The Patient Benefits of eConsults

Watch eConsult Specialist and Dermatologist, Dr. Peppercorn, discuss the benefits of eConsults for patients in this short video.

What Are The Patient Benefits of eConsults?

One of the key benefits of these eConsults is getting rapid consultations without spending the funds associated with sending the patient to in-office dermatologists or other specialists. If the clinician can get an eConsult quickly and the patient doesn’t have to go out, it truly saves a fortune of funds for the health system and the person paying the premiums to have the insurance because they don’t have that expense. For example, a dermatology visit may cost $200, and then there’s often testing done, which can be more expensive. If we can help without doing that, it’s a great thing. However, sometimes, we do have to refer patients to in-office doctors. I can’t say that we don’t sometimes say that skin lesions need to be biopsied and cut off, and then we have to send the patient to the in-office doctor.

There are cases where patients can’t just do an eConsult. They have to go somewhere else and get a surgical procedure done, but at least we can guide them to the right person. An example would be a clinician who says a patient has a problem with their nose. Should I send it to an ear, nose, and throat doctor, a plastic surgeon, or a dermatologist, and I can direct them to the dermatologist? That will also save money for health plans because often, the dermatologist can do things in the office immediately at a low cost. In contrast, the ear, nose, and throat doctor or plastic surgeon may want to do it in a hospital or outpatient setting, which costs more money. I had another physician say his patient had a wart on his foot. Should we send him to a podiatrist or dermatologist? And I could direct him where to go and what to do. So there’s that as well. But in the long run, eConsult saves a lot of money when you can take probably 70% at least and do them online without having to send the patient to another facility or the doctor’s office.

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Patient benefits of eConsults

Medicaid Patient Benefits of Telehealth

Medicaid currently provides health insurance to more than 70 million Americans, or about 20 percent of the U.S. population. This number continues to grow with shifts in policy, demographics, economics, overall societal health, and aging patterns change. Medicaid has been facing significant challenges in providing quality care while controlling costs since the Affordable Care Act was passed in 2010, which allowed states to expand coverage to low-income adults under the age of 65. Getting timely access to care is often difficult for patients, especially the Medicaid population. Providers are less likely to accept new Medicaid patients than privately insured patients, resulting in extensive waits.

Access challenges occur across geography and impact patients’ ability to get needed care and treatment from specialists. AristaMD provides a solution that benefits Medicaid patients, ensures cost control, and timely access to specialist doctors to improve patient health and outcomes.

In 2017, two-thirds of dermatologists in the top 15 metro markets of the U.S. did not accept Medicaid, according to Merritt Hawkins. It was also found that new patient wait times increased significantly to an average of 24 days, up 30 percent from 2014.