7 Benefits Of Telemedicine For Patients
Telemedicine is a way to consult with physicians without having to travel. The benefits of this service include lower costs, ease of access to specialist care, and reduced exposure to pathogens. Read on to learn more about how Telemedicine for Patients can benefit you. We’ll take a look at the different ways it can improve the quality of care for you and your family.
Telemedicine is an effective way to provide specialized medical care to patients who are geographically isolated. It helps patients avoid the expense of travel and saves time and money. Telemedicine can also be effective in improving the quality of care for patients with chronic conditions. Moreover, 91 percent of patients who use this technology said that it improved their ability to follow a regular follow-up schedule and manage prescriptions. This technology can also reduce the number of missed or canceled appointments. Since patients will no longer have to worry about arranging transportation or childcare, it is likely that they will keep their appointments.
While telemedicine can be extremely helpful in monitoring patients’ conditions and providing real-time updates, there are many limitations that must be addressed. One of the limitations of this technology is the need for strong Internet connections and a reliable phone connection. Patients in rural areas can benefit from telemedicine as they can send updates on their health via text messages to their physicians.
1. Easy Access To Specialists
Telemedicine for patients is an important part of the continuum of healthcare and can significantly reduce the number of visits to emergency rooms and urgent care facilities. In addition, it can help specialists cut costs by treating patients at home, even on weekends. Patients who have access to telemedicine services are also more engaged in their own care. These benefits are beneficial to both the patients and the healthcare system in the long run.
With telemedicine, patients can talk to their doctors and specialists via the internet. They can review their treatment plans and ask questions of a virtual doctor. Moreover, scans and test results can be transmitted to the patient. This helps increase the patient’s engagement in their own health, and it also increases access for rural residents. Approximately 62 million people live in rural areas and only 9% of physicians practice in these locations.
Telemedicine has come a long way. The concept was first considered in the 1950s when two health centers in Pennsylvania 24 miles apart were connected by telephone. In the same year, a Canadian doctor developed a system called Teleradiology, and it was used to treat patients in Montreal. By the 1960s, University of Nebraska physicians transmitted cardiac rhythms during an emergency.
2. Lower Cost
Telemedicine for patients reduces costs for hospitals and health systems by reducing travel. Studies show that it reduces the cost of health services by $22 per patient consultation over a seven-month period or $21,700 per year. The average cost of a patient consultation with a telehealth provider is 430 dollars, while the average cost of conventional care is $835.
While cost savings from telemedicine are impressive, telehealth also presents challenges. It requires incremental resources, work-from-home expenses, and efforts to help patients cross over into the digital world. As a result, Penn Medicine, a healthcare institution, recognized the need for new research into this service.
The researchers examined data for specialty care telemedicine. They looked at the cost savings from telemedicine as well as the time saved by eliminating travel costs. They found that specialty care telemedicine significantly reduced the number of miles that patients traveled in nine years. This saved $3 million in travel costs.
3. Reduced Exposure To Pathogens
Telemedicine can help reduce the risks associated with infectious disease outbreaks, as well as provide access to medical care for many patients. While this form of remote patient care has been around for decades, it was not considered routine until recently. The use of multiple real-time audio and video programs has made this form of medical care extremely safe. However, it is essential to know the right ways to use this technology.
While telemedicine can be helpful in managing COVID-19, it is not a necessary solution in many cases. Data suggest that a large majority of people with this infection will have a mild case, and the course of the disease will not warrant a trip to the hospital. Telehealth can reduce exposure to COVID-19 by enabling patients to access care from the privacy of their own homes. While telehealth is not yet widely used, more doctors are implementing it.
4. Reduced Medical Overhead Costs
The reduced medical overhead costs of telemedicine for patients are one of the major benefits of this new model of health care delivery. Its use in hospitals has allowed them to save on the cost of travel and appointments, while also improving patient care. However, some specialties may benefit more from telemedicine than others. For example, orthopedics requires a thorough physical examination, while telemedicine may be less effective for this type of care.
Telehealth has the potential to decrease the use of secondary care resources by reducing emergency room presentations, hospitalization, and medical imaging. However, there are few studies that have quantified the cost savings for health systems. A more comprehensive cost analysis would include the amortization of the equipment and operating costs. It can also reduce unnecessary specialist outpatient visits.
In addition to the reduced medical overhead costs, telemedicine can also help patients gain access to care that is not available in their local community. It also provides a much more convenient alternative than a retail clinic. It can save a patient nearly $1,500 per visit. As a result, telehealth could pave the way toward more affordable healthcare.
5. Insurance Reimbursement
Telemedicine is a growing field, but how is it reimbursed? There are several factors that must be considered, and regulations vary from state to state. The federal government regulates telemedicine reimbursement in Medicare, while the states regulate Medicaid and fully-insured private plans.
State governments have a lot of say in how telehealth services are reimbursed, and this policy is important to understand. While Medicaid covers telehealth services, Medicaid coverage is not uniform. This means that there are a variety of reimbursement requirements, and there are a variety of regulations and laws that must be followed to avoid violating the rights of patients.
Fortunately, the federal government is focusing on promoting telehealth and improving access to care for Medicare beneficiaries. It has waived HIPAA, and many states have passed telemedicine laws that allow doctors to use video platforms. As a result, more health centers are ramping up their telehealth programs. However, it is important to note that this rapid expansion of telehealth will require significant financial and workforce investment. This may prove more challenging for small practices. In addition, privacy and quality of care issues may arise as more services are incorporated into health systems.
6. Online Psychiatric Support
Whether you have mild symptoms or need to get a second opinion, Telemedicine for Patients and Online Psychiatric Support can help. A virtual session allows you to communicate with a psychiatrist without leaving the comfort of your home. Psychiatrists can offer advice on medication management, therapy, or diagnosis. Once you sign up, you can select a psychiatrist and begin talking to them.
To access online psychiatrists, you’ll need a secure Internet connection. You can use your computer, tablet, or smartphone to access the service. Once you’ve chosen a professional, you’ll be able to schedule appointments on a flexible schedule. In some cases, these services are covered by health insurance plans.
During a virtual session, you can talk to a psychiatrist through video. These sessions usually last from half an hour to an hour. During this time, a psychiatrist can evaluate your mental health and determine the appropriate approach.
7. Emergency Psychiatric Care
The prevalence of mental illnesses has increased in the U.S., and over 55 million adults were estimated to have a mental illness or substance use disorder in 2016. The burden of this growing population is on emergency departments, which often struggle to provide quality care. In fact, the number of ED visits for mental illnesses increased by 44 percent between 2006 and 2014. In addition, ED visits for psychiatric conditions are more likely to result in inpatient admissions, which is an additional expense for a hospital.
As of June 2016, telepsychiatry services were delivered to nearly 20% of US EDs. This new technology allows psychiatric providers to communicate with patients who are not in the same physical location, and it can also facilitate ED discharge and help keep the ED from being overcrowded. However, the benefits of telepsychiatric care have only recently begun to be realized.
Although these early findings are promising, further research is needed to confirm the benefits of telemedicine in the ED setting. A recent study found that telepsychiatry is associated with a lower incidence of admission and observation stay than conventional EDs, and patients are less likely to be transferred to another type of facility. This suggests that technology could be a valuable tool for improving access to mental health care for people living in low-resource communities.
Contact us or call us today if you need Telepsychiatry and Telemedicine Services. We’re here to help you! Visit our blog for more related articles.