Telehealth is a relatively new way of providing health care. It involves using technology to provide medical care from a distance. This can be done through video conferencing, email, or phone calls. Telehealth has many benefits, including lower costs and improved access to care. In this article, we will discuss what is telehealth care is and how it can help you get the medical care you need!
What Does Telehealth Care Mean?
Telehealth care is a way to provide health care services without the patient having to leave their home. It involves using technology such as video calls, emails or phone calls to connect with a doctor or other healthcare provider. Telehealth provides patients with access to quality medical care that they may not otherwise have access to.
Telehealth is the broader term that also refers to more than just a doctor's visit or being prescribed medicine. It can also mean online health care services like online classes required for insurance discounts or watching videos to educate patients about how to care for themselves.
What is the difference between telemedicine and telehealth?
Telemedicine is a part of telehealth care.
Telemedicine refers specifically to when health care providers use technology to diagnose and treat medical conditions. This means that a doctor or other healthcare provider can diagnose an illness or condition remotely, without having to physically examine the patient.
Major Benefits of Telemedicine
As internet access expands and speeds increase telemedicine continues to grow in importance. Primary care doctors are using more telehealth visits to see patients all around the country using online video for diagnosis and remote monitoring.
What's great about this for you is that you have more options when choosing a doctor or nurse practitioner. They don't have to be down the street from you anymore and you don't have to sit for hours in a crowded waiting room waiting to be seen!
Not Just Physical Health, Mental Health Too
You can now see a psychologist or therapist to discuss any mental health issues you may have. Telehealth makes it easier to access mental health professionals, as the stigma associated with seeing a therapist is increasingly lessened.
These virtual therapists are still bound by the same patient confidentially as in-person visitors.
Does Insurance Cover Telehealth?
Yes, more and private insurers and public ones are not only covering telehealth services provided by primary care doctors and nurses, but they are also actively promoting it. Virtual appointments and electronic records are lowering costs for these companies but also for the patients who are less likely to have to pay for expensive emergency room visits or other in-person care.
The first step is to ask your health care provider if they offer telehealth options.
Are Medicaid Services Covered When Using Telehealth?
Yes, U.S. government encourages each state to promote the use of telehealth services as a way to lower costs. States are required by the federal government to make sure that Medicaid patients have access to telemedicine services, including those for physical and mental health issues.
You or your provider will connect your Medicaid insurance into your telehealth app or system. This way your coverage will be associated with each visit.
What is Mobile Health Care?
Mobile health care is an emerging form of telehealth care that allows you to access medical services from your mobile device. Mobile healthcare apps allow you to access doctors and nurses who can answer questions or give advice without the need for a physical appointment.
These apps also provide users with personalized health information and reminders, like when to take their medication or appointment reminders.
Mobile health care is convenient, affordable, and easily accessible to anyone with a smartphone or tablet.
How to Prepare for Your First Telemedicine Virtual Appointment?
First, make sure you have the correct app downloaded and you’re all set up. If you don't have the app, search for it in your app store or follow the instructions to download it on your computer.
Before your appointment, make sure to check that you have a good internet connection, as this is essential for having a successful telemedicine visit.
If your visit is going to be covered by insurance connect your insurance information to the app. If this app is provided by your primary care, ask them to help you set up the app and connect your medical records and insurance before the first visit.
If your doctor requires an in-person visit first, ask them to help set up the app on your mobile device during your visit.
How to Protect My Privacy during a virtual visit?
Your private medical information is just that, private. However, during your virtual visit, you will need to share some personal information with your provider.
To protect your privacy make sure to check what security and encryption feature the telemedicine platform has. The best way to ensure that your information is secure is by using a platform with end-to-end encryption that only you and your provider can access.
Make sure not to share any confidential information over a public wi-fi network or unprotected internet connection.
Finally, be aware of the risks of using telemedicine in terms of privacy and security. Always make sure that you are comfortable with the platform before you start your virtual appointment.
The Benefits of Remote Patient Monitoring?
