As we learn more about the coronavirus (COVID-19), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has worked to identify those who are at the highest risk for severe illness due to the virus.
Among these at-risk populations are patients who are:
- Over age 65
- Managing chronic conditions (such as heart disease, diabetes, obesity)
During the stress of these unprecedented times, high-risk patients must continue receiving their routine care while also following guidance on how to protect themselves. Typically, these conversations would happen in a clinical office. However, with fears around potential exposure to the coronavirus in waiting rooms and physician offices, there’s a natural unease about high-risk patients scheduling in-person visits.
The good news is there’s a way to safely address this threat and stay connected: telehealth.
How Telehealth Benefits High-Risk Patients & Their Providers
Telehealth Provides a Safe Care Site
When high-risk patients can access online healthcare solutions, they have a safe place to get the care they need. With virtual touch points to bridge the healthcare gap and keep the lines of communication open — an essential pivot in crises like COVID-19 — providers can continue to help high-risk patients on their health journey. From the treatment of chronic care conditions to advice on managing stress and boosting immune systems, telehealth services can deliver patients the one-on-one care they need, without concerns of exposure.
Telehealth Improves Patient Retention and Relationships
With a virtual healthcare plan in place, patients have fewer barriers to overcome — and convenient access to quality care leads to improved satisfaction. Providers can continue to meet the needs of high-risk patients via telehealth services, while making their comfort and safety a top priority. This lends itself to a more loyal patient base.
Telehealth Minimizes Staff Needs
Many practices are experiencing a huge increase of patient phone calls and requests because of COVID-19. Telehealth is the ideal way to extend the services of existing care teams without adding staff. A quick video chat can often replace the 15- or 20-minute office visit.
Telehealth Keeps Clinics Profitable
Meanwhile, providers can also reduce the rate of hospital admissions when chronic-care patients are managing their conditions well at home. Any practice that’s participating in a value-based program stands to gain financial bonuses when hospitalizations are reduced. Each of these strategies helps further improve the clinic’s revenue stream.
Maintain and Grow Your Practice with inHealth
As a provider of telehealth services and virtual lifestyle therapeutics, inHealth keeps providers connected to high-risk patients in times of crisis. Our health coaches have the training and expertise to educate and support patients on how to improve their long-term health and well-being — with clinically proven results. With backgrounds as registered nurses, registered dietitians and certified clinical nutritionists, our teams provide patients personalized care support that’s accessible anywhere.
We also handle the billing for telemedicine use in preventive medicine services and acute care, taking a significant administrative burden off of the clinical staff.
In the wake of COVID-19, we are offering inHealth-registered providers with direct access to our online healthcare platform and our coaches as an extension of your team. Whether there is a need to communicate with patients or track outcome metrics, providers can now log into the same system our health coaches use for virtual visits (the inHealthNow app) to complete these tasks.
If you are interested in inHealth, there’s no better time to take action.