Telehealth is the ability to communicate with your doctor either by video call, phone call, texting, email and apps. Telehealth, also called telemedicine, has moved out of the doctor’s office and into retail stores and onto our phones. Sixty four percent of all U.S. adults own a smartphone. “Smartphones” do more than a home phone but slightly less than a computer. These small devices have transformed the way access care paid for by insurance companies.
Healthcare system uses electronic communications to get paid, to transfer patients, to share test results and health records moving us into a “paperless” system. Today patients and caregivers have access healthcare using smartphones, online portals and public places outside of medical centers. Medicare now pays for many telehealth/telemedicine services which reduces many barriers to receiving timely care.
- Physicians to physician consultations and record reviews are now a telehealth services paid by Medicare. This enables specialists to render opinions faster and without scheduling a patient appointment.
- Secondly, Medicare will pay for non-face-to-face services called “store and forward” commonly used to treat skin conditions and other images that a smart phone can capture and send on to a physician.
- Medicare also pays for online and smart phone virtual ‘check-in’ services enabling patients and caregivers to reduce the time spent playing phone tag or sitting on hold waiting for an office staff to answer their questions.
- Other programs like Chronic Care Management enables a physician office to direct care on a patient’s many health issues and care coordination without scheduling an office visit. This new care model is a time saver for everyone.
For more information, click here to visit our resource page on Telehealth.