Teletherapy has become increasingly popular. Patients and clients can be seen by a skilled practitioner if they live in remote areas where services are typically unavailable. Teletherapy makes it possible to reach more people. There are six essentials to creating a solid foundation for a successful practice.
1. Stay Healthy
Teletherapy requires a lot of sitting in front of a computer. Therefore, before delving into the must-haves and the technology for successfully running a telepractice, it is important to address the fact that you must stay active and move throughout your day. A happy and alert practitioner brings positive energy to the session.
Sitting for prolonged periods can have adverse effects on the health and flexibility of your core, spine, circulation, and your mind. Whether you are a financial advisor, accountant, or a lawyer like Douglas Healy, who devotes time to weightlifting to stay fit, it is crucial to keep an active lifestyle. The movement will keep your mind and body refreshed. A fundamental ingredient to a successful practice is a healthy owner who can prioritize self-care and negate the effects of long-term sitting.
2. Choose a Video Conferencing Platform
Once you have decided to build a teletherapy practice, it is imperative to have an excellent high-speed wifi connection and a reliable computer supporting current operating systems. These two things must be in optimal condition.
An online video conference platform is where you will meet up with your clients. It should be easy to navigate for both parties. You need to be able to share your screen with ease and allow for your client to control the screen to engage in interactive tasks and games. It must be HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) compliant, which means your platform must adhere to strict protocols to protect sensitive personal information. Three popular online platforms are:
3. Invest in Practice Management Software
As a medical practitioner, it is imperative to have a practice management orto keep all medical documents safe and off your personal computer. It is a place to manage your daily treatment notes, evaluation reports, and all the clients’ personal information. It makes it easy to find and share your records with other allied health professionals. Many EMRs include a scheduling system, evaluation and report templates, goal banks, and billing assistance. Some include video conferencing capabilities. Popular EMRs include:
- Practice Fusion.
- Fusion Web Clinic.
4. Hire a Billing Assistant
It behooves any practitioner to outsource the task of billing patients. As a practitioner, your talent is your ability to treat. It is someone else’s talent to handle insurance companies and charge patients for services rendered. The practitioner providing the treatment and the person conducting the billing should not be the same. At some point, there will be a challenging conversation with a patient over money owed. When there is money involved, questions and disputes arise. It is vital to have a designated person to handle these sensitive conversations.
5. Obtain the Proper Licenses
Telepractice opens doors to areas beyond your town, metropolitan region, and across state lines. Therefore, it is necessary to obtain the correct license for each state in which you plan to conduct services. For example, if you are a practitioner in Oregon and want to see clients in Idaho, you will need to obtain an Idaho license. Each state has its own rules and regulations, and it is essential to look into each state’s requirements regarding telepractice.
On the flip side, if you want to relocate for a few of weeks in Hawaii or Tahoe to work and play, it is possible to see your clients as long as they reside in the state where you are licensed. In most cases, you can work from anywhere. This is what makes telepractice so enticing.
6. Highlight Your Expertise
Once you have set up your office space, chosen an online video conference platform and EMR system, and you have hired or outsourced your billing, then you are ready to start making an impact. Look at your own community and surrounding rural areas. Get in touch with referral sources around the state, especially pediatricians who serve rural areas. Make an effort to meet with them face to face or over video conference to discuss your experience and skillset.
There are companies that specialize in placing teletherapists with teletherapy jobs. The following can be great resources to help you find contract teletherapy jobs in underserved areas:
- Bilingual Therapies.
- Global Teletherapy.
- DotCom Therapy.
Telepractice is a fun and rewarding job. It allows you to work from anywhere with minimal overhead and reach kids and adults in need all over the country. Following these tips will set you up for success. Remember to get out of the chair, move around, and enjoy the many benefits of teletherapy.