Telestroke Network Frequently Asked Questions

The goal of the Telestroke Network is to provide on-demand access to expert stroke care for patients in hospitals in smaller communities of the region. Wake Forest Baptist is the base of the network. Community hospitals are a critical component and are considered a network hospital.

Physicians in current or potential network hospitals can find answers to some frequently asked questions about the Wake Forest Baptist Telestroke Network.

How quickly can I get a consult, and what is the process to request a consult?

Our stroke experts are available 24/7 and our response time is less than 5 minutes. To request a consult, call 1-877-WF4-Stroke.

What happens if the Telestroke equipment fails?

We have selected this vendor because of the reliability and full service support offered by InTouch Health®. In the event that technical issues cannot be immediately resolved, the consulting physician will complete the consult via telephone.

Am I obligated to send my patient to Wake Forest Baptist?

No. Using the Telestroke system does not obligate the network hospital to send patients to Wake Forest Baptist. If a network hospital wishes to transfer a patient to Wake Forest Baptist, transportation and bed placement will be facilitated through the program.

Once the Telestroke system is up and running, are we obligated to use it?

No. The network hospital physicians and staff may choose to use the Telestroke system whenever they feel it necessary.

Are their liabilities associated with Telestroke?

The liabilities are the same as if the consult was performed in person.

Is using Telestroke an attempt to “steal” my patients?

No. Actually to the contrary. Our goal is to partner with network hospital physicians and staff to keep patients local whenever possible. Telestroke is a method for rapidly triaging your stroke patients.

What if the ED physician does not agree with the Telestroke consultant?

The final decision for the patient’s care will always be that of the bedside physician. There is no obligation for the network hospital to follow the recommendations of the consulting physician.

How does the Telestroke system protect patient confidentiality?

Telestroke is HIPAA-compliant, and site personnel are responsible for obtaining normal patient care consent and HIPAA documentation. Wake Forest Baptist uses a HIPAA-secure virtual private network to ensure secure transmission of any patient health information.

How does billing for Telestroke work?

The Wake Forest Baptist stroke physician will bill the patient, or the patient’s insurance, for the fee of the appropriate consult level only. The network hospital will bill for emergency department care in their usual fashion.

How do I know the consulting physicians on the other end of the camera are qualified?

Wake Forest Baptist Telestroke Network utilizes the Wake Forest Baptist neurology stroke faculty, who are board certified in vascular neurology or have completed an additional fellowship in vascular neurology.

How do I handle credentialing requirements?

Joint Commission has established a facilitated credentialing process for telemedicine services, using a reciprocity process. All Wake Forest Baptist stroke physicians are credentialed to provide telemedicine services.

What are the Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement policies for Telestroke?

Clinical services provided over telehealth are reimbursable by Medicare and most third-party payors.