Ask My Practice: New to Telemedicine

Question: How do I let my patients know that our practice now offers the option of telemedicine visits? What can I do to ensure that my patients receive the same level of care with telemedicine visits as they do with in-office visits?

Answer: The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) wants practices to let patients know that telemedicine is available to allow more patients to participate. Let your patients know the practice is now offering telehealth services when they call the office. Have your office staff help support proactive patient outreach. Additionally, post announcements on your website, patient portals, and other patient-facing communications.

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For an optimal patient experience, here are some key considerations:

Ensure your environment has minimal background noise and adequate lighting for clinical assessment

Make sure you have a strong internet connection and the appropriate equipment (webcam, microphone, headphones)

Dress in the same level of professional attire as in-person care

Turn off other web applications and notifications

Review patient complaints and records before beginning call

Speak clearly and deliberately, and pause to allow for transmission delay

Narrate actions with patient (if you need to turn away, look down to take notes, etc.)

Verbalize and clarify next steps, such as follow-up appointments, care plan, and prescription orders

Telemedicine coverage is included for CAP members at no additional charge, but is conditioned on services being performed within the state of California. There are a few exceptions; for example, in the interest of patient safety and continuity of care, telemedicine coverage will be extended upon request when it is related to patients who temporarily travel outside of California.

To access CAP’s comprehensive library of telemedicine resources, please visit CAPphysicians.com/mptelehmed 

Andie Tena is CAP’s Director of Practice Management Services. Questions or comments should be directed to atena@CAPphysicians.com.