Patient Advocates and Telehealth
As independent patient advocates and healthcare professionals, we support telehealth. However, we always recommend that you are sure that a telehealth visit is appropriate for you.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March of 2020, one of the first groundbreaking practices that we got to see in the US (United States) was full support, as well as reimbursement for telehealth visits. Keep in mind that telehealth was pushed through by CMS (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services). Because of that push, there was an urgency for education (how to use telehealth technology), and when to use it for all of us.
Telehealth is now is a new normal and it’s here to stay.
Why Use Telehealth
Telehealth will give you access to a provider much faster; it will reduce wait times, reduce the need for urgent care visits, emergency room visits, reduce expenses and increase your health outcomes.
Telehealth visits should add convenience to your life and save you time in your busy schedule. You should expect this option from your doctor (any healthcare provider) when it is appropriate.
These visits support the needs of patients and it is one that you should expect from your healthcare provider. Those that do not offer telehealth may be left behind. https://www.forbes.com/sites/ritanumerof/2020/09/30/telehealth-is-here-to-stay-are-the-providers-who-refuse-to-embrace-it
When is a Telehealth visit right for you?
How do you know when telehealth is appropriate?
Most times. it’s as simple as, does my doctor need to do a “hands-on” examination?
Telehealth can be used for follow-up appointments, prescription refills, therapy sessions, after-hour visits, and treatment for minor illnesses (pink eye, allergies, etc). These are some of the most common reasons. Don’t forget to request a telehealth visit for these if you are not offered by your doctor.
Telehealth visit Tips;
- Ask your provider office how the session will work
- Address your concerns with privacy or security
- Verify with your insurance your coverage
- Verify your equipment with the provider
Why is Telehealth so important?
Primarily vulnerable patients can get connected to their doctors (healthcare providers) safely and promptly. In rural or isolated areas, telehealth can connect providers and their patients. Therefore, telehealth will bridge the gap of distance and can eliminate long-distance travel time, as well as add specialty services to that area.
Always remember, when doctors (healthcare providers) use telehealth appropriately you get access to them faster and it can save you time and money.