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Physicians Weigh in on Telemedicine’s Post-Pandemic Future

May 12, 2020 Uncategorized No Comments

As states begin reopening and physician practices reassess how to operate in healthcare’s “new normal,” many – if not all – providers who emerge to offer post-pandemic care will weigh the pros and cons of continuing to incorporate virtual visits. 

HIStalk Practice sat down with several physicians from Lee Health Physicians Group in Fort Myers, Florida to gauge their experience with telemedicine over the last several months, and their thoughts on how this method of care delivery may finally gain a permanent foothold in day-to-day operations.

What has uptake of telemedicine been like among your patients? Have they been receptive, or have they put off care until they can be seen in person?

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Elizabeth Midney-Martinez, MD: “The majority of my patients were very hesitant at first. I care for a mostly geriatric population, so as you can imagine, it was difficult at first for many of them because of the technology. There has been a minority of patients who are not able to do telemedicine, but I’ve only had this come up twice in the last several weeks because they do not have a computer, tablet, or their phone is antiquated.”

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Andre Anderson, MD: “The majority of the patients that have used our telemedicine interface have shared that they enjoy it. It gives them the opportunity to continue receiving quality medical care without leaving the comfort of their home. Caregility’s interface is very simplified and easy to use for any age group. Some of my patients have shared that it might be difficult to convince them to come to the clinic in the future if telemedicine is still available. They really enjoy it.”

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Jose Orellana, MD: “My patients have been very receptive with our telemedicine services because they see it as an advantageous and convenient way to access to quality medical care that supplements the practice of medical visits. They also welcome the cut down of medical expense for them, and it extends access to consults from specialists. It also has increased patient engagement by allowing the patient to engage with his/her provider more frequently in a convenient way. Also, our elderly patients feel personally empowered because they do not need a family member to take them to the provider’s office (and miss a day from work) or the need of transportation, therefore cutting on their expenses, especially if they live on a fixed income.”

Do you foresee your organization using telemedicine as much once the pandemic is over?

Midney-Martinez: “I think that this could be used perhaps in a different clinical setting. In my case in particular, since I am the only physician in my small community, I think I will continue to do mostly in-person visits. I would like to be able to see patients via telemed for simple things on my day off to be able to earn more RVUs though, but I do not know if this will be an option moving forward.”

Anderson: “I think it will be hard for insurance companies to discontinue providing payment for telemedicine visits. The convenience factor is a big upsell for the patients. We live in an era that relies heavily on electronics and I think virtual visits will continue if it does not sacrifice quality patient care. It is a great means to reach populations that have difficulties with transportation as well. Telemedicine can also be done ‘on the fly,’ which allows prompt evaluation for patients and should lead to decreased negative outcomes.”

Orellana: “Absolutely, I believe telemedicine is here to stay. It provides an edge to our institution in a competitive healthcare landscape and it complements medical practice; it is the new frontier in medicine and allows us to reach patients in remote locations and areas of shortage of medical professionals. It expedites the care for minor but urgent conditions in a complex but integrative manner.

Finally, what best practices or words of advice (or warning) can you offer to physicians looking to embrace telemedicine as a key part of their practice moving forward?

Midney-Martinez: “Telemedicine is a wonderful way to keep in contact with your patients when not able to be with them in person. I have been able to keep patients out of the hospital this way. It also keeps patients out of urgent care, since most of their problems are minor issues that can be easily addressed like headache, rash, UTI, etc. I have found that even though my patients were resistant at first, once they connected with me, they were very happy, excited, and many told me they wished we could do it like this ‘all the time.’”

Anderson: “Telemedicine can help expedite care, but it still has its limitations. Physical exam is an integral part of the interview process and of course is difficult to assess virtually. However, good history-taking usually leads to an appropriate diagnosis. HIPAA is always an area of concern and should still be respected even during virtual visits. My biggest advice to other physicians is to always remember to smile! (You’re on camera.)”

Orellana: “Initially, telemedicine may create a technological hurdle for both patients and providers as we grapple with new technology. There is a learning curve with this technology and patients need time and education to register and install the appropriate app. Telemedicine as a tool must have HIPAA compliance and good IT support to be efficient and effective. Also, telemedicine may lead to a breakdown in care continuity if patients access a random doctor who does not know the patient and the patient’s medical history. The medical institution must provide the tools to providers to easily connect with their own patients. Providers must realize that telemedicine is a supplement to medical visits; in specific conditions, a physical exam is necessary to make a full diagnosis.”


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

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HIStalk’s Must-See Exhibitors Guide for MGMA 2017

October 3, 2017 Uncategorized No Comments

Check out HIStalk’s annual list of sponsors exhibiting at this year’s MGMA conference in Anaheim, CA. Map out your trip to the exhibit hall using the guide, which includes descriptions of the products and innovations (and giveaways!) our sponsors plan to showcase. We’ve also included contact information for sponsors that will be walking the show floor in lieu of exhibiting.

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AdvancedMD
Booth 1603

AdvancedMD strives to be the community of choice for independent providers by delivering an integrated workflow and personalized service to ensure the health of every practice and their patients. The company’s integrated suite of cloud solutions includes practice management, EHRs, telemedicine, patient relationship management, business analytics reporting, and physician-performance benchmarking – all backed by expert practice advocates. AdvancedMD also offers full-service RCM and serves an expansive national footprint of nearly 26,000 practitioners across 8,600 practices and 600 medical billing companies. Visit www.advancedmd.com.


