Expert Tips on How to Launch a Very Successful Telemedicine Program:

When planning your telemedicine program, think first about how the patient can easily find and access your telemedicine clinic. A patient should never be required to make a phone call to ask how to get a telemedicine visit. Telemedicine visits should be easily and freely accessible for your patients.

If you currently require your patients to call your office to get an evisit, or if you require your staff members to call your patients to tell them how to do the telemedicine visit, you are missing out on revenue.

Rule #1: Make it EASY for patients to ACCESS your telemedicine clinic.

Do not make your patient call your office to figure out how to get a telemedicine visit.

This is how you do it:

A. Place a link to your telemedicine clinic on your homepage so patients can register for a telemedicine visit any time.

This does NOT mean you have to be available any time. It just means that the patient can register when it is convenient for them to do so.


Strategy Tip #1:

Evisits can be scheduled or "non-scheduled". A non-scheduled evist is also called an "anytime" visit or a "next available" evisit. This is NOT an ON DEMAND visit. A non-scheduled visit enables the patient to submit their evisit online when it is convenient for the patient to do so and enables YOU to complete the visit when you have time to do so. Once you have built up enough patient volume to justify dedicating time on your calendar for evisits, then you can make your evisits scheduled. With AZOVA, this means you just click a button to turn on the scheduling function. Until then, keep the scheduling portion off.

A seamless way to communicate how your evisit scheduling works, is by automating a response message that is sent to the patient as soon as they are done registering for their evisit. This is automated by an effective telehealth platform.

Interesting fact:

The number one reason a patient doesnt book an appointment with you right now is because they had to call your office. Patients DO NOT like to call your office. It is a fact. Eliminate the need for a phone call and you will get more patient bookings for both eVisits and office visits. Patients want convenience AND a good doctor. This is where a secure messaging tool that is integrated with your telehealth platform is very effective.

2. Email a link for your telemedicine clinic to your patients to let them know you are now offering telemedicine

Send updates on a regular basis so your evisit clinic is top of mind for your patients. Regular communication = more patient visits.

3. Text your telemedicine clinic to your patients. Stop the freebies from friends and neighbors.


Now you can generate revenue when friends and neighbors are hitting you up for free care. :)

4. Post a link to your eVisit clinic on your social media. Do this on a regular basis.


It does not work to simply announce that you offer eVisits once. You need a way to stay top of mind to your patients AND for the patients to book those evisits whenever it is convenient for them to do so.

Super Important Tip #2

You need to have a way for the patient to click and REGISTER for the evisit right from your social media. Simply include a link to your evisit clinic in your social media. Bing! You just got some more patients!

5. Do not use a plain old video calling tool to do telemedicine. Use a complete telemedicine solution.

If you have tried to do telemedicine with a video calling service like FaceTime(R) or Zoom(R), you have learned that there is so much pre and post-visit coordination between your staff, the patient, and you, that you end up making no money by the time you are done.

A great telemedicine technology will do all that work for you. It will:

1. Schedule the patient (if you want to offer scheduled visits). It will also send reminders to you AND the patient.

2. Collect consent to your privacy policies (yes, this is required for an evisit just like it is for an office visit).

3. Collect a telemedicine informed consent (a separate consent that is also required when doing an evisit).

4. Collect the patient's insurance information if you accept insurance (more about this later).

5. Collect patient payment for cash visits or their copay for insurance-covered visits.

6. Collect the patient history and assessments.

7. Teach the patient how to use the technology--it should be so easy to use that your patients never call and ask you how to use it.

8. Provide a summary of each visit directly to the patient so you and you staff don't need to.

9. Provide integrated secure messaging to enable the back and forth communication and clarifications that are required to do so.

These things are all automated with digital health technology so neither you nor your staff need to spend precious time doing these mundane tasks. When using an effective AND efficient telemedicine technology, you can expect to complete most visits in 3 to 7 minutes on AZOVA. No staff time needed.

Conducting a successful telemedicine visit:

There are four "types" of telemedicine visits; video visits, telephone visits, PhotoForward(TM) visits and secure messaging visits. Each visit type has its own nuances.


