Got allergies? You can still see a healthcare professional if you are at home during the coronavirus outbreak.
U.S. health officials, clinics, hospitals, and insurance companies are insisting on people to try telemedicine for minor health problems such as ear infections, rashes, and earaches and skip the doctor’s office.
It is also a way to get screened for COVID-19 if you think you have the symptoms.
The Goal: Prevent it from spreading, especially to the elderly, the infants, and to those who are most vulnerable with existing health conditions.
Instead of waiting for the doctor for days, virtual care has long been a solution for the Americans; it is just that they have been slow at adopting it. Now is the time to embrace and make use of it in our best interest.
Let’s take a closer look at how Telemedicine functions.
What is Telemedicine?
Telemedicine is a means to connect with a healthcare professional via smartphone, tablet or computer. That is all you need to hop on this train. Sometimes, we use words like telehealth and virtual visits to describe it.
Ordinarily, it connects you with a provider like a doctor or a therapist remotely over a secure line. As a matter of fact, the patient makes use of an app to connect with them.
Sometimes telemedicine portals use a version that involves texts only for patients who may not speak or see each other.
Telemedicine often serves as a tool to diagnose and treat a new health problem, but it is also used to see a long-term diabetic or chronically ill patient. It is more than going for a prescription refill, although doctors can write prescriptions, if needed, after a virtual visit. That involves antibiotics, anti-allergies, or dietary supplements.
Where Can I Get Telemedicine?
Providers such as individual practices and hospitals are rich outlets of telemedicine. Providers are urging the patients to see them using telehealth channels during the outbreak. Search by calling your local hospital or simply put a query in Google to search for the best telehealth companies.
The federal government is committed to helping people with Medicare, i.e. citizens aged 65 and above as well as the younger slot who qualify due to disability through telemedicine. This trickles down to the state level where local governments are urged to expand telemedicine access to help people with Medicaid, i.e. people with low incomes.
Until now Medicare coverage of telemedicine was limited to rural areas where patients did not have care facilities like state-of-the-art hospitals and private clinics. Many Medicare Advantage plans also provide support for telemedicine. While the providers are busy treating the patients, telemedicine returns in the form of collections are good enough. Medical billing services play their part to full effect.
How Much Does It Cost?
Prices are variable. However, since the telemedicine initiative is being promoted, the prices are being waived off by many companies. It is to inspire them to use this outlet as their health companion.
It helps to check with your insurer or employer to see if it is part of your health plan. The plan may not offer specialty services like virtual therapy sessions or include only limited access.
For people without insurance, some telemedicine providers do give the option to pay out-of-pocket. The charges differ from provider to provider. Whichever company you choose, under the law of HIPAA, the texts of diagnosis and treatments are completely secure.
What Illnesses Can Be Sorted Out by Telehealth Services?
Some of the illnesses under telemedicine include sinus infections, seasonal flu, minor injuries, fevers, etc. Before you begin to doubt it, let me assure you that telemedicine saves you physical visits to the doctor’s office or pharmacy store.
Dermatologists can use it to treat moles and warts. Acne, pimples, blisters are additional examples for which they can offer their services. Moreover, therapists can be a source of calmness to patients suffering from anxiety, depression, and stress episodes during the pandemic.
Cyber consultation in case the patient has flu-like symptoms can be a relief. They have preprogrammed questions to gauge the health condition, and, immediately prescribe a remedy.
With benefits come certain limitations.
A virtual doctor is unable to treat medical conditions in which the patient suffers from chest pains, fractures, or wounds in need of stitches. The virus test is also not available through this source.
Patients Need Time to Adapt
The association of gadgets such as your smartphone with healthcare has been there for a while but it is put to use with the spread of coronavirus nationwide. It will have lasting effects on the future of healthcare; patients who will get better will become its promoters.
If it doesn’t involve their regular doctor, they may be reluctant to try it all together. Additionally, awareness to make use of telemedicine in routine when the pandemic is over could send help where it is needed the most.