Tips & Techniques

Success in Telemedicine: The Nitty Gritty on Implementation, Billing, & Patient Engagement — Ranya Habash, MD – Everbridge, Hipaachat

Telemedicine success comes from simple solutions easily adopted by physicians

Telemedicine has been practiced for years where it has been saving taxpayers money such as in the Texas prisons. The problem was that mainstream telemedicine devices were clunky and complicated to use. Physicians then and now were not willing to spend time to learn how to use these devices. However, the demand for telemedicine virtual visits is on the rise and is expected to reach 130M by 2018. What is needed to get physicians on board is simple technology they already know how to use – something as simple as Skype yet with the security standards to meet the federal health privacy regulations.Continue Reading…

How Value-based Care Is Changing Telehealth Payment Models

healthcare payment and reimbursement

“How are payers reimbursing for telehealth services?” “What is the strategy on billing for telehealth?” These are some common questions we hear from those starting or expanding their telehealth services.  There are a variety of telehealth payment models available to health providers; some involve reimbursement while others generate new revenue streams. Moreover, with the growing emphasis on value-based care these healthcare payment models are sure to be changing. So what kind of telehealth payment strategies will help keep your telehealth services alive?  

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What You Need to Know About HIPAA and Canada Health Information Privacy

Canada Health Information & HIPAA

What are the rules in Canada when it comes to patient privacy? Canada’s federal law, the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), is comparable in many ways to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) in the United States. However, there are several differences to keep in mind. We’ve summarized the key takeaways from this excellent post by Canadian data expert Waël Hassan.Continue Reading…

What Do Telemedicine, Blockbuster, and Netflix Have In Common?— Randy Parker, MDLIVE [TFSS Talks]

Randy Parker MDLIVE What does the failure of Blockbuster and the success of Netflix have to teach us about succeeding at telehealth?  With his 30 years of experience in the media industry and 10 years in the digital health industry, Randy Parker, founder and Chief Business Developer of the MDLIVE, prepares us to succeed at digital health by pointing out the parallels between the digitization of media and the digitization of healthcare.Continue Reading…

Challenges of Designing a Scalable Telehealth Platform — Dr. Erika Chuang, VSee [TFSS TALKS]

Erika Chuang VSee VP Are video visits fundamentally not scalable? Does your EMR really have to integrate with your telehealth platform? Can I get my existing equipment to work with a telehealth platform? Are telehealth platforms really the way to go? Dr. Erika Chuang, VSee VP of Product Management takes us through the fundamental challenges of designing a telehealth platform that is both simple to use and yet provides an integrated experience from the perspective of the designers and engineers in the trenches.Continue Reading…

Telehealth Lessons from a Statewide Deployment — Kristi Henderson, Seton Healthcare Family [TFSS Talks]

kristi_henderson_ummc-200pNinety percent of healthcare executives say they have or are starting telehealth programs. Twenty-nine states have policies mandating telehealth reimbursement. Thirty-five percent of employers now offer telehealth. As many as 70% of physician, ER, urgent care visits are estimated to be manageable by phone or video. Surveys show over and over again that patients value convenience foremost. Everyone is rushing to deploy telemedicine without really knowing what telemedicine is or what it takes to have a successful telemedicine program.  Looking back on her many experiences and mistakes as a successful telemedicine pioneer and health care innovator, Kristi Henderson offers 5 principles for starting a telemedicine program:Continue Reading…

Three Keys To Enterprise Success – Prentice Tom, MD, CEP America [TFSS TALKS]

Prentice Tom, Telehealth SuccessIs your telehealth enterprise ready to survive and thrive through the unknown? Healthcare is a highly regulated industry in the midst of big changes. Using lessons from the Asian financial crisis, Bosnia, and Jeet Kune Do, Chief Medical Officer of CEP America, Prentice Tom, delivers a humorous and insightful presentation on the key characteristics a telehealth startup needs to have to succeed. Learn important tips for achieving telehealth success and “breaking into” the digital health landscape.Continue Reading…

5 Healthcare SEO Tips to Win New Patients

Healthcare SEO is an essential way for providers to improve their foot traffic by improving their internet traffic. More than 70% of first-time visitors find their providers through a search engine. That means search is going to be crucial in obtaining new patients. Continue Reading…

Telemedicine by Satellite

You can conduct a telemedicine consultation over any kind of internet connection. For patients in remote areas with no connectivity, satellite internet is the answer. The VSee team relied on satellite internet when we deployed telemedicine to refugees in Iraqi Kurdistan.

