The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a seismic shift in the way healthcare is delivered. Telemedicine has been critical in ensuring that patients receive the treatment they require, even when face-to-face appointments are not feasible. However, telehealth licensing requirements pose significant challenges for providers. Meeting them involves navigating a complex maze of regulations and guidelines, which can be both time-consuming and costly. Fortunately, technology is streamlining the process, making it easier than ever before to overcome any barrier.
Understanding 3 Main Telehealth Barriers
The delivery of healthcare could be revolutionized via telemedicine, yet many providers encounter major obstacles due to credentialing requirements. In this section, we'll explore 3 most common barriers.
1. A lack of consistency in state regulations
Obtaining a telehealth license is a complicated procedure with varying standards set by state medical boards. Proof of graduation from an accredited medical school, completion of at least a year of residency, and payment of licensure fees are the basic requirements. Some states may also request interviews, background checks, or completion of extra coursework/CME.
2. Time-consuming and complicated procedure
Navigating licensing requirements can be an intricate and daunting task, with each state having its own unique set of rules, processing times, and renewal eligibility periods. It requires attention to detail, patience, and long-term monitoring. The process of expanding licensing across multiple states is even worse, as state differences can significantly impact the success of the verification process. Any mistakes can be incredibly costly.
3. Expensive fees
Obtaining a telemedicine license can also be pricey. Application fees, fingerprints, background checks, and other licensing-related expenditures may be required. These fees can quickly build up, making it difficult for providers to justify the cost of services.
Refocusing the Licensing Process: How Licensing Services Can Help Overcome the Barriers
Utilizing telehealth licensing services can be a major time and cost saver. They lead providers through the complex tangle of rules and criteria and guarantee that all relevant requirements are met. Here are some key benefits:
- Streamlining: Such services eliminate the onerous manual processes of entering and re-entering licensing information for multiple states.
- Automation: They track deadlines for all relevant states, ensuring that providers are notified of renewals with ample notice and are not caught scrambling to ensure they are in compliance.
- Expertise: Licensing services often employ experts in telehealth regulations and requirements. They can answer questions, provide guidance, and help make informed decisions.
Importance of Overcoming Telemedicine Licensing Barriers
Overcoming telemedicine barriers is crucial for improving access to healthcare services, particularly for patients in underserved or remote areas. Clinicians can offer medical consultations and treatment to patients who might not have access to traditional healthcare facilities.
Aside from being the tool to eliminate the tedious legwork, licensing services are also a key to growing telehealth providers’ income. The telemedicine market is experiencing exponential growth:
- Telemedicine visits during the pandemic increased from 840,000 in 2019 to 52.7 million in 2020, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that 37% of adults used telemedicine in 2021, while a 2022 U.S. survey found that 38% of patients received care via telemedicine.
- With projected physician shortages of 37,800 and 124,000 by 2034, the American Medical Association sees telehealth and technology as potential solutions.
- Valued at $83.5 billion in 2022, the telemedicine market is projected to grow to a staggering $101.2 billion by 2023 and $455.3 billion by 2030.
This presents an enormous opportunity for providers and healthcare businesses.
Breaking Down Barriers: Powering Telehealth Providers to Do More
It’s time to modernize the telehealth licensing, credentialing, and payer enrollment process. Credsy can help telemedicine professionals streamline their licensing process by providing a centralized platform to track and renew licenses, reducing the administrative burden. Manage your licensing and credentialing needs more efficiently and focus on what really matters - providing high-quality care to your patients.