Even with the worst of the pandemic behind us, major challenges in its wake remain for healthcare, with some worsening by the day.
Clinician burnout is certainly one. A survey conducted by the American Medical Association, Mayo Clinic and Stanford revealed that nearly two-thirds of physician respondents reported significant levels of burnout in the wake of COVID-19, a dilemma shared with nurses, many of whom are rethinking their career options.
The problem is exacerbated by a lack of med school graduates preparing to share the load. And a disproportionate number of those who are graduating are more interested in lucrative specialties than starting out in primary care work.
Thus, the industry’s first line of defense for a public still leery of virus outbreaks and their lingering effects is stretched perhaps thinner than ever.
Access to care is becoming trickier, too, as rural hospitals continue to struggle to stay afloat due to rising costs and clinicians preferring in general to work in larger cities. Older patients in rural areas are increasingly caught in the middle, dealing with fewer choices for care and longer commutes to adequate facilities.
A Better Way
Against this unnerving backdrop, though, virtual care has emerged as a viable alternative for providers looking to keep tabs on their patient population in between office visits. The remote mode’s worth has been especially evident for vulnerable patients, such as Medicare-eligible seniors who may face challenges arranging office visits, getting medications or adhering to treatment plans on their own.
The virtual option has made a major difference for PCPs (primary care physicians) just as it has for specialists. The biggest reason: simple manpower. Providers can allocate their staff to care for patients in the office while increasing access to care for patients between office visits.
A popular trend is to utilize a trusted partner like HealthXL to outsource the clinical elements of evaluating and maintaining patient wellness – recording vitals such as blood pressure, for instance – via credentialed Care Coordinators, who phone patients regularly to make sure they understand their treatment plans and are adhering to them. They also refer patients to their provider’s office when problems arise.
Just as the extra clinical bandwidth (man-hours) of virtual care helps the daily operations of providers, monthly reimbursement from CMS and private insurers also aids their revenue cycles. This CPT code-based funding (for Chronic Care Management and Remote Patient Monitoring programs) is independent of that for regular office visits, and can represent a separate, significant revenue stream for the practice.
And the very nature of remote care is a blessing for those rural patients looking to minimize their trips to providers’ facilities. At HealthXL, our proprietary software platform enables patients to transmit vitals readings from home through either a wireless or cellular signal, saving them the stress of transportation and freeing up the provider’s appointment schedule for more pressing concerns.
Make virtual care a reality
Burnout and shortages of experienced physicians clearly are real problems for the U.S. healthcare system, and not likely to abate anytime soon. But for those providers servicing Medicare-eligible patient populations, HealthXL offers the most comprehensive brand of virtual care in the industry.
And we do it all – patient enrollment, device management for the RPM program, full-service patient care in between office visits, even insurer billing – all with no upfront cost.
Contact us today and see the difference that HealthXL virtual care can make for your practice.