Watch this video to learn more about how satellite internet works.

As you can see, satellite internet allows people to connect when wi-fi and 4G are out of the question. Thanks to satellite internet, anyone can see a doctor through telemedicine.

Telemedicine Solves the Shortage of Doctors

In every country around the world there is a critical shortage of doctors and nurses everywhere. If you live in a rural area, you are probably especially hard hit. Fortunately, telemedicine is an innovative way to address this critical shortage of doctors in rural areas.

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Get Full Medicare Reimbursement in the Skilled Nursing Facility

skilled nursing facility

Every skilled nursing facility must abide by rules set by Medicare, particularly when it comes to Potentially Avoidable Hospitalizations, or PAHs. In fact, Medicare will soon be changing its reimbursement policy so that if a patient is readmitted to a hospital after a short stay in skilled nursing, the facility is penalized with less reimbursement money through the Medicare program. These changes don’t go into effect until 2019, but skilled nursing facilities are already receiving feedback reports on their performance. More and more, the skilled nursing facility is discovering that telemedicine provides a viable solution for monitoring, assessing, evaluating, and diagnosing patients on site without transferring them out of the facility for care – thus avoiding getting dinged by Medicare in the process.Continue Reading…

Building Telemedicine Infrastructure in Iraqi Kurdistan

I had the privilege of traveling to Iraq Kurdistan twice in the past two years to help bring much needed telemedicine infrastructure and surgical services to refugees and the local inhabitants. For this I have to thank the work of  renowned hepatic surgeon Dr. Gazi Zibari.

 Dr Zibari builds telemedicine infrastructure in KurdistanContinue Reading…

Top 4 Questions for Evaluating a Telemedicine Vendor

Google “telemedicine,” and you’ll pull up any number of telemedicine vendors. The problem is figuring out which telemedicine vendor is right for you. You want to find a vendor with both the technical expertise and the feature set you need. It’s also wise to consider whether a vendor is dedicated to the healthcare field or serves a variety of industries, and whether they are likely to shut down on you, as Google Helpouts did. Here are four major criteria to help you evaluate your telemedicine vendor.  Continue Reading…

Try VSee Multi-Device Streaming and Remote Camera Control Free for a Limited Time

VSee has some kick-butt properties that make it uniquely suited for healthcare. Two of these are

  • multi-device streaming and
  • far end camera control

These features make it simple and cost-effective for universities, hospitals, urgent care, and telehealth startups to do things like telestroke monitoring, triage for ER / trauma cases, and routine care.

For this month only, you can try out these VSee telehealth features at no extra cost. They are usually only available with a paid subscription at $299 per month. Just download the free VSee app at https://vsee.comContinue Reading…

VSee + PTZOptics Remote PTZ Camera Control for Telemedicine

VSee and PTZOptics have partnered together to provide remote Pan, Tilt, Zoom (PTZ) camera control for PTZOptics USB cameras. This new UVC compatibility integration allows VSee video conferencing software to control the PTZOptics camera operation using the same USB connection you use for video. This is the simplest way to deploy high quality telemedicine systems for doctors and clinicians – with far end camera control built directly into the simple VSee interface.

Both USB 3.0 models from PTZOptics (12X-USB and 20X-USB) are now officially compatible with VSee’s HIPAA compliant video conference platform. So now you can easily build your own low-cost telestroke or telemedicine cart. With VSee’s remote PTZ camera control functionality and a PTZOptics USB camera on a cart, nurses and clinicians can roll the telemedicine video conferencing equipment up to any patient that needs a evaluation from an off site specialty doctor. Because the PTZ camera controller is built directly in the VSee interface, it gives the off site doctor more control over the evaluation experience, especially in cases where the patient cannot be moved.

