Remote Consultations Present New Revenue Source for Physicians

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Remote health care consultations present a new revenue stream for health care providers willing to embrace telehealth, according to presenters at the Institute for Health Technology Transformation Health IT Summit in Florida, InformationWeek reports.

According to InformationWeek, some physicians avoid telehealth for various reasons, including:

  • A seemingly diminished relationship with the patient;
  • Security issues; and
  • Lack of revenue from insurers, which do not cover electronic communications with patients.

According to Scott Simmons -- telehealth director at the University of Miami School of Medicine -- physicians tend to view insurers as their customers because the companies tend to pay for the majority of treatments.

However, some patients might be willing to pay extra for secure electronic communications with physicians because of the convenience such consultations afford, according to Simmons.

Claudia Tessier -- co-founder and president of the mHealth Initiative -- said working parents likely would consider paying an extra fee to avoid taking a child to a physician's office.

Simmons added that primary care physicians who use telehealth services can "stay in the loop" with patients who are referred to specialists (Versel, InformationWeek, 5/13).


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