The Future of Teleorthodontics and Why You Need It

Before the coronavirus pandemic, would you have considered teleorthodontics or virtual consultations with your orthodontist? It wasn’t generally possible. However, flash forward a few months, and many patients now expect, even demand virtual consults.

Teleorthodontics has seen an enormous spike in use all over the country. If a practice fails to offer teleorthodontics options, patients may quickly decide to choose a competitor who does.

Thus, staying competitive today requires practices to shift to teleorthodontics. Often, the option generates leads that translate to in-office visits. While more people are staying at home, this is an excellent (and 100% safe) way to learn about orthodontic care, affordable payment plans, and get answers to general questions. Therefore, they provide a wonderful way to connect with people you may not have otherwise.

Importantly, teleorthodontics allows you to provide more convenience and value for your patients!

The Telehealth Genie is ‘Out of the Bottle’

Seema Verna, the CMS administrator, made it abundantly clear teleorthodontics will continue indefinitely when she said:

“I think the genie’s out of the bottle on this one,” said Verma. “I think it’s fair to say that the advent of telehealth has been just completely accelerated, that it’s taken this crisis to push us to a new frontier, but there’s absolutely no going back.”

Veema also said telehealth is a “clear example of untapped innovation.”

Therefore, for the foreseeable future, telehealth is here to stay. After the pandemic, levels will almost certainly remain well above pre-pandemic numbers. According to FAIR Health’s Monthly Telehealth Regional Tracker, telehealth calls shot up 7938.13% in the northeast in just one year!

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Why You Need Telemedicine

Due to the pandemic, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) lifted telehealth restrictions. Before the pandemic, CMS only covered telehealth in some cases, a roadblock for offering the option. Afterward, telehealth shot up by hundreds of thousands each week.

Consequently, people following quarantine protocols could continue to get the care they needed from home. As a result, they received care much faster and were overall satisfied with their virtual experiences. For example, a recent survey by teledentistry professionals found patients ranking their satisfaction as high as 97%.

Generally, seeing doctors in person takes an average of two hours for a 20-minute consultation. Not so with virtual consults. Instead, there are no waiting rooms, and patients remain in the comfort and safety of home. Looking at trends for the future, it appears teleorthodontics will continue to be expected in the future.

Failing to Move to Teleorthodontics Could Cost You

Today, patients are seeking out teleorthodontic options. For those who wait too long, it could be a costly delay.

The Advisory Board, health care experts for 40 years, advises all health care providers to embrace telehealth now. However, as many as one-third of providers haven’t made the shift.

Failing to shift telehealth could come at “serious costs for providers” as “patients and payers, and emerging competitors” come to expect more options.

“Covid-19 has clearly demonstrated the versatility of telehealth—including not only virtual visits but also remote patient monitoring and asynchronous modalities. Telehealth is not a problem for providers to solve; it is a new way for providers to solve care delivery problems at scale,” writes senior consultant John League.

In consumer surveys, the experts note that consumers want telehealth options to solve many health care challenges.

“Consumers are already thinking of telehealth this way. Our recent survey of consumers indicates that their interest in telehealth has surged for opportunities to solve their own health care challenges, including getting faster access to care, making care more convenient, and connecting with their own physicians. Providers should follow their lead and focus on how to use telehealth to address their own strategic objectives,” he continues.

After COVID-19, consumer demand will drive an ongoing telemedicine trend.

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What We’ve Seen at Ortho Marketing

Ortho Marketing has been working hard to help dental professionals meet and exceed patient expectations for telehealth. Thus, we implemented virtual consultations for top doctors all over the country using the latest technologies. Also, we’ve also helped let prospective patients know that virtual consultations are available, easy, efficient, and useful.

Since then, we’ve continued to see more practices move to teleorthodontics options. As noted, patients now actively seek out orthodontists that provide virtual visits. Consequently, teleorthodontics is essential to remain competitive.

Although virtual consults won’t replace in-person examinations, they are invaluable lead generators. Patients who may have been putting off care for years may decide to reach out at last. Thus, they can finally get the care they deserve and improve their health and futures. Furthermore, we expect this to remain true from now on.

Offering virtual consults is a fantastic way to stay competitive while offering your patients the most convenience and value. In return, your practice can continue to grow even in these challenging times.

Below Ortho Marketing President Dean Steinman shares more insights about virtual orthodontics:

Improve Your Patients’ Experience with Telemedicine

As always, Ortho Marketing is here to help take your practice to the next level. If you are considering virtual consultations or want to improve your patients’ experience, schedule a free marketing consultation today.

Our U.S.-based experts have over two decades of experience in growing the best orthodontic practices. Always, we stay on top of the best new techniques in the industry, including virtual consultationsvirtual assistants, and remote smile assessments.

Click here to schedule your free marketing consultation. Or, call us anytime at 914.788.1555.

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