The field of healthcare is now being revolutionized via telehealth. Several short years ago, when it was more of a curiosity than a legitimate P3Care service, such a comment may have been regarded with contempt. Now, however, it is becoming more and more accepted. On the other hand, this was before the COVID-19 pandemic, which turned even a routine trip to the doctor’s office into a significant threat to one’s health. Because of these less-than-ideal conditions, providers were compelled to adjust their practices, which dramatically accelerated the widespread acceptance of telehealth services.
Telemedicine has become a widespread practice overnight. Telehealth utilization reached its all-time high in April 2020, just as the pandemic was getting started, and was 78 times more than it had been in February. The rate of usage had somewhat leveled off by February of 2021. However, despite the fact that it was not quite as staggering an increase as 78 times, it was still a very respectable 38 times more than it had been before the epidemic. According to the findings of a recent report authored by McKinsey, the telehealth business has the potential to become worth one-quarter of a trillion dollars in the not-too-distant future.
The reasons for this shift are completely transparent. Although the technology had been developed before the pandemic, it was still in its infancy at the time, and the benefits it offered were insufficient to persuade providers that investing in it would be worthwhile. Because of the uncertainty over insurance and regulations, many people were under the impression that they did not need to make an investment in a telehealth system. Although this is typical for the majority of newly developed technologies, particularly in an industry that is as highly regulated as healthcare, these problems were quickly resolved as soon as the pandemic began. Suddenly, telehealth was the only option available to millions of Americans who were looking for healthcare services. In spite of the significant increase in usage, contracting continues to be a significant obstacle that a great number of practices have not yet conquered. Contracting for telehealth services is still a minefield that providers need to cross in order to ensure that the right safeguards and commercial conditions are in place prior to the making of any agreements.
When entering into a contract for telehealth
The ability to expand service availability beyond the limitations of a physical office is one of the most significant benefits made possible by telehealth. Telehealth services are freed from the constraints of a traditional office setting. Providers are now able to provide services to patients whom they were previously unable to because of geographical limitations. The field of mental health, which very infrequently calls for a physical examination, is the one that has profited the most from this development. Patients may now receive access to much-needed treatments through something as easy as a post on social media or a referral from friends or family members. In the past, these patients may have been unable to access these services because the distance to the facility was too great.
What this indicates for the process of contracting is that big groups of providers will need to have their credentials, contracts, and onboarding procedures expedited as rapidly as possible. The process can be significantly sped up for providers by utilizing intelligent contracting solutions and experienced credentialing specialists.
The problem of pricing for telehealth services is far from being resolved, especially considering that the CPT codes were developed only a few short years ago. The current list of codes is still incredibly limited, but it will almost certainly undergo a significant amount of growth over the course of the next few years. Existing codes are primarily time-based; nevertheless, this raises the question of whether the time of one specialty is more valuable than that of another. This level of clarity is required, and it is very possible that it will be figured out in a relatively short amount of time.
Discover More About How to Ensure Your Success in Telehealth by Following These Simple Tips
The concept of risk is one that has, up until this point, been conspicuously absent from discussions regarding telehealth. The ability to defend oneself against the possibility of legal action is essential for providers. In the same vein as pricing, providers should anticipate a great lot of change in this sector over the next few years as the appropriate regulatory agencies work out how they desire to address the subject.