Just like virtual meetings and online shopping, telehealth has experienced a huge jump in adoption over the last few years, largely thanks to the pandemic. Allowing people to access care from the comfort of their own home, telemedicine also enables health providers to monitor the health and wellbeing of more patients on their caseload, regardless of their location.
As we plan for life after the pandemic, telehealth is set to play an even greater role in healthcare across the United States. With telehealth usage now around 38x higher than pre-pandemic levels, it’s time for telemedicine providers to take stock of their services and look for new ways to add value, whether that’s by investing in new technologies or adding new services to the mix.
The rise of telehealth
While telehealth has been part of the healthcare system for decades, it took a global pandemic to bring it into mainstream use. Once the domain of astronauts and rural communities, suddenly everyone was utilizing telehealth services for their healthcare needs in lockdown.
After an initial spike in use in April 2020 (when more than 32 percent of office and outpatient visits occurred via telehealth), telehealth is now a part of service delivery for many clinics and practices. Whether used as the primary tool for heath management or as part of a hybrid approach, telehealth is set to be a big part of healthcare into the future.
Current limitations of telehealth services
Although telehealth offers obvious benefits to both providers and their patients (including convenience and affordability), telehealth services also feature a few limitations:
- No access to a full, in-person, physical examination. While advanced video and imaging technology has helped bridge this gap, there are still cases where telehealth consultations can’t provide the same result as a face-to-face appointment.
- Lack of access to technology. Some patients don’t have access to a computer, smart-phone or tablet or have connectivity issues which means they can’t participate in remote telehealth consultations.
- Certification and licensing differences. If you plan on conducting consultations with patients in different states, you need to wade the complexity of different regulations, licensing and certification rules that may prevent you from seeing interstate patients.
- Limited service delivery. While e-scripts are making it easier to provide patients with access to medications, remote consultations mean they need to go elsewhere to get their script filled, preventing telehealth providers from delivering a full experience.
While there is still work to be done in managing the first three limitations of telehealth delivery, there is already a way you can easily add pharmacy services to your telehealth practice.
Grow your telehealth practice by offering pharmacy services
One way to set yourself apart and offer enhanced telehealth services is by partnering with a mail-order pharmacy provider. With 80% of providers planning to continue using telehealth in the future, giving patients the option to have their medications mailed directly to their home will provide a better experience to your patients and allow you to grow your practice too, without the risk and responsibility of dispensing medication.
By sending e-scripts to a pharmacy partner, you can include the cost of prescriptions in your consultation fee, increasing your bottom line. You’ll also see a rise in your patient volume, as more return and share their positive experience with others. And, if you use a nationally licensed pharmacy provider, it’s much easier to prescribe medication to patients in other states, giving you the opportunity to grow your telehealth business to all 50 states.
How offering pharmacy services can enhance the patient experience
Being able to offer pharmacy services as part of your telehealth practice also delivers a host of benefits to your patients.
- All-in-one experience - by prescribing and ordering medication for your patients, everything is taken care of for them during a single remote consultation.
- Increased medication adherence - by sending their prescription to a trusted pharmacy provider, it’s more likely they will take their medication and enjoy better health.
- Enhanced trust - by helping them organize their prescriptions, you are demonstrating care for your patients which will build trust and confidence in your services.
- Continuity of care - by offering to handle ordering for your patients, they’ll benefit from having a single point of contact to direct any questions or concerns.
Partner with HomeMed to transform your telehealth practice
Nationally licensed in all 50 states, HomeMed partners with telehealth providers to deliver trusted and reliable mail-order pharmacy services. Simply send e-scripts through to us and your patients will receive their medication within one to five days, wherever they live in the US.
You benefit from being able to deliver a full service to your patients (without the risk and responsibility of dispensing medication) while they benefit from convenience and continuity of care. Get in touch with us today to see how our expert pharmacy services could transform your telehealth practice and grow your business.