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    What are small practices saying about telemedicine?


    Considering the new age house call, telemedicine appears to be a natural fit for providers who stand behind convenient care. Surprisingly, house-call doctors had one of the lowest rates of adoption amongst the provider types surveyed.


    In case you missed it: Telemedicine up for heated debate


    When questioned about why they would not adopt telemedicine technology, the most common answer was “I don’t find video visits as capable of doing everything I need for my patients during a visit”. While some cases did require special attention, over 80% of house call providers said that homebound elderly patients receiving routine maintenance would benefit from telemedicine technology.

    There appears to be a likely disconnect between the limitations of telemedicine and the services patients in this segment are in need of during a visit.

    Concierge Care

    Reimbursement is often indicated as a major barrier to telemedicine implementation. With this in mind, we wanted to study how concierge, or capitation and cash based practices are utilizing telehealth.

    Rates of interest in telemedicine utilization did not fall outside the expected range in comparison to all other practice types. Many concierge practices indicated small patient bases who expected a high level of quality in their care as the biggest barrier to engaging in telehealth.

    More than 50% of the practices that we interviewed identified that few of their patients would benefit from virtual care, and utilization among practices engaging in telehealth was extremely rare.


    Related: Virtual visits boost primary care outcomes


    The perception of reduced quality of care, as a result of video visits, seems to be a common misconception amongst practice types who choose to operate outside the conventional practice style of high-visit volumes with insurance reimbursement.

    Next: Concluding thoughts

    Jake DiBattista
    Jake DiBattista is a Territory Manager at SimpleVisit, a video service provider that makes it easy for providers to offer video visits. ...

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    • Anonymous
      If Medicare paid for telemedicine visits, they would be adopted quickly and widely for the population for which it is most needed. There are currently two problems: Medicare does not pay for TM except in the most rural areas. Many live in more urban areas as they age to be near children who are working and who are taking care of patients. And, Medicare only pays for visits from one facility to another, so patients can't receive telemedicine from home. The population who needs it the most is the elderly in assisted living and nursing homes. It could work very well there, since a physician could rent a small space there and provide telemedicine -- as long as the center is in a rural enough area. And that's not where assisted living centers are located.

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