Your Virtual Consult Beginner’s Guide During COVID-19!

April 10, 2020

As we all work to adapt to the new challenges posed by the COVID-19 outbreak, the Your Virtual Consult team has been hard at work building a resource guide for you to successfully integrate virtual consultations into your practice. 

In this guide we will cover: 

  • building out your virtual consult landing page
  • how to let patients and your community know about Your Virtual Consult
  • how to do a virtual consult

Lastly, we will also provide an update on regulations and insurance coverage for virtual consults.

Building Out Your Virtual Consult Landing Page


So you just signed up and you’re ready to start offering virtual consults to your current and potential new patients! Before you get going, you will need to build out your landing page. The business profile wizard makes it easy — just fill out basic information about your practice, and follow these pro tips to personalize your landing page:

  • Welcome Video: Record or upload a personalized welcome video that will replace the stock image in the header of your landing page. Record or upload your video at the bottom of the profile tab.
  • Testimonials: Add at least 3 testimonials to your landing page by clicking on the “Testimonials” tab. Patient testimonials have the ability to increase your practice’s credibility and serve as social proof that your practice offers quality services.
  • Case Work: Show off a little bit and add case work to your landing page to let people see the power of transformation. First, you need to upload before and after photos (as separate images) to the “Case Work” tab. Once you’ve built out your library, go to the “Featured Work” section to add your favorites to your profile.

Dr. Packard from Precision Dental provides a great example of a fully built out Landing Page: https://precisiondentalbg.yourvirtualconsult.com/


How Do You Get The Word Out?



Okay, now you’ve got a great virtual consult landing page, but how do you let people know about it? If you don’t let anyone know, don’t expect to do any virtual consults! There are three main channels you need to activate to start actively providing virtual consultations.

Email

Far from dead, email is still a great way to communicate with your patients. During this time of uncertainty, make sure you are using email to communicate directly with patients about office closures, emergency treatment options, and, of course, virtual consults. We’ve found that emails that come directly from you, the dentist, are the most impactful. Let them know you are still there for them and your team has invested in a virtual consult technology that will let you determine if emergency treatment is needed, communicate with patients in quarantine, and provide virtual consults for their cosmetic or elective needs. Our team has prepared an email template you can use.

Virtual Consult Email Template


Your Website

Your website is your digital storefront. New patients visit to learn more about you and your services. Existing patients return to download forms and to find your contact information and hours. You likely get between 300 - 1,000+ unique visits to your website every month (If you don’t know your website data, let our sister company Wonderist Agency help!). To promote virtual consults on your website, contact your website administrator and ask them to add one of the following:

  • Button: Add a button to the home page banner (or masthead) section of your website, and direct the button to your landing page. The button can say “Get A Virtual Consult” — Here is an example: https://charlesschof.com/


Social Media

20 years ago, everyone had their nose buried in a newspaper. Today, everyone is on their mobile devices browsing social media. It's where the eyeballs are. Use social media to communicate with your existing patients and your local community. We recommend posting on Facebook and Instagram. If you aren’t already very active on social media, now is a great time to turn off Netflix and start creating some content! There are three different types of posts that we recommend:

  • Social Videos: When it comes to social media, authentic content is key. Nothing is more authentic than a video. We recommend you record a short video (2 minutes or less) where you invite your community to use virtual consults to connect with you during the COVID-19 outbreak and after. Walk them through the virtual consult process and let them know you’ll respond with a virtual video consult. If you need a jump start, we’ve written a video script for you!

    Access Our Video Scripts
  • Classic Post: Post a photo of you or your team with a short caption letting your community know that you’re still there supporting them through Your Virtual Consult. Again, authentic content is best so try not to use stock images. To get you started, you can use some of the pre-designed social posts that our team has made for you. Access our social pack in the link below:


Your Virtual Consult Social Media Pack

You can also design your own content with canva.com.

  • Stories: Social media stories are a big deal. 45% of Instagram’s ad revenue comes from Stories. If you really want to be a pro user, you can supplement your social posts by building out stories.

Okay, so you have some great content, but how can you make sure people see it? Facebook restricts organic impressions to 5–7% of your page's followers. This means that you need to constantly build your community and you need to produce content that stands out to maximize your organic reach. Sometimes you just can’t wait to share some big news, and this is one of those moments. Budgets are tight right now but $20 can go a long way. Consider boosting your posts about virtual consults as a good way to reach both your current page followers AND new people around you who may be struggling with office closures.

How Do I Do A Virtual Consult?

First, it's important to understand the two different types of virtual consults!

  • Live vs On-Demand Virtual Consults: Your Virtual Consult provides on-demand virtual consults (asynchronous consults). It is built to fit into your normal day to day practice. This lets patients and dentists communicate on their own schedules to ensure everyone's time is well used. Patients can fill out information at 10 p.m. and dentists can respond with a treatment plan, before and after examples, and a video consultation the next day at 10 a.m. You don’t need to worry about losing valuable chair time to no shows. Our platform provides a guided consult process that  manages patients and packages up the final consult and automates all the follow up email communication. 

