Making the move to telehealth has many considerations. Here are 5 to keep in mind when making the transition.
Be sure to check the Center for Connected Health Policy to see what the mandates in your state are for insurance reimbursement for telehealth visits.
When selecting a telehealth platform there are many questions to ask:
Should it be computer-based or something that can be used on tablets and other mobile devices?
How does it perform when using cellular data versus when connected to high-speed internet?
Are there glitches in the platform that would render it useless and create frustration among patients?
A number of options exist including the American Academy of Pediatrics endorsed SnapMD, Zoom for Healthcare, Doximity, and Doxy.me. They can range in price from the free beta version Doximity to the $200 a month Zoom for Healthcare.
After selecting a platform, you will enter into a business association agreement. This ensures that your telemedicine visits with patients meet Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act confidentiality requirements for personal health information.
A business association agreement will include information on how the vendor is protecting the confidential information.
The Department of Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights has stated that clinicans may use non-HIPAA compliant software such as FaceTime, Google Duo, and WhatsApp for telehealth services during the COVID-19 pandemic. The services are encrypted, but there is no business association agreement between provider and vendor, which would have precluded their use prior to the statement.