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Reduce Doctor Visit Transportation Costs With Telemedicine

Getting to a doctor appointment can be a challenge for many people with disabilities. Sometimes transportation is not available or costs too much. Fortunately, some medical services can be carried out online.

You're about to learn how your health professionals can help you reduce your transportation costs to zero for visits to see them.

The answer is for them to provide their services online. Telehealth (or telemedicine) has been with us since the 1990s. And the Affordable Care Act favors "distance medicine."

It is in your best interests to seek health services online and to encourage your providers to get up to speed with the new modern approach to medicine.

Doing telemedicine properly means that your healthcare provider needs the right equipment and training. Here's an introduction to the subject from a recognized expert in the field, Dr. Marlene Maheu.

Visit this link if the video does not appear above:

How Does Telehealth Work?

It's pretty simple. Instead of meeting physically with your healthcare professional, you meet remotely over a video connection. In its simplest form, it's like Skyping with someone.

So the basic concept is like audio/video communication by Skype, but there are important differences. The equipment has to comply with certain medical standards and the healthcare professional has to follow certain professional guidelines.

Here's the thing. It is up to your doctor (nurse, therapist, etc.) to make sure everything is done professionally and in accordance with all applicable standards.

To get up to speed with the latest telemedicine practices takes training, such as that offered by the Telemental Health Institute, founded by Dr. Marlene Maheu.

The remainder of this article describes the training available.

14 Telehealth Issues To Worry About

We are very grateful to Dr. Marlene Maheu, founder of the Telemental Health Institute, for the content of this article. It has come primarily from materials the Institute assembled for its groundbreaking webinar on the subject.

The informed consent (IC) process for telemental health (TMH) is something that health professionals need to be concerned about. Mistakes could injure a healthy practice.

Doctor and patient to introduce telehealth concept.

This is a daunting NEW challenge considering the updated telemental health and telepsychology guidelines that are leaving nearly every practitioner overwhelmed.

Fortunately, Dr. Marlene Maheu set things straight in her two-hour webinar covering the 14 essential points to include for informed consent risk management.

A skilled and engaging webinar leader, Dr. Maheu has answered the key questions in a pedagogically sound way with clear learning objectives to follow and CEUs to earn.

Click here to learn more about the training.

8 Questions That Need Answering

To build and protect a distance medicine practice, health professionals need to know the new rules. To this end, Dr Maheu has answered the following eight key questions clearly and concisely in her webinar:

  1. What are the five key points that the American Telemedicine Association and other leading associations suggest you include in your IC agreement for TMH?
  2. What must you do if you violate the privacy of your clients/patients and what might you tell them in your IC process to prepare them for such an occurrence?
  3. Why should you and how can you obtain informed consent when soliciting email contacts through an online directory service?
  4. How should you use your informed consent process as an aid for handling emergencies?
  5. How do privacy and security laws (HIPAA/HITECH Act in the US) impact what you put in your informed consent document?
  6. What should you mention in your informed consent when you work from your home or other non-traditional setting?
  7. What do you need to include in your informed consent document when your client is in an unsupervised setting, such as at home?
  8. How can you document that your informed consent process is an ongoing activity in your treatment plan?

Click here to learn more about the training.

Webinar Learning Objectives

I have found all the educational materials produced by the Telemental Health Institute to be content-rich and rock-solid pedagogically. Students earn CEUs and follow formal learning objectives, such as these that have applied to the webinar:

  1. Name at least five issues addressed by published professional association standards and guidelines for telemental health that can be handled most easily and efficiently through an informed consent process and electronic document.
  2. List at least five documentation-specific requirements that can be addressed by a proper informed consent process.
  3. Intelligently discuss how to handle employers who minimize your concerns about informed consent.
  4. Describe why and how your choice of technology (i.e., Skype or alternative video, text messaging, email) needs to be reflected in your informed consent process.
  5. Outline how to easily address email and text messaging in your informed consent process.
  6. Name three easy ways to assure privacy from a home office or when connecting to clients/patients in their homes, and how to reflect such agreements in the informed consent process.

Who Benefits From This Training?

Image of Health Care Pros

There are many health professionals practicing (or wanting to practice) distance medicine that can benefit from the critical information included in the webinar. Examples are:

  • Counselors
  • Social Workers
  • Therapists
  • Marriage and Family Therapists
  • Drug and Alcohol Specialists
  • Psychiatrists
  • Internists
  • Pediatricians
  • Gerontologists
  • Psychologists
  • Physician's Assistants
  • Nurse Practitioners

More importantly, when healthcare professionals use modern telehealth methods, patients benefit through reduced costs and faster service.

A True Educational Cornucopia

It's rare to spend so little for information so critical to the growth and protection of a distance medicine practice, but Dr. Maheu's webinar has done that in spades, as evidenced by what has been included:

  • Webinar video recording
  • Presentation slides
  • Access to cutting-edge learning technology
  • Ability to take your post-test and course evaluation online
  • Full access to the TMHI Community Forum to ask related questions
  • Webinar handout
  • Two CEUs
  • Printable course completion certificate for your licensing board
  • Full customer support
  • 100% money-back guarantee for 30 days

This article is only a summary of the rich content of the webinar. I'm confident though that just knowing about it will be as helpful to others as it was to me. My interest is finding as many resources as possible for the disabled visitors to this Ability-Mission.org website.

Many of them miss doctor appointments because they are unable to leave their homes. Distance medicine is a highly attractive alternative, even the only option.

Click here to learn more about the training.

Image of Marlene Maheu

If you have any questions about the certified training offered by the Telemental Health Institute, click here to contact Dr. Marlene Maheu or one of her staff.

I know from having taken her training that she and her colleagues are very responsive. So don't be shy. Get in touch!

Got questions about this article? Please contact us and let us know.