Everything You Need to Know Before You Start a Telehealth Business
With over 42% of Americans using telemedicine services during the pandemic, it's clear that telehealth is here to stay. In fact, a recent study revealed that 67% of employees expect their employer to offer virtual healthcare services as part of their benefits package, and 80% of employees believe that virtual healthcare services are an important factor in choosing an employer. This indicates that the demand for virtual care services will only continue to increase in the coming years. Now is an excellent time to incorporate telehealth into your practice if you haven't already.
How to Start a Telehealth Practice
1. Familiarize yourself with telehealth laws in your state
Before starting a telehealth practice, acquaint yourself with the laws governing telehealth programs in your state. Laws vary across states, affecting patient location requirements and reimbursement policies. Understanding these regulations is crucial to ensure compliance and proper reimbursement. A great starting point is The Pioneer Institute, Cicero Institute, and Reason Foundation which recently released a new study rating every state’s telehealth laws for 2023, with Arizona and Delaware sweeping high ratings across four key telehealth policy areas. Afterwards, be sure to check out the Center for Connected Health Policy's latest guide on State Telehealth Laws and Reimbursement Policies Report or head straight to their online Policy Finder tool to find the specific laws and regulations for your state.
2. Decide how to utilize telehealth in your practice
There's no one-size-fits-all approach to implementing telehealth. Assess the unique needs of your patients and develop a customized telehealth strategy. For example, allocate specific time slots for virtual visits or follow-up calls through video.
3. Involve your staff
Incorporating telehealth into your practice will inevitably impact its daily routine, making it essential to involve your staff and actively seek their support. Establish a dedicated team responsible for overseeing telehealth implementation, including providers who will utilize the platform and staff members in charge of appointment scheduling. Creating your ultimate telehealth team necessitates careful evaluation of various factors.
Ensuring candidates are qualified and credible is crucial; this can be achieved through pre-employment background checks to verify certifications. Additionally, key qualities such as empathy and digital readiness must be considered, as remote interactions demand medical professionals to excel in soft skills and technology. Investing in comprehensive training, including clinical practice guidelines and tip sheets, contributes to the development of an effective telehealth team.
In response to the surging demand for telehealth services, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo introduced a bill incorporating the launch of an open-access continuing professional education telehealth training program. Developed by the Reimagine New York Commission in collaboration with various healthcare organizations, this federally funded program aims to equip healthcare providers with the knowledge and resources necessary to develop connected care services aligned with state guidelines and tailored to address specific needs. This innovative telehealth training portal could serve as a blueprint for similar programs across the nation.
4. Partner with Medcase
Medcase offers a comprehensive telehealth solution, including powerful features such as EHR integration, secure video calls, patient intake forms, and patient queue management. Partnering with Medcase ensures a seamless transition to telehealth while addressing the unique challenges of virtual care. When looking for a technology provider, it's essential to find one that offers a flexible pricing model with both pay-per-visit and pay-per-hour options. This allows you to choose the most cost-effective approach for your practice and find the right pricing motivator for your providers. Platforms like Medcase offer a progressive model for pay-per-visit and pay-per-hour, ensuring that you can optimize your telehealth services and scale as your practice grows.
5. Prepare for telehealth startup costs
Starting a telemedicine practice may initially seem daunting due to startup costs and the return on investment. However, it's possible to get started without a substantial upfront investment. The primary costs of setting up telemedicine services include the telemedicine platform, additional staff, and equipment such as computers, tablets, and headphones. With monthly platform pricing ranging from $70 to $500, the overall telemedicine startup cost can vary between $10,000 to $300,000, depending on factors such as staff size, patient volume, service scope, and software development. It's essential to consider the Telehealth Implementation Playbook by the American Medical Association, which helps determine if you're financially prepared to adopt telehealth services.
Properly executed telemedicine can reduce costs, improve patient experience, provide early diagnosis, and improve health outcomes. A well-thought-out business plan is crucial for success, as it helps you set telehealth goals, strategize, and establish a budget. The cost of specialist medical devices, designing and mobility, internet and broadband connections, and training and support should also be factored into your budget. Industry insights suggest that investing in a user-friendly, feature-rich telemedicine app and a HIPAA-compliant platform can significantly enhance your telehealth services. Moreover, scalable medical devices and a robust, secure internet connection are crucial for efficient operations and seamless patient interactions, ensuring a worthwhile return on your investment.
6. Measure your success
Monitor the performance of your telehealth services, assess progress towards your goals, and make adjustments as needed. Gather feedback from patients and staff to identify areas for improvement and ensure the best virtual care for your patients.
Start Your Telehealth Practice with Medcase Today
Medcase is an all-in-one telehealth solution designed to streamline your transition to virtual care. With a vast network of healthcare professionals, end-to-end project management, and telehealth APIs, Medcase simplifies virtual care and allows you to focus on providing exceptional care to your patients.
Ready to start your telehealth practice? Learn more about Medcase and take the first step towards embracing the future of healthcare today!