Many nutrition and wellness providers we speak to say they joined the field to improve the lives of others. We understand, because that’s 1 reason we developed Healthie: to make it easier for you to provide stellar nutritional care.
There’s never been a better time to be in private practice. More people than ever recognize the power of nutrition for health prevention and promotion. But not everyone has access to the care that they need.
One way to reach more prospective clients: by offering telehealth or telenutrition services.
To make your nutrition and wellness services more accessible, efficient, and cost-effective for clients, it’s time to adopt new technology in your practice, like telehealth appointments.
What is Telehealth?
Telehealth is an overarching term for the application of digital communications and technology in healthcare. Here at Healthie, we most commonly use the term “telehealth” to mean video-based counseling sessions. This usually refers to when a provider and client can see one another in real-time via video capabilities that are HIPAA-compliant.
How Telehealth Sessions Benefit Healthcare Providers
Offering telehealth sessions affords you the opportunity to practice virtually, which means no formal office space is required for in-person consultations. When starting your practice, this is a huge savings on overhead costs, allowing you to essentially get your business up-and-running with little expenses.
Other benefits of telehealth appointments include:
- Lower startup costs
- Increased flexibility and convenience in your work schedule
- Reduced cancellations
- Less travel time for your clients
- Increased access to care
- More frequent client interactions
- Use of the latest technology trends
- And more!
The Growth Of Telehealth in Healthcare
Telehealth has the potential to have a staggering impact on healthcare in America. Clients are catching on to the appeal of telehealth appointments, and we don’t want you to be left behind.
According to a 2017 survey completed by American Well, 66% of Americans are willing to see a clinician via telehealth. Even more – 50 million Americans, up from 17 million in 2015 – would switch healthcare providers to have access to video check-ins.
Here Are 3 Reasons to Offer Virtual Services in Your Practice:
1. Virtual telehealth sessions are convenient for clients
The majority of Americans cope with some nutrition-related chronic disease. However, most of these people cannot receive the nutritional care they deserve. Your clients will love being able to access the assistance they need with virtual appointments.
Telehealth brings you into your client’s home without either of you taking the time to travel. This convenience helps clients who live in rural communities, but also busy urban populations that do not have time for a traditional office visit.
Telehealth appointments can reduce cancellations and increase flexibility (especially as you’re establishing your practice), with the same detailed care that in-person visits offer.
2. Telehealth sessions can be more affordable
Telehealth makes providing and receiving nutritional care more cost-effective. Video conferencing eliminates the need to rent formal office space, trims travel costs, and utilizes existing business expenses – like internet and a HIPAA-compliant platform (like Healthie). It’s cheaper to start your nutrition practice with telehealth, because start-up costs are reduced.
Even more, insurance companies are beginning to see the immense value of telehealth services and appropriately increasing reimbursement. Medicare covers medical nutrition therapy (MNT) delivered through telehealth for patients living in rural areas, and is starting to expand their coverage. Recent legislation even increased coverage for telehealth services, including telemonitoring and medication therapy management in the list of Medicare-covered areas.
3. Clients experience increased accountability and support
Since telehealth makes it easier to communicate, you can stay in constant contact with your clients. Video appointments are a great tool for fast check-ins between in-person sessions, or a simpler way to offer more frequent follow-up appointments.
Keeping your clients engaged is essential for positive health outcomes, and behavioral health changes are easier to achieve when you have technology integrated in your practice. Whether you’re utilizing video conferencing, secure messaging, or picture-based food logging, higher involvement with clients improves the odds of achieving better health outcomes. Plus, when your clients see the results they’re looking for, they’ll be more likely to stick with you.
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