5 Keys to Maintaining Effective Employee Compensation Telemedicine Usage Beyond the Pandemic: Risk and Insurance
Shahin Hatamian is Senior Vice President, Product Management at Mitchell International. He is responsible for product management, marketing, and strategic initiatives for Mitchell’s software and service solutions for automobile accidents and employee compensation. With 25 years of experience in the high tech industry, Shahin has extensive and proven expertise in product development, marketing, organizational leadership, business strategy, partnerships and global business. Shahin holds a BSEE, an MSEE, and an MBA.
It’s no secret that the use of telemedicine has soared in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
At the beginning of the pandemic, we saw the number of telemedicine visits increased by 91% in the first week of April compared to the first week of March. This is evident from the data used to review Mitchell’s compensation bill.
Now that we look to 2021, the industry is wondering if telemedicine is here to get employee compensation. Will the industry maintain usage rates at the pandemic level?
The answer is a little complicated.
Telemedical services for employee compensation claims
Even before the pandemic, it was clear that the compensation industry understood the benefits of using telemedicine to improve access to care.
A survey conducted by Mitchell in February 2020 – prior to the start of pandemic-related home stay contracts in the US – found that labor compensation professionals believed telemedicine is the technology that would affect the industry the most next 10 years.
We’ve all seen the impact of these benefits as the use of telemedicine has soared this year. Telemedicine makes it easier for patients to see a doctor. It removes transportation from the equation, provides easier planning, and expands access to doctors so that patients aren’t constrained by geographic location. Telemedicine enables care to continue when access to physical facilities is restricted.
Challenges in the further development of telemedicine
Telemedicine, while its advantages are obvious, it also has some obstacles that prevent widespread adoption.
First, telemedicine cannot be used for everything. Mitchell’s audit data shows that the top three procedural codes reported by volume for telemedicine visits since the onset of the employee compensation pandemic came from either office visits or therapeutic reasons:
1) 99.213: office / outpatient visit
2) 99.214: office / outpatient visit
3) 97,110: Therapeutic exercise
In addition to its limited applicability, the industry has concerns about personal health information, safety, and fraud. We’ve seen problems with both of them since the pandemic started. For example, the industry recently saw a new $ 6 billion fraud case, of which $ 4.5 billion was linked to telemedicine.
And finally, telemedicine could face some regulatory hurdles in the future.
Although many states changed the rules to expand the use of technology during the pandemic, most of these missions were done as temporary changes. As we head into 2021, states across the country will face writing more permanent rules and regulations that
will ultimately determine the fate of compensation technology. As they write these rules, states need to be even more specific about the cost of services, approved use cases, and more.
The Path to Maintaining Telemedicine for Years to Come
The good news is that the industry can handle most of these challenges. In order to achieve this, and to maintain and expand the use of telemedicine in the industry, a number of important fundamental changes need to be made:
1) Technology innovation: In order to improve the applicability of telemedicine, the technology must be innovated significantly. Robotics, wearables and virtual reality are just a few possible options that could take telemedicine beyond simple video conferencing and enable new use cases.
For example, a Boston hospital piloted Spot – a robot dog – for communication between medical professionals and patients potentially contagious with COVID-19. Extending this type of innovation to everyday use of telemedicine outside of the hospital setting will be critical.
Additionally, telemedicine providers need to focus on artificial intelligence (AI) to improve patient interactions, from simple chatbot support to check-in to more sophisticated AI engines that can help provide diagnostic support.
2) Universal broadband access: Accessing care for injured workers in remote areas has always been a challenge, but telemedicine is well placed to help solve this problem. Universal broadband access will be vital to ensure that patients have better telemedicine experiences in all areas.
3) Technical training: The expansion of telemedicine means that doctors not only have to be medical experts, they also have to become much more technologically savvy. Medical professionals need to be continuously trained in interaction and diagnosis via video in order to offer their patients virtually the same quality as in their offices.
4) Permanent regulatory changes: Legislative updates across the country are critical to the success of telemedicine in the compensation industry. In addition to continuing to clearly define what types of treatments and visits can be performed virtually, the standing rules should answer some of the most pressing questions the industry is facing today, including the cost of a telemedicine appointment versus an appointment in person.
Once the rules are in place, states will need to keep them informed of all of the above.
5) Security improvements: And finally, one of the most important steps to success: Telemedicine must provide the right level of security in order to increase the trust of patients, medical service providers, insurance carriers and all other parties involved in the process. Telemedicine technologies must follow strict security measures and stay up to date with best practices, from using HITECH-compliant and HIPAA-certified storage solutions to industry-standard procedures such as multi-factor authentication.
In addition to following recommended security practices, telemedicine must address new security challenges such as: B. Questions about recording interactions with patients and issues with patients sharing medical information digitally.
While we know telemedicine will continue to have a place in employee compensation going forward, how well the industry is able to make the above changes will determine future success and adoption – and how much they will be worth Can provide patients and doctors and compensation professionals. &