By Jim Albano
Executive Vice President,
Operations and Payer Strategies
There’s a rising wave around using technology to care for patients through Telehealth platforms in every area of health care as the country works diligently through the Covid-19 pandemic. Telehealth has been around for years, but very recently, because of the pandemic, CMS has loosened regulations and policies regarding the use of Telehealth, and commercial health plans are following that lead. Telehealth allows physicians to engage with their patients with flexible scheduling and at the convenience of both the physician and patient. In an environment of social distancing, it also supports the goals of patient safety and minimizing potential exposure to the Covid-19 virus. United Rheumatology stands ready to assist our member practices and their patients with the tools and know-how to get up and running very quickly.
To that end, just a few short days ago, we sent out a survey to our member practices asking about their interest in Telehealth, as well as asking about their need for assistance in getting started. Of course, there are many rheumatologists around the country who are already very experienced in using Telehealth. Our objective was to determine those that needed assistance, and we found that more than 80 practices around the country were interested and need help in getting things started. In our survey, we also found some EHR partners of our members had a solution that integrates with the EHR/Billing system and can be quickly implemented. We would advise you to check with your current EHR/Billing platform on such solutions.
Of course, time is of the essence with all of the current demands and difficulties facing practices today, and there are many Telehealth vendors, and therefore, platform options on the market, so this can all be very confusing if this is your first foray into this space. Our team, over the past 72 hours, began researching Telehealth platform options, with expediency and ease of implementation and operation as our primary objectives. We found that Doxy.me provides for a fast, easy to use and no cost solution, in particular for smaller practices, although that certainly isn’t to say that there aren’t other effective and efficient options out there as well. But for now, United Rheumatology believes Doxy.me is the best way for smaller practices to get up and running on Telehealth in almost no time at all. Below are some of the positives to be aware of:
- Easy to use for provider & patient
- Lightweight, no install on either end
- Free to start, inexpensive for upgraded accounts. ($40/$50 physician)
- Simple tool, no duplication of data entry, just share a URL to patient.
- Chat/Waiting Room/Video/Audio all worked.
- Referral from real life client actively using 40+ practitioners.
In addition, we’ve provided two useful tools, one for the practice and the other for the patients. We know you will find these easy to understand and use. Please download these guides to get started.
United Rheumatology will continue to explore other Telehealth options, including those that might work better for a larger practice, and we stand ready to assist you in platform selection, as well as implementation and roll out to your patients. For immediate assistance, please contact your Practice Relations Manager or any member of the United Rheumatology team.