Virtual Healthcare Explores New Ways to Serve Patients

by Vincent Vallejo on April 1, 2014

shutterstock_183135302When it came to healthcare, in the past, there were two options: either the doctor made a house call and came to you or you went to the doctor. However, virtual care may become an increasing significant third alternative. In many regards, patients are already turning to virtual solutions — with or without the actual doctor. Two-thirds of all U.S. broadband households have visited a healthcare website in the past year. Thirty-six percent visited a health portal like WebMD. Sites like these can be tremendously helpful. However, they can also confuse patients when a symptom like “dizziness” could lead to such varied conclusions as middle ear infection, carbon monoxide poisoning, or diabetes.

Providers are exploring virtual healthcare technology to better serve patients. Virtual health kiosks and portals, remote consultations, and electronic personal health records present new opportunities. These digital doctor-patient visits could create a new healthcare claims conundrum. In these instances, an experienced healthcare BPO company can improve efficiency and reduce costs.

According to, by 2018, 22 million households will use virtual healthcare, up from less than a million in 2013. Average visits among these adopter households will increase from 2 per year in 2013 to 6 per year in 2018, which include both acute care and preventive follow-up services in a variety of care settings—at home, at retail kiosk or at work.

Benefits include:

• Expand service to patients who require more access, such as patients who live in remote rural areas
• Minimize hospital admissions, readmissions by addressing non-emergency health concerns with preventative methods
• Help to monitor and manage long-term patient care while a patient rests and recuperates at home
• Increase the number of patients who can be seen and treated during a given period of time
• Provide new streams of revenue in the form of virtual consultations
• Earn incentives from the HITECH Act

Today’s healthcare industry generates more than 8 billion claim transactions annually, resulting in $2.7 trillion worth of payments processed through a network of costly channels. With the industry expanding, providers will also need to process virtual healthcare claims. These organizations can turn to BPO solutions to alleviate the back-office burden. They will want a BPO company that can implement the necessary software and technology, keeping pace with a healthcare system moving at the speed of a broadband WiFi connection.

healthcare payment automation

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