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  • Telehealth for additional revenue

    I'm curious if anyone dabbles in apps such as teladoc or first opinion to make "semi-passive" income on the side. If so what income can one expect to make. I'm debating joining one of these apps since I fortunately have a lot of downtime during my moonlighting shifts.

  • #2
    I do Teladoc.  I needed an independent contractor job to set up a solo 401k to clear out a T-IRA to do a backdoor Roth.  My intention was to earn enough ($600) where they would have to issue a 1099 in case the IRS ever questioned the validity of the solo 401k.  Surprisingly, I have enjoyed it very much.  I only log in when I want.  The patients are very grateful. The pay isn't great but mostly because I am a pediatrician so limited to age 21.  I've made about 13K this year to date.  It reminds me of the years before nurse lines became the first line of defense in pediatric after hours phone calls.  When I started practicing long ago, I would routinely sit for hours on my call weekends doing the exact same thing I am doing for Teladoc, but I didn't get paid.  Now not only do I get paid, but I have an EMR so I know history and eRx so I don't have to call pharmacies myself.  Not sure my longevity with it as we don't need the money.  It's just fun to try something different for now.

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    • #3
      13k seems pretty decent to me for a side job. How much time do you put into it to get 13k?

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      • #4
        Roughly how much do you make per patient doing this? I've heard about $25/patient, but thought that seemed a little low?

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        • #5
          Does typical malpractice insurance cover this, or is this in a separate category of practice somehow?

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          • #6




            Roughly how much do you make per patient doing this? I’ve heard about $25/patient, but thought that seemed a little low?
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            Runs $23-30 per patient depending on if phone or video and if you are considered a preferred provider which basically just means patients rate you well.  It is low but then each patient averages me only about 10 minutes from start to finish which is longer than what they say their average encounter time is (7-8 min).




            13k seems pretty decent to me for a side job. How much time do you put into it to get 13k?
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            Let's do the math on the low end:  $13000 x 1 patient/$23 x 10 min/patient x 1 hour/60min x 1/8 months = 11.77 hours/month.

            The way it works:  I log in and if there are patients available I can start a visit.  I often log in and there aren't pediatric patients available.  The most I have done in a day is 10 patients.  If you are family practice or internal med, you will have a larger group of patients to draw from.  It would be easier to log in and do 5-6 then log out.  You must be board-certified.

             




            Does typical malpractice insurance cover this, or is this in a separate category of practice somehow?
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            They have their own malpractice that covers you.  Claims made with 1M/3M limit with a tail.

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            • #7
              Just curious- if you decide testing/imaging is indicated for these patients, do you have to followup the results?

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              • #8




                Just curious- if you decide testing/imaging is indicated for these patients, do you have to followup the results?
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                What I like about Teladoc is that they are not trying to replace primary care.  They are an adjunct for routine episodic acute care, instead of an urgent care or ER.  If I think they need testing/imaging or even just a physical exam, I explain that they need to follow up with their PCP.  Many patients use the service just to know if they need to go to an Urgent Care/ER versus wait until their PCP is available.

                Teladoc does offer STD testing.  For those patients I treat or refer depending on the labs.

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                • #9
                  I checked their website.  They are looking for primary care, Peds, and derm.  I emailed them but have not heard back.

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                  • #10
                    They also want psychiatrists!

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                    • #11




                      I checked their website.  They are looking for primary care, Peds, and derm.  I emailed them but have not heard back.
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                      You'd be awesome for the Sexual Health platform if they needed more providers.  Once they have enough providers in a state for their volume, they put you on a waiting list.  I was much busier earlier in the year when they were new to Alabama.  Less busy now as they have more providers.




                      They also want psychiatrists!
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                      Telemedicine lends itself very well to psych.  It makes your care more accessible to a wider range of people.  My daughter used TalkSpace for awhile last year and was very pleased.  Your own Academy has great literature/research on the benefits of telemedicine for psych. Peds on the other hand has been slow to embrace it. AmWell is another platform very good for psych.  I liked AmWell less for me because they were trying to be an online primary care replacement.  I disagree with their vision for telemedicine.  There are no restrictive covenants for these platforms.  So, one could offer services on several to increase income.

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                      • #12
                        Did you just email them initially? This sounds good to me.

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                        • #13
                          Yes.  I contacted them through their website.  The whole application process took a week or two.  I set up a separate bank account at Schwab for their direct deposits to go into which makes it easier for me to track and to move the money into my solo 401k.

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                          • #14
                            Do you have to write notes for these pts that you "see?"

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                            • #15




                              Do you have to write notes for these pts that you “see?”
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                              Yes.  There is a whole EMR platform that you do the visit on.  The note is a brief SOAP note.  Then you code a diagnosis from a drop down menu.  eRx if needed.  Then fill out a follow up form and give a work or school excuse.  If the patient's PCP has the capability, it can sync into their EMR.

                              They are also starting a new platform geared specifically for practices.  Basically your practice could use their platform for after hours/weekend phone calls or video visits on your own patients.  So, it makes it easier for you to get paid for after hours care on your own patients.  If you are busy on call and want your patients to have access to a Teladoc provider to back you up, you can set it up.  I used to hate coming in on Monday mornings and seeing all the crazy stuff my peds patients had done over the weekend in adult ER/UC's.  This service can head that off.

                              As far as "seeing" the patient, they pay a little more for a video visit.  They can upload photos into a phone visit at no extra charge.  Most patients understand the limitations of care provided by telemedicine.  I do alot of education and anticipatory guidance.  As peds, I enjoy that though.

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