September 08, 2015Back
Telehealth: The Wait is Over
Telehealth presents the tools to upgrade early intervention to immediate intervention.
As with all new solutions, there are many questions about telehealth. Some patients may ask if a telehealth physician will give the attention they need, while others may have questions about privacy. In terms of security concerns, telehealth is held to the same standards of HIPAA and all similar rules and regulations regarding health information technology and patients’ personal information. Telehealth offers secure, one-on-one interactions between the doctor and the injured worker, maintaining patient confidentiality.
The integrity of the patient-physician relationship often fuels debates against technology in healthcare. Conversely, telehealth may facilitate the undivided attention patients seek. Brick and mortar office physicians’ actual face-time with patients is continually decreasing, citing an average of eight minutes per patient, according to a 2013 New York Times article (Chen, 2013). Telehealth may offer a solution. Virtual visits last about 10-15 minutes, offering more one-on-one time with physicians than a standard visit. Additionally, a 2010 BMC Health Services Research Report is helping to dispel any questions regarding telehealth quality of care, stating “91% of health outcomes were as good or better via telehealth.”
Legislatively, nearly all states allow telehealth. As of the beginning of 2015, Colorado, Indiana, New Hampshire, New Jersey and Tennessee held the condition that prescribing could not occur in the absence of prior in-person relationships with the treating physician. In Alabama, Arkansas and Texas, consultation cannot occur in the absence of a prior in-person relationship with the physician. In an optimal proactive care model, telehealth is enabled after screening is conducted by a 24/7 triage nurse, who would determine whether an injured worker is a good candidate for telehealth.
While replacing physical interaction with virtual face-to-face content may appeal to the younger generations, it encourages proactive healthcare for patients of all ages, and provides significant benefits to all over the traditional doctor visit, which can be a workflow with many delays in the realm of workers’ compensation. Telemedicine expands access to quality healthcare, improves efficiency of current workflows and provides more effective healthcare delivery.
CorVel introduces telehealth solutions as part of our Advocacy 24/7 Services. Telehealth is a convenient way for employees to access immediate care through a virtual visit on their mobile device or computer. Reduce the lag time from when the injury occurred to when treatment is received from hours or days to just minutes, and then, imagine the employee – back at work, healthy and happy.
To learn more about CorVel’s Telehealth Services, contact your CorVel representative and read CorVel's Telehealth Press Release.