Telemedicine for High-Risk Pregnancy
Marshall Obstetrics & Gynecology offers telemedicine for high-risk pregnancy patients who need maternal-fetal medicine and do not have access to an onsite specialist.
How does telemedicine work?
Telemedicine refers to clinical services provided at a distance using technology, such as video conferencing. This technology allows a patient to have a two-way conversation in real time with a specialist she would not normally have access to.
The video conference occurs at the office of the patient's local physician. A limited physical examination will take place during the video conference, and some parts of the exam may be conducted by the local physician or ultrasound technician under the direction of the consulting health care provider. Please note: All information is kept as confidential in compliance with HIPAA privacy practices.
What are the benefits?
- Referring physicians have the opportunity to be included in a discussion about the findings with the specialist and patient.
- The patient can consult with a specialist without having to travel (unless information obtained via telemedicine was not sufficient to make a diagnosis or further treatment is required).
- With the patient closer to home, referring physicians help ensure at-risk patients adhere to the advice of the maternal-fetal medicine specialist.
Is telemedicine covered by insurance?
Most insurances cover telemedicine after the initial co-pay. Ultrasound fees are collected by the referring physician's office.
What are the telemedicine technology requirements for referring physicians?
Ultrasound equipment and adequate bandwidth/wi-fi connections are required. The video conference equipment is provided at no cost.
What equipment do I need?
The referring office or facility needs to have an ultrasound and ultrasound technician capable of doing OB scans. This means the referring office or facility will generate a technical fee for billing purposes. Marshall OB/GYN will purchase and place the telemedicine tower in the clinic at no cost to the referring clinic.
What are the technology and connection requirements for telemedicine?
An internet connection – broadband wired or wireless (3G or 4G/LTE) is required. The referring office will also need speakers and a microphone – built-in or USB plug-in or wireless Bluetooth, along with a webcam or HD webcam - built-in or USB plug-in OR a HD cam or HD camcorder with video capture card. Most operating systems are supported along with a number of mobile and tablet devices. For more specific information, contact the sub-specialty coordinator.
What program do you use for telemedicine? Can you ensure HIPAA requirements are being met?
For telemedicine, Marshall OB/GYN uses Zoom, which has HIPAA compliance as long as the referring office uses proper credentialing to access the appropriate portal.
Who do I contact about scheduling?
The sub-specialty coordinator is the point person for scheduling. She will contact the patient directly about registering and scheduling the appointment.
Do I need to get prior authorizations for telemedicine appointments?
No, the sub-specialty coordinator will complete any prior authorizations needed for the consultation.
What information will I need to share about the patient?
The referring office needs to share the demographics and pertinent clinical information about the patient with the sub-specialty coordinator.
What should I expect the day of the appointment?
The coordinator will pre-plan some time with the ultrasound technician and/or appropriate person(s) to ensure the equipment is working properly. The coordinator and/or MFM physician will start the Zoom web conference, which the ultrasound technician or their designee will then join. The MFM physician will introduce him/herself and instruct the technician to start the scan. Any images for the chart will be screen shot and saved to the patient chart in Allscripts. At the end of the exam, the MFM physician will discuss any findings and next steps with the patient and, if preferred, the referring physician. The visit will conclude and all documentation will in EMR will occur as usual. The coordinator will ensure that the referring physician receives the reports from the MFM consult visit.
I am having IT problems. Who do I call?
The subspecialty coordinator will assist in getting the right resources for IT troubleshooting.
Connecting With Us Via Telemedicine
If you're from a physician's office and are interested in connecting your high-risk pregnancy patients with our physicians via telemedicine, contact us at 304-691-1400.