Before you launch your digital clinic, make sure you have tested the video calling to make sure that you know how to use it. If your telemedicine software is a winner, your patients will also intuitively figure out how to use it too. That way you don't spend your time trouble shooting for your patients.

Tip #3:

Sign up for a visit with yourself! You be the patient and so you can have the full patient experience. This way, you know how to help your patients if needed and you will see how the messaging, the reminders, the intake forms, the prescriptions and the appointment notes are shared with the patient. This makes it easier for you to understand how to use it too!

You must have good wifi:

If you don't have good wifi, video calling and messaging can be difficult.

Document your evisit.

You can choose to document your evisit in your EHR or in your telemedicine platform or both.

By documenting your evisit in your telemedicine platform, you will be able to leverage the communication, notifications and the ability to share the appointment summary with the patient automatically.

Of note, an effective telemedicine platform will have seamlessly integrated secure messaging to enable communication regarding the reason for the visit. This is something that an EHR does not offer. Therefore, we recommend you document your visit in your telehealth platform and then transfer the evisit note to the EHR. This can be done through an integration with your EHR where the visit notes are automatically posted to the EHR, or by simply attaching the visit note to the patient record in your EHR. If we are integrated with your EHR, you can choose to complete all documentation in the EHR if desired.


Telemedicine services are now covered by medicare and some commercial plans. It is very important to READ BETWEEN THE LINES HERE and learn the required coding. In some states, payers are required to reimburse for telemedicine visits. In most states, this is not the case. In addition, the TYPE of telemedicine visit also makes a difference. Some payers will pay for video, telephone and Store-and-forward, but this is rare.

You don't always need to know which plans will reimburse and for which types of telemedicine because you can allow the patient to choose to pay cash OR to use their insurance. Your telemedicine technology will need to enable you to offer a cash rate for services that are not covered and to accept insurance for services that ARE covered OR to give the patient the choice between insurance or cash. This way, you are able to generate the most revenue by offering all payment options. To accommodate this, choose the cash rate that you want to sell your evisit for (make sure it is above your reimbursable rate) AND give the patient the choice to pay cash OR to use their insurance. A robust telemedicine technology will enable you to do this automatically. In addition, the patient should be able to self-select this online without a phone call from you or your staff.

Send prescriptions:

A truly comprehensive telehealth technology will have integrated eprescribing to enable you to electronically prescribe from the web OR a mobile device. Because you will do telemedicine from your cell phone and from almost anywhere, it is very important to also be able to send prescriptions from your cell phone. An especially beneficial feature will also enable you to secure message with the pharmacist when you send a prescription.

Billing and Coding:

Complete your evisit and assign ICD and CPT codes to the visit just like you would for an office visit. If the patient chose to use their insurance AND the patient's insurance company will cover the service, then be sure to check with each carrier for required modifiers or place of service codes. For example, when billing Medicare for a 99202, DO NOT use, the modified GT. If you do so, you will be reimbursed approximately $15.50. Instead, use the Place of Service code "02". Doing this will get you the full 99202 rate.

Communicating post follow up:

1. Send a copy of the visit note with instructions to the patient. A great telehealth platform does this automatically. Zoom and FaceTime don't enable this, making more work for you.

2. Schedule follow up and set patient expectations as to how much access they can have to you after your visit. (i.e. will you let them message with you for seven days or do they have to get another visit).

3. Assign any outstanding tasks or care coordination services to your staff members.


A very important part of an effective telehealth technology is the ability to assign tasks to your staff members relative to any specific appointment. For example, the patient needs to have a culture taken or the patient needs a prior authorization OR the visit needs to be submitted to insurance. Each of these things would normally be easily communicated when working in person with your staff members. Instead, you can have a 100% cloud-based practice when you associate statuses to each telemedicine visit. Each status has an associated note and is automatically assigned to the right staff member with the click of a button. Here is where the value of a fully integrated secure messaging system comes in very handy. You can add any staff member into the conversation with the patient whenever needed.