3 Ways Telehealth Companies Accelerate Patient Onboarding and Fight Fraud with Advanced Digital Identity

Mike Bechtel
January 20, 2022

In a move that underscores the profound shifts in our healthcare system caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic, Lee Health Hospital of Fort Myers, Florida, made headlines during the most recent outbreak when it waived all telehealth fees to ease the burden on its network of urgent care centers and emergency rooms. Before the pandemic, telehealth, the practice of “providing care remotely using technology such as video and phone calls, monitoring devices and patient portals” was a rarely-used option that often wasn’t even fully covered by most insurances. As the pandemic continues to drag on, however, telehealth adoption rates have skyrocketed, and today, telehealth is widely understood as a critical technology and saving grace to our ailing healthcare infrastructure. According to a report conducted by McKinsey, “telehealth use has increased 38X from the pre-COVID-19 baseline.” 

Unfortunately, as telehealth adoption rates increase, so do rates of fraud. In September of 2021, “more than 43 people in 11 judicial districts were charged for more than $1.1 billion total in schemes relating to telehealth by the Department of Justice. As investors take into account the rising rates of fraud associated with telehealth and look to the future, some investors on Wall Street wonder if virtual care will be more than just a pandemic anomaly. In February of 2021, telehealth giants like Teladoc and Amwell joined in the ranks of Peloton and other pandemic darlings and took a hit from Wall Street due to “slowing growth.” Despite the concerns from Wall Street, however, Main Street has largely embraced the shift to telehealth. In fact, according to a recent study conducted by McKinsey, “around 40 percent of surveyed consumers stated that they believe they will continue to use telehealth going forward—up from 11 percent of consumers using telehealth prior to COVID-19.” In order to meet the changing needs of consumers and stay competitive during and after the pandemic, both up-and-coming telehealth companies and established healthcare providers will need to act quickly to build premiere digital onboarding experiences while also reducing their fraud rates. 

Here are three steps healthcare executives can take today to increase patient access to telehealth, fight telehealth fraud, and protect sensitive data:

  1. Reimagine the waiting room to boost patient engagement: Remember arriving at your doctor’s appointment fifteen minutes early just to fill out paperwork? Let’s leave the long waits, cheap pens, and old clipboards in the past and embrace a smarter way to collect and update patient information. Telehealth companies can uplevel onboarding by leveraging technology that intelligently auto-fills fields with trusted data. In just minutes, patients can review and confirm the auto-filled data and complete the onboarding. Prove’s Pre-Fill is a leading example of this type of technology that has a track record of increasing sign-ups and reducing abandonment during the onboarding process. 
  1. Make sure “never-events” are true to their name: In healthcare settings, wrong-site, wrong-procedure, and wrong-patient surgeries are labeled as “never events,” meaning that they should never, under any circumstance, occur. Unfortunately, cases of mixed-up health records and mistaken identities cause never-events to take place all too often. Just like in traditional in-person healthcare settings, it’s critically important to develop superior identity management systems in the telehealth context to improve patient outcomes and prevent mistakes and lawsuits. Because Prove Pre-Fill leverages phone-centric technology to pull data from bank-grade trusted sources, it’s much more difficult for bad actors to impersonate victims in order to, say, illegally secure a prescription to controlled medication. 
  1. When securing high-risk events like password resets, be a PRO: By PRO, we mean to verify a patient's identity via their phone number by checking the phone number’s possession (Is the user in possession of the phone?), reputation (Is this phone number associated with risky behavior such as a recent SIM card swap?), and ownership (Is this the patient’s phone number?). If a user’s phone number passes all three checks, you can feel confident approving this action.

To see some of these tips in action, check out this video about how phone-centric identity secures and accelerates the health passport onboarding process:

Prove Pre-Fill: A Proven Track Record of Success in the Healthcare Sector

Prove has extensive experience helping healthcare providers secure and accelerate their onboarding processes to drive more patient engagement. When a preventative healthcare provider serving over 600,000 community members needed to enable a fast, frictionless, and privacy-enhanced digital experience, they turned to Prove Pre-Fill to provide a streamlined and secure way for consumers to verify their identities online.

Customer need:

  • Strong remote identity-proofing for onboarding new users
  • Seamless, low-friction experience that does not hinder new sign-ups
  • Enhanced privacy to comply with HIPAA regulations

By integrating Prove Pre-Fill™, the healthcare client enabled users to securely verify their identities in real time using their mobile phones. The result was a fast, frictionless identity verification process at onboarding that drove a 312% increase in app downloads in the first 10 months after launch.

Users who opted into the Pre-Fill flow completed the registration process 22% faster than those who did not. That 47-second time savings led to a 35% reduction in customer abandonment.

During the four-month pilot period, the solution also achieved an 87% success rate in instantly verifying a user’s identity and auto-filling their personal information with authenticated, accurate data.

As a growing number of patients discover the safety and convenience of accessing care via digital portals, it’s increasingly clear that the shift toward telehealth in conjunction with in-person care is here to stay. Healthcare providers and telehealth startups that will thrive in this new landscape must excel in building trust with patients by providing accessible and frictionless digital patient experiences while simultaneously ensuring the security of consumers' healthcare data.

Are you ready to leverage phone-centric identity to mitigate fraud better and provide a more seamless user experience to your patients? Contact us to learn more.

To learn more about Prove’s identity solutions and how to accelerate revenue while mitigating fraud, schedule a demo today.

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