Professional Development | Jul 14 2017
Should you be using telehealth in your nutrition practice?
Four things to consider before implementing telehealth
Escalating costs of healthcare coupled with climbing obesity rates make telehealth the immediate, responsive and accessible alternative to traditional care desirable for patients and providers alike. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services defines telehealth as “the use of technology to deliver healthcare, health information or health education at a distance.” The unmatched qualities of telehealth, such as 24/7 communication capabilities and simplified cost structures, are breaking down access barriers that healthcare has been trying to solve for years.
Telehealth, or better named telenutrition, makes it easier than ever for dietitians to build longitudinal relationships with clients to enable better care outcomes. If you are a dietitian considering telenutrition to exponentially grow your practice, there are a few details you must consider before opening your virtual door.
It is essential that you use a HIPAA-compliant platform to ensure patients’ privacy is protected. Popular telehealth methods such as Facetime, Skype, text messages, and many more are not HIPAA compliant and could leave clients’ private health information vulnerable.
2. State licensure
You must consider state licensure. When using telehealth, the location of the client is considered the “place of service,” which is where you, as the provider, must have the required licensure. If you intend to practice across state-lines, you must first check with the state’s regulations regarding nutritional care to be sure that you meet the requirements to provide care.
3. Liability insurance
Check with your liability insurance to ensure that you are covered across state lines.
Last, if your practice relies on insurance reimbursement, confirm with your in-network insurance companies that they cover for telehealth services. Currently 30 states have implemented parity laws that require private insurance companies to offer the same coverage for telehealth services as they would an in-office appointment. As more insurance companies expand their coverage of nutritional care, it is expected that more telehealth services will be covered as well.
If you’re considering integrating telehealth into your practice, a tool like Healthie can make it easy. Recently, a Dietitians On Demand travel dietitian who uses Healthie was able to take her private practice with her on assignment. She was able to continue seeing her clients while also working a full-time job in remote Minot, ND. Read about it here!
More frequent communication enhances the level of care provided by nutrition professionals. Through the app, patients can safely share photos of meals, track their workouts and weights so their nutrition provider can monitor their progress, and provide immediate feedback between sessions.
Additionally, Healthie effortlessly automates the back-end of nutrition practices by providing intake forms and note-taking templates, securing document sharing between members of a client’s care team, and allowing easier insurance reimbursement, hands-free appointment scheduling and automatic appointment confirmations.
If you’re interested in incorporating telehealth into your nutrition practice, contact Healthie [[email protected]] for more information!
This post is a collaboration with content provided by Healthie.
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