April 14, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a tremendous impact on the way health care is delivered. In an effort to support social distancing, many doctors have added telemedicine services to the way they interact with patients. You can have a doctor’s appointment right from the convenience of your own home. Since many patients are new to this type of doctor’s visit, here are some of the basics of telemedicine.
- Does telemedicine require video? Most virtual visits are done using a smart phone, mobile device or laptop, where you and the doctor can see each other and discuss your condition. Some consultations may be done by phone as well.
- Does telemedicine cost money? There is a charge for telemedicine visits, just like a regular office visit. Similar to co-pays and deductibles, the cost can vary based upon your insurance. Check with the provider and your insurance company for the cost.
- Does telemedicine accept Medicare? Yes, but coverage varies
- Are telemedicine visits recorded? Telemedicine services are a secure video visit with a physician and they are not recorded. They maintain the same privacy guidelines just like a traditional office visit.
- Is there a “wait time” as if I were in a patient waiting room? Telemedicine visits vary by provider. Most physicians schedule a specific time for your visit. Other telemedicine service providers have you log in and request a visit, and you may have to wait a little while for the first available physician.
- How long are appointments? Just like a visit in the office, physicians take the time needed to discuss your symptoms with you, assess your situation, and provided a recommended course of treatment. If a doctor feels that an in-person assessment is needed, they can schedule that with you. Many physician practices are still conducting in-person visits as needed (such as labs and tests) with special precautions in place for everyone’s safety.
- Can I get a prescription from a telemedicine visit? If the doctor feels medication is required, such as an antibiotic, they can send the prescription to your pharmacy. Some controlled medications may require an in-person appointment.
- What are some of the types of conditions telemedicine can diagnose? Doctors will ask a series of questions to best determine a patient’s condition. Telemedicine can be used for a wide range of issues including upper respiratory infections, allergies, pink eye, rashes and UTIs just to name a few.
Many physicians now offer telemedicine visits and it is best to contact your provider to see if they are offering virtual appointments. In addition to hundreds of physicians at Hackensack Meridian Health offering telemedicine, the health network also provides Urgent Care, Nutrition Consulting and Lactation Consulting video visits through our telemedicine app Convenient Care NOW. Register online by filling out a simple form, or you can also download the app on your mobile device by searching “Convenient Care NOW” in the app store.
Next Steps & Resources:
- Connect with a doctor via Convenient Care Now
- Can You Get Coronavirus From Packages and Mail?
- How to Order Food Delivery Safely
- What Pregnant Moms Should Know About COVID-19
The material provided through HealthU is intended to be used as general information only and should not replace the advice of your physician. Always consult your physician for individual care.