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How telehealth helped a marriage and family therapy practice expand access to care

How do you provide patients access to care when you can’t meet them in person? Like all healthcare providers across the country, Dawn Theodore faced a once-in-a-lifetime challenge in the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. But COVID wasn’t the only thing keeping patients from accessing care from the marriage and family therapist.

Barriers to care before the pandemic

“Even before the pandemic,” Theodore remarked, “some of my patients had trouble driving long distances and finding parking near my office. With social distancing and shelter-in-place orders, it felt like an impossible situation.”

Using generic video conferencing software helped her see her patients when they could not come to her office, but it left a lot to be desired. Some patients had trouble logging in, and limitations on meeting times caused headaches for the therapist and her patients. She needed an application that would ensure flexibility, a means to help her patients access care and HIPAA compliance.

The Inovalon telehealth application provided the safe environment that counseling patients need to share intimate details about their lives in a virtual space.

Additional benefits of using telehealth

Theodore quickly discovered that telehealth was more than a stop-gap service in a pandemic. It was a means to expand access to her patients. Licensed in New York and California, Theodore can now serve patients across the country from her L.A. office. “Patients love it,” she explains in a recent case study. “I practice in Los Angeles, where driving and parking can be a massive headache. Telehealth appointments remove that barrier to care.”

Our Virtual Care software has also helped the practice resolve another issue with patient access: radius of care. Insurers often refer patients who live 50-100 miles away from the practice. Before adopting Virtual Care, that commute would be practically impossible for patients in need of one or more appointments per week. With an innovative telehealth application designed specifically for healthcare, the practice can now help patients who were physically beyond its reach before.

How can the right telehealth software help your practice better serve your patients? Schedule a demo today to see our Virtual Care software in action.


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By Inovalon