Remote patient monitoring is becoming increasingly popular in telemedicine. It is a way for healthcare providers to monitor patients’ health in real-time without having them come into their office or clinic. This technology can track vital signs, such as heart rate and blood pressure, as well as other parameters, such as activity level and sleep patterns. With this information, it is easier for doctors to diagnose and treat patients quickly and more effectively.
In many cases, your health care provider will give you wireless communication devices such as a blood pressure monitor, and blood testing electronic devices to take home with you. These devices will connect to a telehealth app that monitors and provides real-time information back to primary care providers.
If they see you need an adjustment to your medication they can send in prescriptions electronically to your nearest pharmacy or an online pharmacy that will deliver them right to your door.
Remote patient monitoring services include but not limited to:
- Diabetes Management and Blood Sugar Tracking
- Monitoring Chronic Conditions
- Weight loss or gain
What is a Telehealth App?
A telehealth app is a mobile application that allows you to connect with your healthcare provider remotely through video or audio calls, chat, text messages or email. You can access medical advice and treatment from anywhere in the world as long as you have internet connection.
Telehealth apps are available for both iOS and Android devices. They are designed to provide convenience and flexibility while ensuring that you get the best quality healthcare services. The app can be used to access your medical records, get answers to questions, manage medications and provide information about a range of health topics.
Your primary care provider or insurance company may have an app they use for your care or they can provide options and then help you to set up the app with your insurance and connect your electronic health record to the system.
Health Related Education Services
Telehealth technology is now bringing online learning to consumers. online classes are now being by insurance companies to teach healthy living habits and provide discounts on monthly insurance premiums for people that take these courses. Companies hope the high costs of chronic health conditions can be avoided by encouraging people to learn about and improve their health.
Types of courses offered include
- Nutrition Courses
- Health and Fitness
- Mental Health
Where to Find 24/ 7 TeleMedicine Services?
There are telemedicine apps that you can connect to your insurance or in case of an emergency or a doctor you want to use outside of your insurance network.
These apps provide 24/7 365 care options for you. You can set telehealth appointments or see a list of healthcare providers immediately. Your insurance or online payment information is stored in the app so you can receive immediate care.
Some of these apps include:
- GoodRx Care
- Doctors on Demand
- MD Live
Via video chat, these medical specialists will diagnose you and prescribe any necessary medication--all from the comfort of your home.
How Can Telehealth Help You Save Money?
Telemedicine can help you save money by eliminating the need for unnecessary doctor’s appointments, trips to the emergency room and prescriptions from a pharmacy. By connecting you with a doctor or other healthcare provider remotely, telemedicine can help save you time and money.
Since virtual visits allow patients to access medical care from the comfort of their own home, there is no need for transportation costs such as gas or public transit, saving you even more money. The convenience of having remote access to medical care means that patients are more likely to seek treatment for minor conditions, which can help prevent them from getting worse and leading to more costly treatments.
Additional Ways to Save Money
As more healthcare providers and medical professionals embrace telemedicine and mobile devices such as tablets to conduct remote monitoring and diagnosis, cell phones and mobile data are critically important.
But all these video calls can use up a ton of expensive data!
Did you know there is a way to eliminate your cell phone bill and get Unlimited Data through the Federal Government's Lifeline and Affordable Connectivity Program?
Over 40% of U.S. households qualify for this free service and EASY Wireless has now expanded it's service to 47 states. It only takes a couple of minutes to see if you qualify today.
If you'd like to learn more about this FREE service, click EASY Wireless.
Telehealth and Telemedicine are Now a Reality
Telehealth is an innovative way of providing quality healthcare services without having to leave the comfort of your home. Telemedicine offers patients convenience, lower costs and improved access to medical care.
Insurance companies are increasingly covering telehealth visits and actively promoting it, so check with your insurance company to see if you can take advantage of this great opportunity! By doing so, you could save money on unnecessary doctor’s appointments, emergency room trips and more. So don't wait — start taking advantage of the benefits today.