Helping More Patients, Boosting the Bottom Line
Dr. Andre Haynes knows how debilitating and life-threatening addictions can be. At his practice, Addiction Telemed, he helps nearly 100 people with everything from heroin to smoking addictions every day move on and lead more fulfilling, less substance-dependent lives.
Less travel time, broader access
In the rural areas of Georgia in and around where Dr. Haynes practices, opioid epidemics such as heroin addictions are rampant. Yet Dr. Haynes was hampered because he was often unable to travel hours to see patients in outlying areas. The patients often could not afford to take three to four hours off and often lose an entire workday to come and visit him in his office for counseling and treatment. He needed a more convenient, simple, and cost-effective way to serve patients that would be just as engaging as an in-office visit.
Addictions are extremely private and sensitive for people. People afflicted by them rarely want to be noticed by others in a doctor’s office known for treating addictions and would rather keep matters to themselves. That’s what led Dr. Haynes to look into telehealth, a way of treating patients online, via videoconference on the computer, completely securely and privately — and without wasteful travel time and costs.
Telemedicine — convenient, simple, cost-effective
Dr. Haynes began looking at the leading telemedicine options and gave eVisit a call. “The people at eVisit were so personable and offered fantastic customer service,” says Haynes. “I saw a demo and was given the price quote. My conclusion: with eVisit, you get a lot of bang for your buck.”
In addition to the value eVisit provided, Dr. Haynes was impressed with the product’s ease of use and engaging interface. With younger patients, using the technology is typically not an issue, but many older patients are not as computer savvy and need the simplicity eVisit provides. Haynes now uses eVisit to videoconference with patients online, just as he would right in his office. For many patients, speaking from their own homes is more comfortable. Many of the physical practices remain the same, such as writing prescriptions or mailing patients their drug kits. But patient interactions have changed for the better.
Instead of taking hours away from work, patients can spend just a few minutes with the doctor on the computer face-to-face to help take care of issues quickly. On average, visits last only four minutes. The patients may just need to ask a question or get through a difficult moment.
Better care for patients, new source of income
for Dr. Haynes
Although a few patients felt a little uncomfortable at first about eVisit — one even asked, “This is too good to be true. Is it really legal?” — Dr. Haynes reassured them it is. Patients are now enthusiastic. They love the face-to-face video interaction, convenience, and ability to afford the patient more privacy and comfort. Dr. Haynes reports that he can hardly keep up with growth in the number of new patients he’s been seeing since he adopted telemedicine, simply due to word of mouth from others who are enthusiastic with the new aspect of the practice. He’s seen an uptick in revenue of nearly $13,000 in less than three months of using the platform and as his practice grows, he foresees this number escalating rapidly. If he can help a patient get over a difficult moment in just a few minutes online, then the incremental revenues he can generate will be substantial.
eVisit came with other positive outcomes, because the software automatically documents every patient encounter, without Dr. Haynes having to lift a pen or type reams of information into a computer. The new telemedicine software has also prompted Dr. Haynes to make himself available 24/7, something he was leery of at first. He soon came to realize that people respect his time and rarely contact him before or after hours except in cases of extreme emergencies.
“Telemedicine with eVisit saves me five to six hours a day,” he says. “Due to the savings, I can expand my services and provide even better, faster care. I’m also making a great new source of income.”
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