Founded in 1997, athenahealth, Inc. is one of the largest public-listed EHR company in the US. The Massachusetts based company provides web-based Electronic Medical Records, Practice Ma.. Read more
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eClinicalWorks is an award-winning vendor offering integrated EHR, Practice Management, Population Health, and Revenue Cycle Management solutions and services to more than 130,000 physicians across th.. Read more
Epic Systems Corporation, or Epic, has been in the market since 1979 and employees around 10,000 personnel. Headquartered in Verona, Wisconsin, Epic has ranked in numerous accolades and awards over th.. Read more
PrognoCIS, set up in the early 2000s, is a healthcare company that is suitable for all sizes of practices and hospitals. It offers integrated modules for EHR, practice management, and patient portal a.. Read more
Allscripts has been in business for the past 30 years with presence across four countries; US, UK, Canada, and Australia. Over time, the company has transitioned from a core electronic prescribing ent.. Read more
Amazing Charts, a leading developer of Electronic Health Record, Practice Management, and Medical Billing Systems for outpatient practices, was founded in 2001 by a practicing family physician. In 201.. Read more
AdvancedMD is an integrated medical software suite for independent practices. Founded in 1999 and based in South Jordan, Utah, the vendor serves an expansive national footprint of more than 22,500 pra.. Read more
Chartlogic, a subsidiary of Medsphere Systems Corporation, has been in the market since 1994. It is headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah. The vendor provides an ambulatory electronic health record sy.. Read more
DrChrono’s All-in-One integrated EHR and medical billing software aims to modernize patient care and optimize practice efficiency. The EHR software is apt for practices of all sizes, small to large, c.. Read more
CareCloud Charts is a specialty-driven EHR that allows clinicians with in-depth customization and a clean user interface. CareCloud EMR currently supports nine specialties; cardiology, ophthalmology, .. Read more
NextGen, a healthcare solutions company that believes happy physicians make healthy patients, offers two EHR options; NextGen® Enterprise and NextGen® Office (formerly, MediTouch) to coordinate patien.. Read more
Kareo was founded in 2004 and has been in business for over 13 years. The solution is purpose-built to cater to the unique needs of independent small practices, avoiding the standard complicated, time.. Read more
The claim to fame for Total MD is a completely integrated EHR and Practice Management software leading to a seamless flow of information between both systems. For example, clinical information such as.. Read more
Office Practicum is a leading EHR software specifically designed for pediatric practices. It was founded 25 years ago by a pediatrician and her husband. Over the years they have used inputs from leadi.. Read more
Azalea Health EHR provides affordable healthcare solutions for a variety of care settings. The company is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, USA and has around 101-250 employees.The company offers Hea.. Read more
EHR Reviews, Features, Pricing & Compare
The telemedicine industry is booming. By the year 2025 it’s predicted to surpass $64.1 billion in the USA, while the market’s expected to go beyond $130.5 billion internationally. Thanks to the advances of modern technology, telemedicine makes it possible for healthcare providers to consult with and care for patients remotely using various software tools.
In an age where contagious and deadly diseases & viruses are spreading, physical contact’s being avoided. Telemedicine’s a safe solution. Our buyer’s guide takes a closer look at types of telemedicine, its advantages and disadvantages & the difference between EMR integrated telemedicine and standalone telehealth products.
We also cover the finer details of the price point for telemedicine solutions and how a patient can be reimbursed for such services.
We hope that as a practitioner you’ll feel more informed after reading this buyer’s guide and use this accessible, convenient & effective tool to assist patients.
Types of Telemedicine
Telemedicine, also known as virtual healthcare, enables a healthcare provider to see patients remotely. Patients can receive a diagnosis and treatment without waiting for an appointment. Both healthcare providers and patients prevent exposure & don’t put themselves at greater risk unnecessarily. Among others, there are three main telemedicine types:
1. Interactive Medicine
Through interactive medicine patients and physicians can communicate in real time using HIPAA compliant secure software tools such as phone consultations or video conferences. Also called live telemedicine, doctors offer services such as evaluating a patient’s medical history or performing a psychiatric evaluation.
Example of Collain Healthcare and a Remote Patient Monitoring platform
2. Remote Patient Monitoring
Caregivers monitor home based patients remotely through Remote Patient Monitoring. Using mobile medical devices they can collect data and observe changes such as in blood pressure or blood sugar.
Elderly patients can benefit from this type of care as their doctors can share the gathered information with them. Vital signs can be sent to providers to adjust patient treatment where necessary.
