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Analysis

Assessing Telemedicine Readiness

By Revenue Cycle Advisor  
   October 07, 2020

While telemedicine is certainly a useful tool in today's world, it's important that case managers assess a patient's readiness to utilize technology rather than assume the patient will be able to seamlessly transition to telemedicine visits.

A version of this article was first published October 7, 2020, by HCPro's Revenue Cycle Advisor, a sibling publication to HealthLeaders.

Q: It seems that telemedicine is here to stay, but perhaps not every patient is ready to use telemedicine. What are your best strategies for assessing a person's abilities with technology?

A: A recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) examined this issue. Study authors found that even with support setting up the technology, nearly 32% of older adults still are not be ready for video visits.

Study authors also discovered that a significant number of adults (20%) were not able to participate in a simple telephone call due to dementia, poor hearing, or other communication issues.

While telemedicine is certainly a useful tool in today's world, it's important that case managers assess a patient's readiness to utilize technology rather than assume the patient will be able to seamlessly transition to telemedicine visits.

“My first suggestion would be to include an assessment for use of technology if the post-discharge care plan may include video or telephone visits,” says Colleen Morley, DNP, RN, CCM, CMAC, CMCN, ACM-RN, president of CMSA Chicago. “Include the caregiver or person who would normally be taking the older adults to their in-person provider visits to ensure their ability to provide good support in the technology-based visit.”

Case managers should know that "unreadiness" is more common in certain groups of individuals, according to study authors. Those groups include:

  • Adults with less education, lower income, and poorer health by their own reports
  • Black or Hispanic adults
  • Individuals living in more rural areas
  • Men
  • Unmarried individuals

Older individuals were also likely to lack the readiness to utilize technology. According to the study authors, 72% of adults age 85 or older met criteria for unreadiness.

For additional information, see the September issue of Case Management Monthly.

Revenue Cycle Advisor combines all of HCPro's Medicare regulatory and reimbursement resources into one handy and easy-to-access portal. News is not just repeated from other sources. It is analyzed by our Medicare experts so professionals can comprehend any new rule and regulatory updates thoroughly. Learn more.


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