The Front Range as seen from Greenwood Village, CO — Adam Ginsburg
At the foot of the Rocky Mountains in Arapahoe County lies Greenwood Village—a bustling residential and business center that boasts expansive views of Colorado’s natural beauty that can bring out the pioneer spirit in anyone.
It’s here that Dr. Andreas Edrich has offered comprehensive family medicine and addiction management for the last fifteen years at Heritage Hills Family Medicine. Providing care for thousands of patients in the Denver area, he’s cultivated a well-deserved reputation as an attentive and considerate physician focused on delivering the highest quality of service for his patients.
Adopting the pioneer spirit himself, Dr. Edrich recently introduced telemedicine into his practice’s daily workflow with Hale’s remote care platform. The result: streamlined communication, increased efficiency and greater visit volume—Heritage Hills patients are happy and incremental revenue improves the bottom line.
“Using Hale has been a game changer,” Dr. Edrich says, “it has truly transformed my practice.”
As a family physician and addiction specialist, fostering strong patient relationships is critical to providing effective treatment. Yet providers are often reticent to open up new lines of communication to their patients, fearing it may overburden office resources. To the contrary, Dr. Edrich found that with the right toolset he could offer patients increased access while at the same time streamlining patient communications.
Before implementing Hale, patient messages were routed through a nurse to the physician team—and back again. Dr. Edrich’s practice saves time each day by streamlining the process: the right team member simply responds directly to the patient, and in doing so, reduces the risk of errors in translation.
“Hale gives me with the most amazing opportunity to keep in touch with my patients — right at my fingertips. We save so much time and money by streamlining the process.”
Other features like internal messaging and scheduled messages support practice workflows, even when members of the team are across town—or halfway across the globe.
Streamlining patient and team communications has significant impact on patient and provider workflows; yet the ability to handle many different encounter types has made Hale a critical part of Heritage Hills’ business.
The team can easily schedule live video visits to handle acute issues and offer patients a remote option for follow up care or recurring appointments. More efficient than an office appointment, video visits have had a direct impact on Dr. Edrich’s overall encounter volume: allowing him to see roughly 30% more patients each day.
“Now our practice can get more visits on the books. Live video visits let me see 4–5 more patients each day.”
Collecting reimbursement for these incremental visits has been easier than the practice imagined. Colorado is among the 30 states that have passed private payer parity legislation, requiring commercial insurers reimburse telemedicine encounters as they do office visits. “I’m capturing the same revenue [for Hale video visits] as in-person visits from 99% of my payers,” Dr. Edrich explains.
This newfound ease and access to care isn’t lost on Heritage Hills’ patients. “Patient response has been amazing,” says Dr. Edrich. “They love the convenience of being able to connect with me without waiting for an office appointment.” In some cases, the wait for an appointment can be longer than four weeks so it’s no wonder patients are quick to adopt remote care tools. Dr. Edrich can now connect with his patients anywhere in the world anytime.
“I’ve had video visits with patients while they’ve been on vacation in Africa — not to mention when I’ve been away from the office, too.”
After a few false starts with other telemedicine services, the Heritage Hills team found it surprisingly simple to get up and running with Hale—and started seeing immediate results.
“Getting started with Hale couldn’t have been easier. We were up and running in a matter of minutes.”
After signing up on the Hale website, Dr. Edrich was able to invite his team and initiate an integration with his existing EHR, athenahealth, during setup. EHR-integrated services mean staff can invite patients to Hale in one click, schedule video video visits and all activity is automatically exported back to the patient chart.
Almost immediately, Dr. Edrich was back to providing quality care for his patients—only now without the limitations of only offering in-office appointments.