This is also ideal for simulation labs where an educational instructor can perform a “Virtual Tour” of the room without the need for expensive camera control systems or additional control cabling such as RS-232 or RS-485.

PTZoptics remote ptz camera control

The ability to see more detail via panning and zooming is crucial in telemedicine as doctors continue to push the boundaries of healthcare.  The engineering work done by PTZOptics and VSee make telemedicine easier and more affordable to deploy. Indeed, UVC camera control is ideal for the telemedicine and telehealth market for it’s simplicity, ease of use and affordability. PTZOptics now has UVC support built into every USB model, and you will see UVC control being used by more and more video conferencing software providers in the future.

VSee is the Telemedicine and Telehealth industry’s most talked about new service. It makes telemedicine services available to millions of patients and organizations around the world including Walgreens, Shell, MDLIVE, International SOS, and  DaVita. It is also the only telemedicine video platform being used by NASA on the International Space Station!

VSee Tip for Windows – Adding Contacts (after July 7, 2015)

Say good-bye to “Add Contact” in your menu (VSee Windows users).
VSee’s new streamlined Windows address book makes it easier to search and add contacts to your contact list.

Just search for the contact you want to add in the search bar. If they are already a VSee user, they will appear in your address book. You can then either send them a quick chat or add them to your contact list right from the address book.

VSee add contact

If they are not an existing VSee user, click the “Invite to VSee” button to send them an invite.

invite_contact

To send multiple invites, go to the address book, click Add–>Invite to VSee. In both cases, a separate browser window will pop up and give you the option to send invites directly or copy and paste your open URL link.

VSee invite contacts

The Year Ahead for VSee Telemedicine

happy new year from VSee!

Dear Friends,

2014 was a pivotal year for us as the telemedicine and telehealth markets finally exploded. We have been working with visionaries such as MDLIVE-Walgreens, Focus Cura, Intermountain Healthcare, and Mayo Clinic for a number of years. And now everyone else is knocking down our doors wanting telemedicine! Doctors and hospitals are finding VSee’s simple design and strong security to be the perfect solution for video telemedicine.

Our 2014 highlights:

  • Grew and pivoted our design and engineering team to focus on healthcare
  • Made numerous improvements to VSee’s mobile (iOS, Android) and desktop video performance
  • Launched VSee OneClick Waiting Room
  • Launched VSee Cloud Medical Office (calendar and payment)
  • Completed the ninth generation of the VSee Telemedicine Kit
  • Launched VSee Telemedicine Cart
  • Signed partnership with Dell where they have embedded VSee waiting room into their patient portals, and our CEO Milton spoke on the same panel as Michael Dell at Dell World
  • Traveled to Iraqi Kurdistan to set up telesurgery and refugee telemedicine clinics
  • Chosen by NASA to be the official solution in space, going live with VSee aboard the International Space Station

Our 2015 focuses:

  • Help our partners with user adoption by polishing the user experience and improving the VSee eVisit platform
  • Increase performance of VSee audio, video, and web chat API / SDK
  • Enhance VSee OneClick Waiting Room and Cloud Medical Office so any doctor can set up a telemedicine practice within 24 hours

Please contact sales@vsee.com to get a demo of VSee Cloud Medical Office. Thanks again for your support and Happy 2015 from the VSee Team!

Do-It-Yourself Telemedicine Solution for an Ebola Isolation Unit

CDC Ebola unit suit

Being on the front lines of Ebola containment is a frightening job. Protective measures include setting up check-in stations outside of the hospital, wearing heavy duty face shields and decontamination suits, duct-taping layers of gloves to sleeves, and using telemedicine technology. In fact, Nebraska Medical in the lonely Midwest has taken Ebola treatment and prevention to a new level with its use of HD video telemedicine and hands free medical technology. Using technology like digital stethoscopes, X-rays with wireless transfer, and real-time video allows it to keep Ebola treatment safe yet personal. It has successfully saved all two of its Ebola patients and has made Nebraska Medical a CDC model of care for fighting Ebola. It was also recently awarded a 10M telehealth grant by CMS.

