How telemedicine services improve overnight care: 6 takeaways

Practice Management

The days of a doctor making midnight rounds may soon be behind us as telemedicine continues to change the healthcare game, according to mhealthintelligence

Here's what you should know.


1. Telemedicine allows for physicians to work from a computer anywhere from their home offices to halfway across the world.


2. At Christus Mother Frances Hospital in Texas, nurses working the night shift can instantly gain access to a doctor via video chat through a partnership with Access Physicians.


With the new technology, night shift nurses can get the answers they need from physicians immediately. The hospital's Chief Nursing Officer Terri Bunch said the immediate access is "huge" to a nurse.


3.The hospital's Chief Medical Officer and the co-founder of Access Physicians' Chris Gallagher sees the telemedicine platform as a multifaceted fix-all.


It'll provide hospitals in rural settings instant access to physicians and it eliminates the need to transport patients to distant hospitals that have the capacity to have a large night staff.


For urban hospitals, it allows them to reduce their off-hour staffing needs.


4. Telemedicine is also showing promising results when it comes to the bottom line. Having a physician onsite can run a hospital between $150 to $175 an hour. A telemedicine doctor demands around $50 to $75 an hour, and that cost can be spread out across several hospitals through either a flat rate or per-consult fee.


5. The service does not have a CPT code yet, and the service is inconsistently reimbursed.


6. Telemedicine physicians must be licensed in the state or states their patients are located, and they must be credentialed in each hospital where they treat patients.


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