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.
Lastly, we will also provide an update on regulations and insurance coverage for virtual consults.
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:
Dr. Packard from Precision Dental provides a great example of a fully built out Landing Page: https://precisiondentalbg.yourvirtualconsult.com/
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.
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.
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:
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:
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.
First, it's important to understand the two different types of virtual consults!
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:
If you need a little extra practice, use the scripts our team has prepared below to help guide your first 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.
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.
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:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
The Virtual Consult Team