    Live consults can also be effective. Pick a platform that works for you and remember to build out an intake form, and design a consult workflow you can use to to guide patients through a live call. We recommend using on demand consults to more effectively triage cases and following up with a live or in person consult when needed.

    On-demand consults are also considered asynchronous; this will be important for insurance coding, which we’ll touch on later.


How To Record a Good Virtual Consult

The magic of virtual consults is in the video. It's like making a virtual house call. You are able to make a powerful statement to your patients when they receive a personal video from you addressing their concerns and discussing next steps. Follow these steps when recording a virtual consult:

  • Review The Case: Take some time to review the photos and information provided by the patient. Use the Your Virtual Consult platform to start planning out potential treatment options. Add a before and after photo for relevant or similar cases, provide a summary of possible treatment, suggest the number of visits needed, and, optionally,  share a cost estimate when appropriate
  • Record Your Video Consult: Lights, camera, action! This is where the magic happens. Use the following structure to ensure a great consult
  1. Introduce Yourself
  2. Review the Case
  3. Address The Photos
  4. Outline Possible Treatment Plan
  5. Social Proof
  6. Provide A Next Step

If you need a little extra practice, use the scripts our team has prepared below to help guide your first consults!

Virtual Consult Scripts

How to Manage Virtual Consult Communication

  • Send a HIPAA Compliant Consult: Once you’ve recorded your video consult, you can review your consult before emailing the patient. Make sure you do not include any PHI (Protected Health Information) in the email itself. All sensitive information should be contained in the virtual consult itself. We suggest a standard message for you to use in your email but encourage you to modify and make it more personal. Make sure you have a clear call to action — i.e. call our office, we’ll call you (for patients of record), or schedule online (if you use LocalMed or Zocdoc).
  • Automated Follow Up: Our platform does all of the follow up for you, based on the actions of the patient you sent to the consult to. If a patient has not opened the consult, we will send reminder emails to them, notifying them that you have replied. Once they open the consultation, follow up emails are automatically sent to them with a reminder to follow up with you.
  • Update Status: In the Leads dashboard, you can update the status to New, Qualified, Scheduled, Not Qualified. It is important to keep the status updated as this will stop the automated emails from contacting patients. Once a patient is marked as Scheduled or Not Qualified, email sequences will stop.

Regulations and Insurance Coverage for Virtual Consults.

Can I Bill for Virtual Consults?

The short answer is yes. You CAN bill for virtual consults. You can bill patients as an out of pocket expense. You can send them a normal bill or ask them to pay through Paypal or Stripe. Our platform does not currently integrate with any payment platforms.

For cosmetic consults, our best practice is to use the platform to provide complimentary virtual consults. Many of our dental practices already offer complimentary in-office consults. Virtual consults allow you to start a conversation with a prospective new patient in a way that protects your valuable chair time. When possible, consider offering free virtual consults to help generate more cosmetic leads.

What About Insurance —Are Virtual Consults Covered?

First of all, we want to acknowledge that guidelines on insurance coding and billing have been changing. This information may not apply to all states and there is no guarantee that the billing codes outlined below will be accepted by the dental insurance companies you are in network with. Verify all codes and procedures with your insurance companies before proceeding.

For services rendered using telecommunication technology:

If you are providing care using telecommunication technology to triage patients or offer an evaluation to determine if the situation is urgent or emergent, then the following CDT codes can be used to document and report the services in the patient’s record and to a third party payer.

Oral Evaluations:

  • D0140 limited oral evaluation – problem focused
  • D0170 re-evaluation – limited, problem focused (established patient; not postoperative visit)
  • D0171 re-evaluation – post-operative office visit

Case Management:

  • D9992 dental case management – care coordination

Teledentistry:

When you are providing services in a teledentistry environment one or the other of the following codes would be reported in addition to those cited above.

D9995 teledentistry – synchronous; real-time encounter

Reported in addition to other procedures (e.g., diagnostic) delivered to the patient on the date of Service.

D9996 teledentistry – asynchronous; information stored and forwarded to dentist for subsequent review

Reported in addition to other procedures (e.g., diagnostic) delivered to the patient on the date of Service. This is the code you should use in conjunction with the Your Virtual Consult Platform.

For more info refer to the ADA resource linked below:

ADA’s Coding and Billing And Interim Guidance PDF


We hope this guide helps you begin using virtual consults effectively in your practice. We will be following up with additional resources over the next few weeks to help you promote virtual consults to your patients android your community.

If you have any questions you can reach out to our team at hello@yourvirtualconsult.com


Thanks,

The Virtual Consult Team

yourvirtualconsult.com