I went from working for one employer, Kaiser Permanente, to now having 6 telemedicine clients. The problem with having multiple telemedicine gigs is that it requires a lot of work to keep track of all of them.
This post is a little about the juggling of multiple telemedicine gigs, the headaches and the solutions.
Multiple Telemedicine Gigs
Most US states are still behind on passing proper telemedicine regulations so it’s safe to say that telemedicine is still in its infancy. Eventually there will be a consolidation of these companies but for now there are new ones popping up every few days.
Even though I work with multiple different companies, I only need one internet connection and a quiet place to work from. Oscar is the only telemedicine company that requires me to have my own laptop which is a Samsung Chromebook. For all the other companies I have been able to get by fine with my MacBook.
The Telemedicine Companies
I now do work with the following telemedicine companies:
- Doctor on Demand
- Spring Health
Each has their own way of scheduling patients, onboarding physicians, credentialing us, and assigning shifts.
This doesn’t include my work with Nexus or any consulting work I do. It’s helpful to have a method so that you can be efficient and not waste hours waiting for a patient to pop up on the queue.
Is it better to work with 1-2 telemedicine companies or to have multiple telemedicine gigs going all at once?
If maximizing income is the priority then I would recommend just taking on a part-time role with one of these companies. It’s the most time efficient option and it will maximize your income.
If diversifying income is the main goal then having multiple telemedicine gigs makes sense. Having other telemedicine gigs to fall back on in case you get harassed by one is a great position to be in.
Currently most telemedicine volumes are down because it is summer time but telemedicine gigs such as Roman are in full swing because more patients are looking for ED medications.
JustAnswer also hasn’t slowed down much because many of their clients are from different countries including India, UK, and Australia.
The downside with having too many telemedicine gigs is that it becomes hard juggling them all. You get so busy with one company that you don’t bother picking up shifts for the other.
One option is break the week up and do a little of each which I have found to be the most effective time management tactic. If you are willing to put enough time into it then you would also earn a pretty decent income as well.
Income is a lower priority for me and I want to focus more on the ease of earning that dollar. I have decided to do a little bit of work for each company within a 4-week cycle. I schedule a shift to see some patients for each platform within a given month and that’s more than enough for me to keep my foot in the door.
Keeping Up With The Platforms
The hardest part of having multiple telemedicine gigs is keeping up with the many workflow changes. It’s a big price to pay because there are a ton of emails that are exchanged every day by each platform. The advantage, again, is diversifying the income.
Oscar has their own email and they have 6 different platforms they use for their patients. This leads to a lot of emails, a lot of changes, and me having to review a lot of attached documents.
Practice makes perfect. It’s one thing to read the new workflow document and another to jump in and do a few telemedicine visits. That’s why it’s important for me to see a few patients on each platform within a 4-week cycle.
Hustling for Patients
Recently I haven’t gotten a single patient on Teladoc, it’s not even worth my time to navigate to their webpage. Maybe they have too many per diems, maybe the volumes are down, or maybe they have changed their business model.
I don’t know when the optimal time is to log on in order to get more patients. If I spent more time with them then I would have a better idea.
For selfish reasons, most platforms have doctors clicking on the next available patient. The fastest clicker gets the patient.
This means that I can’t just have 3 different windows open and switch between them. It’s counterproductive. You have to often have that screen up and wait … and wait.
It’s far better to select one platform and put your energy into it for that day. This argues for doing one telemedicine platform at a time instead of trying to juggle multiple telemedicine gigs within the same hour.
Cold & Flu Season
One thing to consider is that quite soon we will be back into cold and flu season. The time when patient visits are super easy, super short, and patients are plentiful.
Consider taking a break from telemedicine during this beautiful time of the year. You can log in just enough to remain familiar with the platforms and then unleash hell once cold and flu season begins.