3. Store and Forward
The store and forward function of telemedicine allows healthcare providers to share a patient’s information with a practitioner located elsewhere. A physician is able to refer medical data to a specialist without face to face contact. Systems can be constantly updated so physicians can be informed. In this way duplicate testing is limited and medication can be managed better.
The Pros of Telemedicine
As a provider, you can benefit from using telemedicine:
- Efficient care: Telemedicine software enables providers to diagnose and treat patients. Medical streaming devices are used in real time and patients have better outcomes if treatment plans are adjusted if & when needed.
- Expert assistance: Industry specialists can advise you on purchasing the correct equipment. You’ll receive practical solutions which will help make the integration and implementation process smoother.
- Increased revenue: Providers can see more patients without hiring additional staff or increasing consulting room space.
The Cons of Telemedicine
It’s helpful to know the challenges you may face with telemedicine:
- Expensive technology: Introducing a new system is both time consuming and pricey. Learning how to use telemedicine software is a costly but worthwhile exercise. Over time you’ll adapt and notice an increase in patients & decrease in staff.
- Limited face to face consultations: Patient mismanagement is a concern, especially with older adults. Errors can occur when technology might not detect what an in person consultation could. Virtually a physician also can’t treat broken bones or cuts or perform certain tests, so it has its limitations. Patients might still need to be referred to another provider for on site visits.
Reimbursement of Telemedicine Services
It’s important to know the general US laws concerning telehealth payments. Telemedicine laws differ from state to state, so healthcare laws, privacy protection and billing procedures & reimbursement policies vary.
Telehealth parity laws in some states require that the private patient payer is reimbursed for telemedicine services. Private payers are required to pay for video conferencing in all states with parity laws.
Payment for telemedicine services may not be the same as onsite services. While the state medical board determines who can practice, any provider who bills for onsite services can also bill for telemedicine services.
Legal healthcare providers offering telemedicine services include:
- clinical nurse specialists
- clinical psychologists and social workers
- nurse midwives
- nurse practitioners
- physician assistants
- registered dietitians or nutrition professionals
According to the CCHP’S 2019 findings:
- 50 states and Washington DC currently offer reimbursement for some form of live video conferencing in Medicaid fee for service
- 14 state Medicaid programs reimburse store and forward options
- 22 state Medicaid programs reimburse RPM services
The states of Alaska, Arizona, Maryland, Minnesota, New York, Texas, Virginia and Washington provide reimbursements for all three types of telemedicine services, while California & Connecticut reimburse eConsultations.
EMR Integrated Telemedicine and Standalone Telehealth Products
Here are some differences between EMR integrated Telemedicine and stand-alone telehealth products:
Example of EMR Integrated Medicine using PrognoCIS
EMR Integrated Telemedicine
Through telemedicine physicians can consult with patients and send the digital patient record notes to be synced with the hospital’s system. The patient’s chart in the hospital EMR will be updated effectively and quickly.
An EMR suite can include telemedicine functions as well as other accounting or patient portal applications. If you’d like to replace your current EMR you can incorporate a telemedicine service. This way you can update patient records easily, and this works well for existing patients.
Example of Standalone Telehealth Products using Doctor on Demand
Standalone Telehealth Products
Standalone telemedicine platforms don’t necessarily interface with your EMR. You can pay a monthly subscription fee for access to the software. Practitioners usually bill, request patients’ medical histories and schedule appointments using these products. Some platforms find patients who can be matched with you if they search for available physicians on a telemedicine platform.
Healthcare providers using standalone products act as independent contractors and are paid a percentage of the patient’s per visit payment.
Price Point for Telemedicine Solutions
Average telemedicine software costs can range from as little as $25 per user monthly up to $600. There are many excellent software packages available, and the prices vary dependent on features included. If you’d like to add more applications in your software suite, you’ll pay more.
Be sure to clarify whether a telemedicine system requires a minimum number of users, as this also influences the cost. It’s always advisable to determine what the once off and ongoing costs will be so you can budget accordingly.
In addition to purchasing software, consider the hardware expenses involved. These aren’t usually included. You’ll need to make provisions for carts, cases, a digital telescope, an examination camera and wall mounts, among other items.
Telemedicine is now being used in homes, hospitals, private physician offices and other healthcare facilities. At a time when more and more patients require assistance, telemedicine could be the solution you’re looking for. You’ll be able to serve the ill, flatten the curve of raging viruses through reduced physical contact, and ultimately reach & help more patients.
[Download Whitepaper] Adopting Telemedicine successfully in the times of COVID-19.