survey participants aren’t yet using telehealth, even with the new guidelines in place.

We’ve referenced studies in the past that show a large majority of patients (67% – 82%) are interested in telehealth services, or would be if they were available. High consumer interest coupled with the CMS guideline changes and more private payers covering virtual visits means huge potential for growth in 2019 for telehealth services.

If you are a healthcare provider who is interested in adding telehealth services to your practice, contact Clocktree Customer Care. We would love to show you how easy it is to conduct telehealth visits with your clients!

 

 

Unique Uses for Telehealth

Unique Uses for Telehealth

Most people are familiar with telehealth services offered by their primary care doctor, therapist or other healthcare provider as a convenient alternative to an in-office visit.  Telehealth has emerged as a standard, even expected, part of certain healthcare practices.

Here are a few examples from Clocktree of less obvious telehealth services that are making a difference in people’s lives and well-being.

Daily Monitoring of TB Patients

Clocktree works with a growing number of county health offices, who are tasked with monitoring tuberculosis patients to ensure they are taking their medications every day.  Before Clocktree, these patients had to physically go to the county health office each day to take their medication. With Clocktree and a mobile phone, they are now able to video record themselves taking their meds on their smartphone each day and submit the video securely through Clocktree to the county health office.  Think of the difference this has made to these patients’ lives, and the improved efficiency to the county health offices!

Physical Therapy

The adoption of telehealth services among physical therapists was a bit of a surprise to us, given the hands-on nature of the physical therapy. However once we dug deeper into these use cases, it makes sense. One physical therapist who was an early adopter of telehealth services is having success using Clocktree for consultations. He reported that often a client will receive a referral for physical therapy, but is intimidated or fearful and doesn’t follow up to get the service they need. Offering initial video consultations allows him to meet with skeptical or fearful clients to help reassure them and ease them into the physical therapy process. Speaking face to face but from the comfort of their own home gives the reassurance that some patients need to pursue treatment.

Other physical therapists use Clocktree for followup visits or to observe clients doing their exercises remotely between sessions.

Home Health Services

Home health and elder care services are using telehealth services in several ways. Among Clocktree users, the most common scenario is to connect a patient and their caregiver with a remote healthcare provider, resulting in much quicker service than if they had to see the provider in person. Our favorite stories come from home health care providers who use Clocktree to connect with a client’s remote family members so they can virtually attend their loved ones’ medical appointments, ask questions and more fully participate in their care.

If you are using telehealth services in a unique and creative way, we’d love to hear about it! Comment below, or contact us at 302-990-8935 or support@clocktree.com.

 

New Client Self-Registration is Now Available

Clocktree is making it easier for your practice to register new telehealth clients!  A prospective client can visit your Clocktree practice profile, click “Contact Us” and send you a new client request without first receiving an invitation. You have the ability to approve or deny that request.  Once you approve the client’s request, they are fully registered as a client of your practice. They will appear in your current client list, and you are ready to communicate with them on our secure, HIPAA compliant platform.

Of course, you still have the option to send an invitation to a prospective client yourself.

This change opens up new opportunities for marketing your telehealth services. You can add a button and link to your website, marketing emails, social media, or anywhere else you mention your telehealth services.

Contact Us on Clocktree

A prospective client can click the button and go directly to the signup form on your Clocktree practice page. To find instructions for publishing this new button on your website, look on your Admin dashboard in Clocktree. The graphic and your unique link can be copied from there.

Screen Shot 2018-11-12 at 12.24.07 PM

Your client can complete the simple form to create their own Clocktree account. The next step (below) is where they request to be your client.  They also have the option to send you a message as part of this request.

Screen Shot 2018-11-13 at 11.36.06 AM

Managing new client requests

You will receive an alert when you have a new client request.  On the Clients tab, the client list is now separated into 3 categories – Current, Deactivated, and Prospects.  New client requests are under the Prospects category, with a button to Approve or Deny each request.

Screen Shot 2018-11-12 at 1.21.25 PM

You may also communicate with the prospective client using our secure messaging service to get more information prior to approving or denying the request. You can do this by clicking on the requester’s name.

All providers in your practice (who have access to the Clients tab) have the ability to approve or deny these requests.

Any provider in your Clocktree practice can also be set up to receive a notification when your practice gets a new client request.  The Admin(s) on your Clocktree practice controls this by assigning providers to the “Contact Us” service.  Here are the steps:

  1. Log in as an Admin.
  2. Click your Profile tab.
  3. In the lower right corner of your banner image, click the “Edit” button.
  4. In the popup, click “Assign Providers” and put a checkmark next to each provider who should receive notifications of new client requests.Screen Shot 2018-11-12 at 1.26.13 PM

We are very excited about this new functionality, as this fulfills one of the top requests we’ve received from healthcare providers who use Clocktree.  Please let us know what you think, and if you have any questions or suggestions please contact our Customer Care team at 302-990-8935 or support@clocktree.com.

Millennials turning to convenient, cost-effective alternatives for healthcare

Millennials turning to convenient, cost-effective alternatives for healthcare

A recent article in The Washington Post highlights the many ways Millennials are changing the healthcare industry through their expectation of convenient, cost-transparent services.  This includes ditching the traditional primary care physician for a combination of walk-in clinics and telemedicine services that are instantly available.

“The whole ‘going to the doctor’ phenomenon is something that’s fading away from our generation,” said Calvin Brown, a recent college graduate. “It means getting in a car [and] going to a waiting room.” In his view urgent care, which costs him about $40 per visit, is more convenient “like speed dating. Services are rendered in a quick manner.”

The article points out that “many young adults are turning to a fast-growing constellation of alternatives: retail clinics carved out of drugstores or big box retail outlets, free-standing urgent care centers that tout evening and weekend hours, and online telemedicine sites that offer virtual visits without having to leave home. Unlike doctors’ offices, where charges are often opaque and disclosed only after services are rendered, many clinics and telemedicine sites post their ­prices.”

Read the whole article.

This is obviously a positive trend for the telehealth industry, and for healthcare providers who are early adopters of telehealth services.  If you are looking for a simple, convenient telehealth solution for your practice, please contact Clocktree’s Customer Care team and ask for a personalized demo of our platform.  It’s so easy, even a non-millennial can use it!