What are the teleconsultation tools available to physicians ?
Teleconsultation is becoming more democratic and offers benefits to both parties involved: patients and physicians. It is often used for reasons of distance or essential and regular follow-up. What are the advantages of medical teleconsultation ? What can be said about the tools available to improve the quality of teleconsultations ? What about billing? ?
Why teleconsultation is an asset for medicine ?
Let’s summarize them he benefits of medical teleconsultation in 4 points:
– Easy access for patients: they have no geographical constraints, which allows them to benefit from consultations with specialists who are sometimes not very present in certain territories and to obtain a first opinion or a follow-up with their general practitioner.
– Time saving: for a prescription renewal, no need to waste time in traffic and in the waiting room. One teleconsultation is more than enough and can always be followed by a face-to-face appointment if needed.
– Coverage by the Health Insurance: since 2018, teleconsultation is reimbursed by the social security in the same way as a face-to-face appointment, when the patient teleconsults with his doctor.
– Digital prescriptions: the patient receives his prescriptions or his report directly by email, on the teleconsultation website or application.
Teleconsultation is proving to be a very effective way to communicate with your doctor about daily symptoms related to a pathology. You can save many hours by avoiding transport and waiting room, have a personalized follow-up even if your doctor is at a distance, while saving money.
Teleconsultation accompanies you and also offers you advantages during your vacations and trips abroad. This solution is often considered for to get medical advice in case of emergency, or while waiting for a physical consultation.
What are the essential tools to perform a teleconsultation ?
First of all, your device (smartphone, tablet, computer) must have a stable internet connection as well as a microphone and a camera. If you wish to have a dematerialized prescription, you will simply have to download an application on your phone or enter your email address. On the caregivers’ side, it is necessary to choose a teleconsultation solution.
For both patients and physicians, the essential tools for teleconsultation are :
– a computer with an integrated camera
– or an application to download on a smartphone or tablet
– a secure account
– a high-speed Internet connection
– a space that guarantees the confidentiality of your exchanges with healthcare professionals.
Many platforms offer their services for a teleconsultation between a doctor and his patient, a teleconsultation via your complementary health insurance, your company or in direct access. For the latter, make sure they are compliant with the RGPD and their guarantees in terms of health data security.
How is the billing of the vaccination done?’a teleconsultation ?
For the patient billing procedures are the same as during a face-to-face medical appointment, when consulting within the framework of the care pathway. The teleconsulting doctor bills for the consultation according to his specialty and sector. In addition, if a doctor accompanies the patient during a remote medical consultation (this is then a computer with an integrated camera), the patient must be vaccinated’In the case of an assisted teleconsultation, he can bill his act in addition to the teleconsulting doctor.
Reimbursements by social security and mutual insurance companies are calculated at the same rates as for physical appointments. Like any other practice, private doctors can charge extra fees depending on their area of activity.
Finally, teleconsultations carried out outside of the healthcare pathway, via direct access platforms, are not covered.
For health professionals, there are now two teleconsultation procedures known under the codes TCG and TC, depending on the sector. The teleconsulting doctor whose software is not up to date in accordance with the “telemedicine” rider 18 to the SESAM Vitale specifications transmits in degraded SESAM mode. As a derogation, the doctor is exempt from sending the paper care sheet in parallel with the teletransmitted flow.
For supporting physicians in the digitization of care and in particular medical teleconsultation, the Assurance Maladie and the representative unions that signed the medical agreement, in conjunction with the Ordre des médecins, have set up a charter of good practices for teleconsultation. The purpose of this charter is to inform physicians of the recommendations and obligations related to the practice of their activities at a distance.