Now Offering Telemedicine for the Convenience and Flexibility of Patients
In a busy world with the challenges of home and work responsibilities, telemedicine offers patients flexible options to see their doctors.
Telemedicine, also sometimes called telehealth or virtual visits, are doctor appointments that occur using a video conference. The patient and doctor can see live video of each other and can have a normal conversation. The doctor can evaluate, diagnose and treat the patient, including prescribing medications, order labs and discuss any questions or concerns. The doctor may be taking notes or have a scribe present, but your appointment will not be recorded and your right to privacy will still be honored.
Not all appointments are appropriate for telemedicine and your doctor will let you know if it is best to be seen in person.
How to Schedule and Setup
To schedule a telemedicine appointment, call your doctor’s office like you normally would and ask for an appointment. The appointment scheduler will ask questions to determine if a telemedicine appointment is appropriate or if it might be better for you to have an in-person appointment in the office.
When a telemedicine appointment is scheduled you will receive directions from your doctor’s office about how to get started. You may need to download an app or program on your mobile phone, tablet or computer. It is a good idea to setup and test your equipment in advance. If you have any issues you should contact your doctor’s office right away, they may be able to help or may suggest moving the appointment to a phone call or an in-person visit instead.
Insurance Coverage and Cost
Many insurance providers cover telemedicine services; contact them directly to learn about your coverage. You will be billed for your telemedicine appointment the same as if you were seeing your health care provider in person.
5 Tips for a Successful Telemedicine Appointment
- Before your appointment test your technology and internet connection. Choose between your mobile phone, tablet or computer and download the program or app needed.
- Select a private and quiet location for your appointment. Ask anyone in your house to give you privacy.
- Plan for your appointment like you would an in-person visit. If you’re not feeling well, make a list of your current symptoms, when they started and how severe they are. Remember to also discuss any chronic conditions and any medications you are taking.
- Log in to the telemedicine appointment 10-15 minutes early. When the appointment starts, talk clearly to the camera and make sure your doctor can hear and see you and you can see and hear them.
- Ask your doctor any questions you have – even though it is a virtual appointment it is still important time with your doctor. We recommend having paper and a pen to take notes. You should expect the same level of quality care as you would receive if the appointment was in person.