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Aprima
Booth 709

Aprima provides innovative EHR, PM, population health and RCM solutions for medical practices. For nearly two decades, the company has delivered quality solutions that have helped tens of thousands of users enhance patient care and satisfaction, as well as improve their practices’ bottom lines. Its EHR/PM solution sets the benchmark for ease-of-use, speed, and flexibility, thanks to its single application, single database, and customizable design that adapts automatically to individual physician workflows. Aprima has a proven track record of compliance with government initiatives such as Meaningful Use and ICD-10, has been awarded pre-validation status for NCQA PCMH recognition, and has been given the Frost & Sullivan 2017 Award for Product Leadership. The company is based in Richardson, TX and performs all development, support, implementation, and RCM services from within the US To learn more about how Aprima can help your practice, please visit us at MGMA booth 709. Click here to schedule a personal demo.


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Experian Health
Booth 1235

Getting paid has never been easier. Getting paid quickly and accurately by payers isn’t rocket science — you just need the right tools for the job. Experian Health wants to positively impact your operations, your balance sheet, and the patient experience. We can provide you with the tools you need to: 

  1. Collect more from patients pre-service. 
  2. Provide self-service tools for patients. 
  3. Submit clean claims for efficient reimbursement.
  4. Negotiate better payer contract terms. 
  5. Effectively collect self-pay balances.   

Thousands of medical groups already trust Experian Health and our RCM, identity management, patient engagement, and care management solutions to help them make smarter business decisions, secure stronger bottom lines, and build better relationships with patients. Are you ready to lead the way in healthcare? Take the first step by visiting us at booth 1235. While there, register for a chance to win a $300 AMEX gift card. You can also visit us at www.experian.com/medical-groups, email experianhealth@experian.com or call us at 888 661 5657.


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Meditech
Booth 1224

Tired of experiencing physician and staff burnout on account of your EHR? Looking for something more intuitively designed, more actionable, more … 21st century? Come visit Meditech at the MGMA 2017 Annual Conference (booth 1224) to see the first full scale EHR for post-Meaningful Use in action. Join Andrew Burchett, DO, medical information officer at Avera Health, and a team of Meditech ambulatory experts as we demonstrate how our Web EHR puts the flow back in your workflow. From physicians to nurses, billers to practice managers, you’ll witness how our Ambulatory solution connects all staff across your practice and beyond to support coordinated, patient-centered care. On Tuesday, October 10 at 3:30 pm, be sure to catch Burchett and Carol Labadini, associate vice president of client services at Meditech, during their session, “Coordinating Care and Engaging Patients with Team-Based Care,” where they’ll highlight Avera Health’s team-based approach for managing chronic patient populations.


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PatientKeeper
Booth 1420

At MGMA17, PatientKeeper will introduce and demonstrate PatientKeeper Charge Capture – Office Edition, a fully hosted version of PatientKeeper specifically designed and priced to meet the needs of small and mid-size physician practices. PatientKeeper Charge Capture – Office Edition requires no IT infrastructure at the practice – physicians just enter their charges from any PC, tablet, or smartphone at the point of care, in the office, or anywhere in between.


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PMD
Booth 1303

PMD develops powerful software for doctors and healthcare professionals. PMD allows healthcare teams to provide more efficient and coordinated patient care, while also capturing valuable data for reimbursement on their services. Healthcare providers can record and securely share information on patient encounters from their smartphones right at the point of care. Through charge capture, secure messaging, care coordination, and quality registry, PMD provides healthcare teams with the tools to collaborate and communicate securely so that patients are given the most appropriate and timely care necessary. PMD is compatible with IOS (IPhone + IPad), Android, and Web apps. PMD provides free interfaces with most major EHRs, and hospital information and medical billing systems. The PMD team is committed to developing the best solution and providing superior customer service. For more information, contact PMD or swing by booth 1303!


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Saturn Care

To schedule a meeting:

Contact: Phil Heifetz 
pheifetz@saturncare.com

Saturn Care’s clinically proven Chronic Disease Management Program (CDMP) acts like the ‘Easy Button’ for primary care when it comes to the challenging task of managing diabetes and related chronic conditions. CDMP creates a one-click, one-screen patient dashboard, accessible from inside the primary care practice’s EHR, that gives an instant snapshot of clinical and behavioral status. It also includes a broad set of Web-based care planning and educational tools for care managers and other members of the team, and a patient-facing mobile app.


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Versus Technology
Booth 303

It’s time to RETHINK the status quo of patient flow. Versus, a Midmark company, helps you understand and align your operations. How long do processes take? Where are your bottlenecks? How can you improve throughput? The Advantages Clinic automated patient flow system uses real-time locating system (RTLS) technology to provide accurate, unbiased operational data. Together with our lean consulting and clinical workflow expertise, the result is sustainable performance improvement. We’ve helped medical groups eliminate their waiting rooms, expand capacity and access up to 75 percent, increase provider productivity by 88 percent, and improve both provider satisfaction and the patient experience by more than 200 percent. Visit booth 303 for a LIVE demonstration of our patient flow technology. Or, hear direct from one of our clients in education session D06, “Using RTLS Technology to Actively Manage Practice for Performance Improvement,” presented by Rodney Haas, principal, organizational performance management for University of Minnesota Physicians.


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk, HIStalk Connect.

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