VSee Lets You Do Telemedicine On the Cheap

However, you don’t need a 10M telehealth grant to set up a telemedicine isolation unit like Nebraska Medical – which uses Vidyo, a very expensive and complex system.  VSee simple, secure telehealth lets you set up interactive HD video telemedicine for your isolation unit in just about 2 hours. Unlike Vidyo and similar systems. VSee’s peer-to-peer platform does not require any complicated server setup or maintenance. Furthermore, VSee’s simple design allows you to easily integrate telemedicine devices without any additional equipment or complicated configurations. VSee even allows you to send up to 4 device images simultaneously so you can see both the patient’s face and the device images without toggling or doing special video mixing.

To start using telemedicine in your isolation unit, all you need is a few pieces of easily obtainable equipment:

Setting Up Ebola Telemedicine in Less Than 3 Hours

To set up your system, download VSee to your computers. For the isolation unit PC, configure VSee to auto answer mode: Go to the VSee address book, click Settings–>Preferences–>Automatically accept calls. VSee allows you to add only selected VSee accounts to auto accept calls to ensure security.

VSee auto call accept

To set up your PTZ HD camera: Go to the VSee address book, click Settings–>Audio and Camera Setup. Select your PTZ camera from the camera pull down menu.

VSee Camera Setup

And if you’re not ready to “do-it-yourself”, VSee offers a pre-configured isolation unit to get you started.  Please contact sales@vsee.com and join Dr. Gavin MacGregor-Skinner and other VSee users in fighting Ebola with telemedicine today.

 photo courtesy: CDC Global via Flickr

VSee for Ebola Contagious Disease Units

Emergency health care workers –- such as those on the front lines combating Ebola in Nigeria –- are already using VSee for Ebola treatment. This week, a number of VSee customers contacted us to set up Ebola isolation units inside their hospital.

The setup is simple: just load the free VSee software onto a medical grade Onyx Healthcare all-in-one PC or load the free VSee onto the computer already in the isolation unit.

VSee auto accept calls

VSee for Windows auto call accept

Change your settings to automatically accept calls

VSee for Mac auto call accept

From the VSee address book, select Settings –> Preferences –> Automatically Accept Calls, and set up auto answer with your list of allowed users, so that any emergency worker on the list can connect automatically by video without having to make a request. This makes communications between multiple remote users faster and easier, streamlining the emergency workflow.

For an advanced setup, install a pan-tilt-zoom HD camera to allow the remote staff to control the camera.

For an even more advanced setup, deploy a VSee Telemedicine Kit which contains medical scopes and sensors. VSee allows doctors to do remote readings from these sensors, including EKG monitor, digital stethoscope, pulse oximeter, and numerous other devices.

Many contagious disease units are already using VSee. If you are applying to the USAID Ebola Grant, we would love to partner with you.

Inmarsat Partners with VSee for Telemedicine

Inmarsat, the multi-billion dollar innovative satellite company, has partnered with VSee to provide telemedicine in the world’s most difficult to reach places. VSee has used Inmarsat’s BGAN, a satellite terminal the size of a laptop, in numerous missions from Nigeria to Syria to Latin America.

Inmarsat has just published a case study of the VSee+Inmarsat telemedicine work in the Albert Schweitzer Hospital in Gabon – where we used vsee in numerous villages without electricity and only accessible by boat.

Inmarsat provided the satellite technology so that VSee’s doctor-in-a-box kits could transmit high-quality ultrasound images from the field to faraway doctors. Their BGAN network proved to be the perfect solution.

Now you can read a case study that follows VSee into Gabon, showing how Inmarsat puts its satellite network to work for humanitarian causes. This three-page case study is a quick and fascinating read.

Download the case study now.

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