“Telehealth is covered by most insurance plans. I have used the service for quick questions like ‘why is my mom getting a rash from a new medicine?’ It saves me so much time and energy, I love Telehealth visits.”
What is Telehealth?
A visit for diagnostic, treatment and evaluation performed by a licensed professional with legal authority to perform a given care service can be a telehealth provider. Telehealth and telemedicine are used to mean the same thing. Both refer to a patient’s ability to access care using a smart phone or internet connected device for a live conversation or by leaving a message or image where the care provider responds with appropriate medical advice.
Telehealth is the Right Door to Enter for Care
Telehealth puts you are one giant step closer to seeing a doctor today. In addition, you will need a thermometer, note pad and calendar. It is your responsibility is to keep track of the dates, times, and symptoms you are experiencing. With this information you can now contact your insurance customer service line or your primary care physician and request a telehealth visit. Do not be discouraged if your favorite doctor refuses to engage in a telehealth visit. In fact, your insurance provider may have a telehealth program for you where the healthcare professionals have been properly vetted and certified to conduct the service.
Increased Access to Doctor’s Office
Beneficiaries can communicate with their doctors or certain other practitioners without necessarily going to the doctor’s office in person for a full visit. The patient must verbally consent to using virtual check-ins and the consent must be documented in the medical record prior to the patient using the service.
You will need to complete a sign up and give consent to use telehealth services before a visit is schedule. This will be documented in your medical chart.
Insurance Pays for Telehealth and Virtual Care
Medicare also pays for patients to communicate with their doctors without going to the doctor’s office using online patient portals. The individual communications, like the virtual check ins, must be initiated by the patient; however, practitioners may educate beneficiaries on the availability of this kind of service prior to patient initiation.
Be sure you have registered for the patient portal that your insurance provider has for you. If you need assistance with registering, please contact the customer service number on the back of your insurance card.
The patient portal enables you schedule visits and may also be where the virtual visit is held because doctors have to use very secure HIPAA compliant software for your visit. You can use your favorite internet enabled device for the visit.
Medicare also pays doctors for certain non-face-to-face care management services and remote patient monitoring services.
The doctor can monitor your progress remotely if you are quarantined at home. In fact, they may issue you some tele-monitoring equipment so that the readings are sent through the internet directly to your medical chart and doctor.
Monica Stynchula – CEO / REUNIONCare, Inc.