Making telehealth work in the ‘new normal’

Your telehealth service was probably introduced in a hurry back in March, bolted on to your practice’s usual operations.

Six months on, it’s time to recognise that telehealth is here to stay. It’s no longer an add-on; it’s a core part of your business in the ‘new normal’.

So, it’s time to integrate your telehealth service into your business operations and actively manage it to benefit your practice. Here’s how.

    1. Start charging for it: If your practice model is based on private or mixed billing then extend that to your telehealth service too. Make sure you inform your patients prior to their consultation.
    2. Integrate telehealth into your bookings & billings system: This is the cornerstone of efficient telehealth practice. If you’re still booking and billing separately for telehealth, then stop this double-handling and set up telehealth within your practice management system.
    3. Only provide telehealth to eligible patients: With some exceptions, you can now only claim a Medicare subsidy for a telehealth service provided to a patient who has had a face-to-face appointment in the last 12 months. Cubiko scans your upcoming appointments to identify patients who may no longer be eligible for Medicare-subsidised telehealth services. That means you can avoid providing a service you won’t be paid for. Invite the patient to attend in person instead.
    4. Learn how your doctors are using telehealth: Within the same practice, you may have one doctor relying on telehealth for 70% of consultations and another doctor who only uses it for 20%. Cubiko shows you telehealth consultations by provider so you can explore if and why there are variations between doctors.
      Similarly, you may have one doctor using video consultations and another using phone calls – are they assigning the correct item numbers for these different services?
    5. Monitor telehealth’s impact on your billings per hour: This is critical to practice sustainability (Cubiko shows you this). Knowing how telehealth affects your bottom line, equips you to manage it differently if necessary.
    6. Use telehealth for CDM: CDM is vital for patients and lucrative for practices. Your CDM billings may have dropped off during the early months of COVID as more vulnerable patients stayed away. So, now is the time to proactively recall CDM patients and make use of telehealth item numbers for CDM.
    7. Use technology to manage telehealth: The right technology makes practice management easier. So, get the right technology in place to manage your telehealth service. If your existing system doesn’t equip you to manage telehealth as a routine part of your practice, then book a free demo to see how Cubiko can help you run an integrated, efficient and sustainable telehealth service.

It’s tempting to wish everything would just go back to the old normal but it won’t. It’s better to recognise that and adapt to the ‘new normal’ by integrating telehealth into your routine practice management.

Get in touch if you need help.

Chris Smeed, CEO Cubiko.

1300 CUBIKO (1300 282 456)  or  info@cubiko.com.au

Last Reviewed: 01/10/2020

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