AUSTIN, Texas — In this exclusive video perspective from GI Outlook 2018, Raymond K. Cross, MD, director of the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Program at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, discusses his presentation on how to best implement telehealth into a medical practice.
His talk highlighted three main reasons physicians should consider implementing telemedicine into their practice.
“Our patients are increasingly technologically savvy, [and] they have access to smart phones,” he told Healio Gastroenterology and Liver Disease. “It’s almost universal, so they’re looking for more efficient ways to receive their health care. Secondly, for chronic illnesses like IBD, outcomes are still suboptimal despite advances in medical treatment. So, remote monitoring may improve outcomes through a variety of different reasons. And thirdly ... telehealth can be a mechanism to improve access to specialist care.”
Cross also noted that physicians considering using telehealth in their practice should speak with their local risk management teams. There are several issues that could arise when providing telehealth.
“Many states will require you to see a patient in person first, before doing subsequent telehealth assessments,” he said. “So, you need to check to see if that’s a requirement or if you can do a consultation via telehealth initially.”
Community gastroenterologists should also ensure that the telehealth services that they would be providing are reimbursed at an equal or similar level as face-to-face visits.
“Otherwise, you’re going to have an income loss in your practice,” he said.