The severity of Covid-19 prevented Americans from getting yearly physicals, and despite mandatory safety precautions remaining in medical facilities, people are hesitant to visit their doctors. As an alternative, physicians, hospitals, and urgent care centers extend their services to include telemedicine.
What is Telemedicine?
This form of healthcare includes a range of clinical services provided via telecommunications technology.
Medical Services Provided via Telemedicine
- Primary and follow-up care: Patients can schedule annual physicals, wellness exams, post-surgery check-ins, physical therapy, prescription refills, etc.
- Specialist consultations: Medical experts are able to evaluate patients anywhere in the world.
- Urgent care: Serious, non-life-threatening conditions are effectively diagnosed and treated remotely.
- Remote patient monitoring (RPM): Telehealth technology monitors and records the vitals of patients who have life-threatening conditions like heart disease and diabetes.
- Psychiatric services and counseling: Board-certified psychiatrists, licensed therapists, and certified life coaches provide care whenever and wherever is most convenient.
- Assisted living support: High-risk patients receive immediate and appropriate care without exposure to crowded emergency rooms and medical clinics.
- Chronic treatment: With digital tools, virtual care can improve chronic disease management and reduce the chances of lapses in treatment and hospital readmission.
Although telehealth isn’t new, it’s an increasingly popular option offered by general practitioners and specialists alike. If you have a primary doctor, he/she probably has a telehealth system in place. If you don’t have a primary care physician and need immediate care, consider telehealth platforms, like Amwell, Doctor on Demand, and Teladoc.
Benefits of Telehealth Vs. Medical Clinic Appointments
- Cost-effective: Remote patients typically spend less time in hospitals and at doctor’s offices.
- Convenient: Primary and specialty care patients can receive general or advanced treatment anywhere.
- Increase availability: Residents in rural areas and underserved communities have access to quality medical care.
- Reduce the spread of illness: Individuals with underlying health conditions or weak immune systems decrease their risk of contracting an infection.
Does My Insurance Cover Telehealth?
Coverage is impacted by federal and state laws as well as your specific insurance policy. Major healthcare providers (Blue Cross Blue Shield, Aetna, Cigna, and United Healthcare) do cover telehealth but confirm that your policy will reimburse any virtual services before scheduling your appointment.
Medicare Part B has lifted many telemedicine restrictions due to Covid-19, but it’s best to double-check that your provider currently accepts your form of insurance. Medicaid programs vary by state, and coverage depends on service needed and eligibility.
If you don’t have medical insurance, most healthcare companies offer one-on-one appointments (in-person and virtual) to help you understand your options, weigh your risks, and select a policy that’s right for you.
Limitations of Telehealth
Telemedicine is not right for everyone. Those with limited access to technological devices (smartphone, tablet, computer) and excessive connectivity issues, or those who aren’t comfortable using technology typically prefer to have yearly physicals or other services done in-person.
Velda Rose Medical Center for Telemedicine
Scheduling a virtual annual physical for you and your family is easier than ever! Our board-certified physicians, licensed family nurse practitioner, and certified physician assistant are available to provide care specific to your individual needs – including a wide array of services specific to medical conditions.
If you’re uncomfortable visiting a doctor or getting medical treatment in person, telemedicine is available. For same-day appointments, please call 480-396-3222, or request a virtual appointment with one of our practitioners.
Comments are closed.