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4 Reasons Telehealth is Critical to Your COVID-19 Plan

Leslie Becker

Written by Leslie Becker

The scene: it’s 2020 and a novel coronavirus outbreak has the entire world scrambling to identify and care for the sick while gaining an understanding of symptoms and health impacts. The illness, COVID-19, causes respiratory distress that necessitates intubation for some, while others are contagious and asymptomatic. Politicians, economists, and health officials unite to fight the spread and lessen the impact of the outbreak. Businesses temporarily shutter, concerts are canceled, and ordinary people stay home for weeks on end. 

How are you and your organization managing in this crisis? A major concern for your bottom line is that COVID-19 is interrupting office visits to healthcare providers at a staggering rate; patients are canceling 80% of in-person appointments, causing revenue loss particularly in specialty, primary, and chronic care. Patients who continue to need care may delay or cancel appointments for fear that they may catch or spread illness, which increases many patients’ need for urgent care as chronic conditions worsen without regular office visits and interventions. 

Fortunately, an enterprise virtual care platform can allow your healthcare providers to perform billable appointments and virtually deliver the same quality of care to your patients. While some patients and healthcare providers may have been unfamiliar with telehealth technologies prior to this outbreak, the prevalence of virtual care is increasing and your patients will undoubtedly come to see telehealth platforms as a reliable way to seek healthcare, without cancelling their existing appointments. This pandemic necessitates a viable virtual care solution for a healthcare network to thrive.

1. Reduce Revenue Loss from canceled appointments

COVID-19 symptoms and treatment have caused a surge in the need for urgent or emergent care. Meanwhile, regular care remains necessary for the majority of patients although they may try to avoid coming into contact with the virus by canceling or postponing office visits, interrupting your revenue stream. Immediate implementation of a plan to halt cancellations at this scale is imperative. When you deliver specialty, primary, and chronic care virtually, you will undoubtedly reduce the rate of canceled appointments, which will allow your providers to continue to treat patients, and will provide the means for the smooth continuation of your network’s revenue stream.

2. Reduce risky in-office visits with virtual care

Virtual care allows your network to continue to reach all of your patients without the risk of bringing a potentially fatal virus into your buildings. Those particularly hard-hit by this virus are those over 60 years of age, and your workforce is not exempt; 30% of physicians are considered vulnerable because they fall into this age group. If the supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) is a concern, reducing the number of patients who enter your facilities will allow your staff to save PPE for use with only those patients who urgently need an in-person visit.

3. Safely deliver urgent care services to patients in their homes

As patients seek care for COVID-19 and other urgent issues, your urgent care clinics are busier than ever. You don't want patients sitting in waiting rooms, potentially spreading the virus. Telehealth is key to providing urgent care to patients in the safety of their own homes. By handling the higher volume of urgent care issues through virtual means, both staff and patients remain safer as a result of reduced exposure within your facilities.

4. Government stimulus funding telehealth programs

The United States government has taken actions to back telehealth by passing the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act as a relief bill to lessen the impacts of the novel coronavirus outbreak in the US. This act supports and funds healthcare providers in multiple ways so more citizens under broader circumstances can receive virtual care.

Implement virtual care now, your patients will thank you later

Immediate implementation of a durable, long-term telehealth platform will not only allow your network to continue to treat patients and maintain its revenue stream, it will also help your organization thrive as you keep up with changing times. The sooner you implement a HIPAA-compliant virtual care platform, the sooner your organization can increase the positives to your bottom line while decreasing the positives in the fight against COVID-19.

Because we believe our platform is an essential tool for every healthcare network, we offer eVisit QuickStart, a simplified version of our virtual care platform that allows you to begin providing virtual care within three days of signup. While your network is doing what you do best, we’ll help you transition to the fully configured eVisit Virtual Care Platform.

Published: June 24, 2020