I didn’t say I was against remote consultations!
Following yesterday’s post, I received phone calls and emails claiming clearly I was against remote consultations.
But I never said that!
What I said was that I don’t think remote consultations are a vehicle by which a private practice will grow.
Specifically, there is insufficient data upon which to believe they WILL grow a private practice. It’s far too early to make that claim.
Whilst they are easier for the private consultant to perform, and more crucially, enable to patient to be “seen”, that does not in itself mean the patients will want them.
I suspect many patients much prefer a face to face consultation over a remote consultation anyway.
Could it be patients are happy with remote consultations because they have been told to stay home?
That said I freely admit I could well be wrong but maintain it is far too early to reach a conclusion either way.
There’s another aspect to this.
What fee will the consultant receive for a remote consultation?
At this point in time, all insurance companies are paying precisely the same fee for a remote consultation as a face to face consultation.
Quite right too.
But that does not mean, in the post-Covid-19 world they will continue to do so.
Prior to the lockdown, fees for remote consultations were substantially lower than those for face to face consultations.
At some point, it is inevitable that insurance companies will resume their previous fee structures.
All of which means as a growth opportunity, remote consultations could well be less attractive than first thought.
But remote consultations should remain an option in the post-Covid-19 world.
As such they should be offered to patients.
But they won’t be the panacea to private practice as suggested.