Citing their ease of use, efficiency and psychological value, some healthcare payors now reimburse for physician-patient e-visits for non-urgent health issues. In early trials, both patients and providers are eagerly embracing this e-health practice. The Doctor Is Online: Moving Toward Physician-Patient e-Visits, a special report produced by the Healthcare Intelligence Network (HIN), clarifies the technology supporting e-visits and the steps necessary to implement an effective e-visit program.
In this special report, a panel of industry experts assembled by HIN walks through the steps of a typical e-visit, describes the positive reception this trend has received from physicians, patients and payors and offers practical advice for healthcare organizations contemplating a move to virtual visits. The report’s question-and-answer section suggests e-visit ground rules, billing practices and technology support.
Despite some lingering reluctance in the industry, the Internet’s convenience, informality and immediacy has made it an ideal environment for this type of encounter. “Some people thought that e-visits might be a cold medium for a doctor and patient to interact in,” said Eric Zimmerman, senior vice president of RelayHealth, a contributor to this report. “We’ve been finding quite the opposite: that e-visits do build a strong trusting relationship with more frequent informal contacts.
Zimmerman is joined by co-contributors Dr. Eric Liederman, medical director of clinical information systems at the University of California’s Davis Medical Center and Tanya Trombly, director of provider support, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, whose organizations have implemented e-visit programs. The e-visit programs at University of California Davis Medical Center and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts are profiled in this report.
This 44-page report is based on the May 2005 audio conference Physician-Patient Online Communications: Making the Move to e-Visits, during which Liederman, Trombly and Zimmerman provided details on their organizations' e-visit efforts.
You'll get information about:
- The differences between e-mail and e-medicine;
- Establishing criteria for e-visit discussion topics and reimbursement;
- Patient, physician and payor satisfaction rates;
- The effect of online care on healthcare costs;
- Measuring the impact on practice; and
- Choosing an e-visit vendor.
Table of Contents
- Making the Move to e-Visits
The Difference between e-Mail and e-Medicine
- Step 1: Patient Selects “Visits” Option
- Step 2: Patient Chooses from Symptom List
- Step 3: Patient Answers Doctor's Questions
- Step 4: Doctor Reviews Message, Summary Health Record
- Step 5: Doctor Replies, Using Templates and Clinical Tools
- Step 6: Patient Reviews Treatment Plan
- Why Health Plans Are Buying into e-Visits
- Patient Satisfaction Rates
- Physician Acceptance Rates
- What Some Patients Said About e-Visits
- E-Visits: The Professional Response
Growth Curve for Messages Per Month
- Baby Boomers Driving Force Behind e-Visits
- Who’s Going Online
- Popular Topics for e-Visits
- Satisfied Patients, Providers Give High Marks for Usability
- Patient and Provider Satisfaction
- Measuring Impact on Productivity and Efficiency
- Impact on Phone Calls and Messages
- Benefits to Secure Online Communication
- The Pyramid of Non-Visit Care
- Virtual Visits: A Health Plan Perspective
Online Visits: Who Benefits?
- Advantages of Online Connections
- The Implementation Process
- Web Visits Conducted in 2004
- Waived-Fee Web Visits
- Utilization for Other Onine Services
- Evaluating e-Visits
- Q&A: Ask the Experts
Establishing Criteria for Billable e-Visits
- Calming Utilization Concerns
- Footing the Bill
- Integrating Webcams with e-Visits
- Choosing an e-Visit Vendor
- Marketing e-Visits to Physicians
- Keeping Online Utilization In Line
- Following Payment Procedures
- Allocating IT Support