- What is telehealth?
Telehealth is an easy to use, HIPAA-compliant way to receive quality medical care virtually rather than in person.
The process is simple. After you request a virtual appointment, your provider sends a calendar invite with a link to digital registration forms (more information below). You complete the forms and, using the link provided, meet your provider online on the date and time specified in your invitation.
In addition to receiving high-quality health care without going to the doctor’s office, there’s another benefit: You don’t have to be in the same location as your physician.
If you live a distance from your primary care physician or specialist, you can still get the medical care you need in a comfortable, convenient way through telehealth.
- How does telehealth work?
Your telehealth platform offers services such as:
Two-way, high-definition video
With telehealth, you use videoconferencing so that you have a face-to-face meeting with your provider — like you’re sitting together in your doctor’s office.
Digital patient registration
You register online, where you can submit your symptoms, allergies, medications, medical history, and ID cards prior to your first teleconference visit with your doctor.
Your doctor manages your medications and sends your prescriptions electronically to your preferred pharmacy.
Secure online payment
Telehealth software allows you to securely send your payment online.
Chat and photo-sharing capabilities
You can chat with your doctor and easily upload photos of your symptoms when applicable. Communication is a two-way street, as your physician can reach out to you with messages.
HIPAA is a law that protects the privacy of your medical records and personal health information. Your telehealth interactions are also secure, and only authorized users can access your telehealth sessions.
- What health care services can I receive through telehealth?
You can receive many of the services normally provided in the office, but you need to check with your provider to learn exactly which services they offer via telehealth.
In the case of a medical emergency, however, you need to seek care at your local urgent care facility or hospital emergency department.
- Will insurance pay for telehealth?
Some insurance companies cover telehealth, while others don’t. Additionally, some states require insurance companies to reimburse at the same rate as they cover for in-person appointments. In most states, Medicaid covers telehealth. Check with your insurance provider to find out if you’re covered.
As of March 6, 2020, Medicare is paying providers across the United States to provide telehealth services due to the COVID-19 crisis. However, this Medicare coverage may be a temporary benefit.
To learn more about telehealth and to get your connection started, call California Center for Sleep Disorders and let them help guide the way.