10 Apr AMA Outlines 12 Steps to Telemedicine Implementation

The American Medical Association (AMA) updated their Digital Health Playbook a few days ago. The association released a 12-step guide to rapid implementation of televisual visits in response to the current COVID-19 pandemic to ensure that the 100 million Americans with chronic conditions can continue to receive care. 

Telemedicine and digital health adoption has already been on the rise in recent years. According to the AMA, there was a doubling in usage of real-time video visits among physicians between 2016 and 2019- from 14% to 28%. 

The complete guide is available as a PDF HERE. We’ve summarized the 12 steps for your reference below: 

  1. Identify a need. Before adopting a telemedicine solution, identify what areas your organization needs to improve, plan the desired outcome and then look for a technology to support that process.
  2. Form a team. Organize key stakeholders involved with the project into four roles: core, leadership, advisory and implementation based on their respective responsibilities and strengths. Depending on the size of your practice, you may find individuals managing multiple roles. 
  3. Define success. What are your specific short- and long-term goals? Assess measurable metrics and a process for tracking progress to guide the team throughout the project.
  4. Evaluate vendors. Determine variables to evaluate prospective vendor partners, such as business/impact on program return on investment, ability to integrate with IT landscape, HIPAA compliance and security, user experience of device and interface for patients and care team, customer service available and documented clinical outcomes. For independent practices, the speed with which the vendor can implement telemedicine at your practice will be especially critical at this time.
  5. Making the case. Create a leadership team proposal that highlights the preferred vendor partnership and how partnering with them will deliver a positive ROI for the health system, if you are part of a larger organization.
  6. Contracting. Discuss the level of support or training expected of the vendor partner and ensure negotiations are documented in legal documents protecting both the hospital or your practice and vendor.
  7. Design the workflow. Ensure that the workflow addresses remote patient monitoring-specific guidelines for the hospital, health system, or your practice.  
  8. Prepare the care team. Provide clinical, administrative, and billing staff with technical training on the remote monitoring system, new workflow procedures and patient engagement materials.
  9. Partner with the patient. Design your patient communications to ensure that patients are prepared to use the telemedicine program.
  10. Launch. Support patients and staff as they onboard to the telemedicine program and manage incoming data and communicate results to physicians in a clinically relevant way.
  11. Evaluate success. In addition to hard metrics, such as increased productivity and clinical outcomes, also consider how telemedicine has affected patient and staff satisfaction and patient behavior. Some vendors may be able to provide survey-based metrics regarding patient satisfaction
  12. Scale the program. Consider other areas where telemedicine may improve your practice, hospital, or health system, such as new patient populations to connect with.

Telemedicine billing is complex, and the requirements to code and bill these claims can shift on a weekly basis. Always remember that our team is standing by to help. 

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