Telemedicine industry is booming. But how much do doctors practicing telemedicine make? What salary can you expect to earn when starting with telemedicine?
This is one question that is on the forefront of every practitioner’s mind as more and more healthcare providers make the switch towards virtual consultations.
Whether you are planning to shift your practice to 100 percent remote or you are planning to provide virtual consultations on a part-time basis, the knowledge of remuneration that you can expect is always beneficial.
Here are the answers to all money-related questions that you might have before starting with telemedicine.
What kind of salary can a physician make practicing telemedicine?
The amount of money that a physician makes with telemedicine depends on a number of factors. Whether the physician is practicing telemedicine on a full-time basis or whether it is a part-time thing. The location of practice and the specialization of the physician also have a role to play in determining the telemedicine salary.
The average annual salary of telemedicine physicians as reported by ziprecruiter is $192,454. The average salary reported by Payscale for telemedicine physicians is reported at $215,000. The annual salary for specialists such as neurologists and cardiologists is even higher and stands at $282,000 on an average.
Billing also depends on the type of telemedicine being performed. Whether you opt for synchronous telemedicine that involves real-time audio video interactions with patients or whether you opt for asynchronous store-and-forward telemedicine that focuses on specialist interactions has an impact on the salary that you would earn practicing telemedicine.
How is telemedicine billed?
Depending on the telemedicine platform that you are associated with, the billing can either be on a per patient basis or there can be a fixed hourly rate for the consultations. The hourly telemedicine billing rates range from $50 to $200 based on the specialty and the location where telemedicine is being practiced.
The per session rates also vary from $15 to $35 per consultation. The hourly average rate of telemedicine physicians as reported by payscale is $28.97.Depending on the specialization, consultants reportedly can complete 3-4 sessions per hour.
The best part of practicing telemedicine is that your billing doesn’t depend on the location that you are offering your services from but rather depends on the location where you are offering your services in.
Legal requirements dictate that you need to have license to practice in the states that you are offering your services in. Licensing yourself to practice in states like California and New York can lead to higher salary in telemedicine practice due to the sheer difference in demand and higher volume of patients.
What are the benefits of practicing telemedicine?
Telemedicine has numerous benefits for healthcare practitioners. From a better work-life balance to enhanced efficiency telemedicine has reportedly changed the lives of physicians for the better. While lowered stress levels, lesser physician burnout are considerable benefits, physicians practicing telemedicine are subject to financial benefits as well.
Physicians who choose to work full-time in telemedicine companies are entitled to benefits such as 401k, health insurance, malpractice insurance, sick leaves and paid time off. Depending on the company that you choose to associate with, the standard benefits packages can vary.
Healthcare practitioners these days can also choose to associate themselves with multiple telehealth providers. However, contractual practice of telemedicine does not ensure employment benefits.
How can you make an earning from telemedicine?
The physicians leveraging telemedicine may fall in one of the following categories.
- Self-employed physicians with their own telemedicine offerings for their practice.
- Physicians using telemedicine part-time to supplement incomes from their existing practice.
- Physicians practicing telemedicine full-time on one or more existing telemedicine platforms.
How to maximize salary from telemedicine?
1. Capitalize on multi-state licensing
Your value as a telemedicine provider is directly proportional to the number of states that you are licensed to practice in. Getting yourself licensed to practice in the more populous states results in greater opportunities for providing healthcare services.
2. Get in touch with legal state practice requirements
Some state laws require pre-established relationships with patients before physicians can provide their services through telemedicine. Knowing the legal requirements before you start is a must. This ensures that your telemedicine practice does not run into any legal roadblocks.
3. Try out different telemedicine platforms
A steady stream of patients is the key to maximizing the money you earn by practicing telemedicine. On most telemedicine platforms, the patients have the option to choose the time that is preferable to them. However, approving those appointments in the physician’s hands. Signing up on multiple platforms ensures that you have a schedule that allows you to optimize on telemedicine practice.
4. Keep in mind the demand frequency
The fall/winter season corresponds to high demand of physicians as the flu season approaches. Dedicating extra time to telemedicine can yield higher returns and increased supplemental incomes. Similarly, working during odd hours and having night shifts can give you higher returns. Lesser physicians would be available for those time slots.
Transitioning from conventional practice to telemedicine doesn’t necessarily have to be a tough task. You can choose to start with telemedicine practice as a side gig before going all in. Conversely you can choose to have a telemedicine platform solely developed for your practice rather than signing up on the available telemedicine platforms to supplement your income.
There are no right or wrong ways to get started on telemedicine. Figuring out what works out best for you and starting your telemedicine journey is going to be an unique experience.
Whether you choose to transition on a full time basis or whether you choose to practice telemedicine part time, it is a lucrative opportunity to further your career. The future of healthcare delivery is virtual and leveraging telemedicine technology not only adds flexibility to your practice but also makes financial sense.