The world in which we live in today isn’t what it used to be. In an effort to social distance and keep both patients and employees safe, the busy office environment with a waiting room filled with patients is something that most healthcare practices look to avoid right now. Continuing to provide care virtually, requesting patients remain in their car until they can be seen, reducing the number of in-office appointments, and bringing staff back in phases are just a few ways practices are adjusting. In addition to the AMA recommendations for reopening, here are a few other practical tips that leverage technology that you can consider.
Continue to See Patients Virtually, If Possible
Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, many medical practices have turned to telemedicine as an effective means to deliver care. Given that many private insurance plans, as well as Medicaid and Medicare, cover telemedicine services, it’s important for practices to educate patients on the types of visits that are appropriate for telemedicine. On your website, social media, and Google My Business listings, add this information and promote this service.
Accept Online Payment for Telemedicine Copays
Some insurance companies may require copays for telemedicine visits. As a practice new to telemedicine, you may wonder what is the most efficient way to handle this. While taking copay payments over the phone may be an option, it’s not one that is the most secure nor efficient. Some telemedicine software companies, like Doxy.me, allow you to collect payments directly through their software. For other vendors who do not offer a payment option, adding an online bill pay form to your website and directing patients there will allow you to collect payments from your patients before their scheduled virtual visit.
Screen Patients Before Their In-Office Visit
Before a patient arrives for their in-office visit, administrative staff should verify that the patient, and anyone accompanying them, do not have symptoms of COVID-19. Directing patients to your website to complete an online COVID-19 screening form is a helpful way to document required screening results.
Move Your Patient Forms Online
One of the challenges many practices face is how to collect forms and other sensitive documents from patients, especially when those patients are being seen virtually. Asking them to download, print, and complete PDF forms assume that they have access to a printer, a scanner as well as a secure way to return those documents to you. For example, if you use a HIPAA compliant web form, it’s fairly easy to grab a patient consent for a telehealth visit or jump-start your new patient intake process.
Creating online forms for telemedicine consent, new patient paperwork, and other sensitive documents will allow your patients to complete their information, electronically sign, and send it back to you in a secure way. A copy of the patient’s driver’s license and insurance card can also be uploaded and attached through your online form. Be sure to choose a form vendor like PractisForms who provides an electronic signature. Don’t forget that for consents, follow all state and payer guidelines to make sure you’re in compliance.
Reach out to Practis for Help
We realize changing your in-office workflow and going all-in for digital is a new process for some. Please know that Practis is here to help! With over 20 years of experience in developing HIPAA compliant forms, we can advise you on how to design and best utilize your online forms. Please reach out to Practis should you need help with your reopening plans.