When it comes to health insurance, virtual healthcare has gone from being a perk to a necessity in recent years. It is anticipated that the value of the telehealth market will reach a total of USD 186.5 billion by the year 2026.
The COVID-19 pandemic taught us much about health, wellness, and healthcare. This led us to realize how vital digital and long-distance communication is. Businesses of all sizes and industries are going digital, including the medical field.
Virtual healthcare allows doctors to treat patients 24/7. Virtual healthcare connects doctors and patients during medical emergencies.
Virtual healthcare is convenient, accessible, and lacks doctor-patient interaction, raising safety concerns. To address these concerns, many states require doctors to verify patients’ ages before providing medical services online.
Why Virtual Healthcare Needs Age Verification
Age verification is a crucial part of online healthcare. Online age verification is necessary for virtual healthcare because it is a way to ensure that the patient is old enough to receive treatment. It’s a great defensive measure against identity theft and fraud.
Online age verification aims to confirm that the person trying to receive medical services is at least 18 years of age.
The online age verification system in the healthcare industry benefits patients and providers. Patient consent and identity control can reduce slow and redundant care interactions. Examples include redundant paper forms, patient registration, scheduling, and wait times. Since most states prohibit minors from receiving medical care without parental consent, this ensures that only legal people receive those services.
The healthcare system checks a patient’s ID to see if they are eligible for care promptly. When medical professionals can verify a patient’s identity in real-time, it ensures they’re treating the right person.
The Online Age Verification Process
The healthcare industry is highly regulated. Data sensitivity and potential misuse warrant this precaution. Patient information is strictly regulated to protect consumers and ensure safe and effective medical treatment.
Thus, healthcare organizations must be able to verify patients’ ages and identities when speaking with them.
Biometric identification uses fingerprints or iris scans. It’s safer than passwords because they can’t be lost or stolen. However, it may not be possible if a patient cannot speak or is unconscious.
Digital signatures are another way healthcare organizations can verify online identities. They allow users to sign documents digitally, proving their identity without having to sign in person. A third party, such as a bank or credit card company, verifies these signatures to ensure they are authentic and not forged by an online impersonator.
This method requires users to answer questions about an individual’s personal information before receiving medical services. Knowledge-Based Authentication (KBA) systems add an extra layer of security by asking multiple-choice challenge questions.
One of the simplest ways to verify a patient’s identity is to use identification documents such as a passport, driver’s license, or birth certificate. These documents are all issued by government agencies, making falsifying or altering them extremely difficult. Scan the documents and put them on a secure server so that an employee of a healthcare organization can look at them. After the scanned images have been checked, they can be digitally signed to show that the person who sent them is allowed to use them for authentication.
Virtual healthcare verifies identities, most commonly using patient-provided information. It can contain anything from an email address to a social security number. Patients provide this information directly to their healthcare provider, who uses it to confirm their identity. Using electronic health records (EHR) or the web can accomplish this.
Other Benefits of Using Identity Verification for the Healthcare Industry
Patient Document Security
Due to automated information, cybercrime in online healthcare systems is on the rise. Healthcare providers don’t want identity theft’s consequences. Identity verification protects patient records from dark web auctions.
In retrospect, medical service providers need identity verification systems to protect patient records. Online identity verification reduces fraud and identity theft risks.
Antivirus and anti-malware programs no longer protect patient records from modern threats. Online healthcare services must encrypt patient documents to keep cybercriminals out.
Patient Compliance Identification
To comply, healthcare organizations serving patients from any of the 28 EU nations must become familiar with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Europe’s new privacy law. US compliance regulations like HITECH and HIPAA verify patient identities. Healthcare facilities that violate these acts may be fined heavily.
Improve Insurance Management
Insurance claims can strain everyone involved. However, automated identity verification could help online healthcare services process hundreds or thousands of insurance claims faster.
Telehealth services could better analyze each patient’s insurance claim as a result. It shows patients how to access additional benefits and healthcare programs. Outdated systems also cause double payments, a nightmare for patients and healthcare providers.
Research and Information Access
As COVID-19 destroys the global healthcare system, doctors and other healthcare workers should be able to get patient information quickly. However, this provides an opportunity to collect new data and conduct research to improve and expand online healthcare delivery systems.
Big data, cloud computing, and artificial intelligence can automate telemedicine and online healthcare processes. Telehealth services can instantly check patient medical histories using digital identity verification systems. This information helps medical researchers.
Real-time Access to Data
Identifying and verifying patients allows healthcare providers to manage and access them immediately. Medical staff can remotely identify patients and access their records using a digital identity verification system. It’s a new level that improves patient condition examination, diagnosis, and interpretation.
The current trend in healthcare is the use of virtual care. Virtual healthcare is any health service that does not require a patient to visit their healthcare provider physically. This includes online doctor visits, video consultations, telemedicine, and more.
The main benefits of virtual healthcare are convenience and accessibility for patients. Patients can see their doctor anytime and anywhere in the world. They also have more control over their appointments, which is great for those who travel frequently or have busy schedules.
Age verification may seem complicated, but it will provide seamless, cost-effective solutions that reduce fraud risk and the number of unsupervised minors receiving medical care. These measures will safeguard patient identities, health data, and HIPAA. Age verification solutions are needed to succeed in virtual health care.