Rebecca’s 15-year-old daughter woke up with strep throat. The timing was awful: Rebecca had a presentation that morning for a major client. Rebecca decided to try out the new e-visit feature of her local urgent care. After a short video e-visit, they had a prescription for antibiotics. Rebecca picked up the prescription, tucked her daughter into bed, and still arrived on time for her presentation!
Patients love the convenience of e-visits, which is why telehealth has been growing over 25% per year. Kaiser Permanente recently stated that over half of their member interactions are technology-based through smartphones, videoconferencing, or kiosks. According to MarketWatch, the telemedicine/telehealth market in the U.S. is estimated to grow to $9.5 billion by 2022.
Payment Problems for e-visits
Although telehealth is growing rapidly, many healthcare organizations are finding it hard to support payments for e-visits and virtual care. There are two challenges many face:
1. Many payment providers do not support telehealth/telemedicine because they classify it as a risky or restricted business
2. e-visits require a unique payment workflow. In many cases, the consumer must enter a payment method when signing up for an appointment. Sometimes a fee is collected up-front and may later be refunded depending on insurance coverage. These payment and refund workflows are often not supported.
InstaMed Support for Telemedicine e-visits
InstaMed fully supports telehealth and telemedicine use cases. InstaMed does not view telehealth as a restricted or risky business type.
Case Study: e-visits for DocTech EMR
DocTech EMR (fictious name) offers a web-based EMR for doctor’s offices and urgent care clinics. DocTech asked InstaMed to help them support e-visits.
Challenge: DocTech wanted consumers to enter a credit card when making the e-visit appointment. However, many consumers did not yet have a patient record. DocTech wanted to use the saved method to bill for the appointment later, depending on insurance benefit eligibility.
Solution: DocTech integrated its application with InstaMed’s RESTful API. InstaMed helped design a workflow that allows for saving a payment method without a patient ID. Once a patient record is created, the payment method is properly linked to the patient. Once insurance information is collected, DocTech calls the eligibility endpoint. Eligibility information is used to calculate any required fees, which are then charged using the saved payment method.