5 Tips to Harness the Power of Telehealth to Propel Your Practice Growth
The past few years have been fraught with challenges for healthcare providers, therapists included. But often in the midst of great difficulty, a quiet transformation occurs, one that forever changes the way we operate, and the pandemic has delivered such.
A study published in the journal, Frontiers in Virtual Reality, revealed that before COVID-19 only 39% of therapists used telemedicine to deliver care. In-practice consults were the norm. However, because people still needed treatment, the novel virus pushed a rethink.
Now, 98% of therapists have harnessed the power of phone, text, video conferencing, even virtual reality and telecommunication technologies have become standard in delivering treatment.
And it’s looking like this shift is here to stay. Three years into the COVID-19 pandemic, therapists are using this new paradigm in perpetuity to better serve clients and propel practice growth. For those who haven’t integrated telehealth into their practice, let’s take a look at five ways to get there.
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1) Patient intake with a secure registration
Say goodbye to clients completing paperwork in your waiting room, to old school files, and physical storage. Technology means it’s not only possible for this process to be safely and digitally automated, but it’s simpler.
The convenience means clients can complete their forms ahead of time, on their own time. Eliminating the perceived in-practice delay and adding flexibility are great for client satisfaction. But it does much more than keep clients happy. By removing cumbersome paper forms and workflows, your work life becomes simpler, streamlined, and more efficient, creating space to relax or focus on other ways to expand your practice.
At Brighter Vision, we offer HIPAA-compliant client intake forms so you can easily make this step a reality.
2) Update your rate structure
When you switch to a telemedicine practice, the hefty overheads associated with old school brick and mortar offices diminish, giving therapists the opportunity to reconsider their rate structure.
There are three options: maintain, decrease, or increase your rates.
Maintain your rates
When you first move into the digital space, maintaining your rates helps walk your current clients from in-practice treatment to a virtual space. This might also feel comfortable for you. One significant change at a time (the shift to telehealth) will be enough for many clients and therapists.
Decrease your rates
Yes, this is an option too. If you fully embrace a digital practice, the drop in rent, utilities, and certain types of insurance can substantially cull outgoings and enable you to decrease your rates without losing profits.
Increase your rates
For most therapists, a focus on telemedicine will be a switch in approach. This step, as with any major change, allows a rethink; one that can forever transform your practice and your profits.
When you provide digital care your cyber presence and marketing should also become a priority. The two go hand-in-hand. Part of this process ought to include deeply considering who your ideal client is. Who do you most love to serve? Are you wonderfully skilled at supporting a certain gender, condition, challenge, or age group?
Once you identify your perfect match, targeting your website and social media to directly “speak” to your ideal client will change the game. When done right, this can explode your practice growth and when your practice is thriving, higher prices become a way to necessarily narrow the field. Think supply and demand. People who aren’t truly serious can be ruled out. Those who are ready to change their lives can self-select.
Your website is crucial to this process. At BrighterVision, we are experts at providing strategic therapist sites. We’re happy to chat with you about how we can help you embrace telemedicine and the cyber world. The first step is to deeply understand who your ideal client is: those who are keen to receive telemedicine therapy, who can afford your care, and who fit the bill when it comes to who you love to work with.
These two powerful complimentary resources will help you determine who your ideal client is and how to attract them:
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3) Prepare to provide online-only therapy services
Any major change requires thought before diving in. This is especially so in the therapy world. Take time to consider the requirements; things like…
Special licensing or permission
Investigate whether you need any special licensing. Practicing in the digital world massively expands your reach and can take you across borders when connecting with clients, for example.
As Telehealth.hhs.gov says, “Providers can deliver telehealth services across state lines, depending on rules set by state and federal policies. Interstate compacts simplify cross-state telehealth for specialists in participating states.”
As you know, security and privacy for your clients are not only ethically essential, it’s legally required too. Until the right protections are in place, telemedicine should remain a goal, rather than an actuality.
Luckily, meeting these stringent rules can be simple. At Brighter Vision, we can provide HIPAA-compliant technology across devices for email, contact forms, and client intake forms.
Home office needs
Like any office, you need to present professionally. What your client can see around you and in the background should show professionalism, knowledge, and integrity. Keep your surroundings on video clean, uncluttered, and relevant, just as you would your walk-in office.
Then there are your needs. A comfortable, supportive, ergonomically designed desk and chair will support you in your newfound approach. Addressing this from the get-go with help to reduce aches and pains. You will also need a good computer and reliable internet with sufficient speed. Maintaining quality connection with your clients is key.
With the right policies, platforms, and home office in place, you have a strong foundation to provide telemedicine care and create practice expansion.
4) Confirm insurance coverage
COVID-19 has also shifted the way insurance providers view telemedicine. This has opened a veritable and profitable new world for some, but never assume when it comes to coverage.
Speak to your provider to determine if your professional insurance is appropriate or whether updates are needed. Without proper insurance, your practice may reverse its forward trajectory.
Insurance is also important for your clients. Most states compel private insurers to cover telemedicine. The Center for Connected Health Policy allows verification of a policy’s coverage.
Knowing that you are protected and understanding the level of coverage your current and potential clients will receive allows you to rest and focus your mind. You can now craft your message and step into the telemedicine world.
5) Reach a worldwide audience
Telemedicine has the power to put the world at your fingertips. Millions of potential clients are walking global streets with conditions or challenges that you can remedy. This is one of the great benefits of the extensive digital space! Your audience just expanded from local to worldwide; language dependent, of course.
To harness the power of the world wide web for practice growth naturally requires a learning curve, as does any skill. That’s why our blog is overflowing with practice growth know-how. Because when telemedicine is combined with persuasive, authentic, value-adding marketing, the possibilities for your private practice are endless.
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The telemedicine takeaway
In short, telemedicine is a powerful, effective approach that’s here to stay. Taking advantage of this fact puts you in the driver’s seat. At Brighter Vision, we service your vehicle, fill your tank with rocket fuel, and show you how to steer.
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