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Looking for Answers to Your Telehealth Questions? Look No Further!

May 20, 2020

At a time when the vast majority of the population has to stay at home, regular medical appointments and even urgent care visits just aren't possible. Fortunately, telehealth services have stepped up to provide service to patients nationwide. But what is telehealth and how can you utilize it? Here are some of the answers you've been looking for.

What Is Telehealth?

In layman's terms, telehealth or telemedicine is a form of medical assistance that occurs over the phone or virtually. In other words, it means that you're not required to physically be in a medical facility to receive a diagnosis or a check-up. Telehealth comes in a few different varieties, as well.

  • Live Conferencing - This form of telehealth service is the most commonly used today. A medical appointment is considered a live conference if a doctor and patient are speaking in real-time, whether over the phone or via video chat, about any particular medical issue.
  • Remote Patient Monitoring - This type of telemedicine involves a patient providing pre-recorded medical information for their medical provider to review at a later time. The type of patient information recorded can include things like blood pressure, weight loss progress, and respiratory rate.
  • Stand and Forward - Cases like this are more frequently used for consultations between medical providers, but it can be used for patient-doctor appointments. In these cases, sessions are recorded and then reviewed at a later time by a specialist or other medical provider.

Who Can Use Telehealth Services?

Fortunately, just about anyone can use telehealth services if they're able to afford them. In cases where patients have health insurance, whether through an employer or self-paid, it's important to see whether telehealth is covered or billed as a separate service. Medicaid and Medicare patients can also seek medical assistance via telehealth services, though coverage may vary. If you don't currently have health insurance, you may be able to access these services through a privately-paid service.

When Should Someone Use Telehealth Services?

Of any time you could choose to use these services, there's no time like the present. When self-isolation and quarantine measures are in place and you need to speak with your doctor, utilizing telehealth services is more important than ever. And since only 3% of patients who would normally visit an urgent care get redirected to an emergency room, odds are your issue can easily be solved with a phone or video conference.

Telemedicine has brought with it all kinds of benefits for patients without transportation or who just need a quick consultation. And now more than ever, these services are able to help people who are stuck at home.

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