As health practitioners strive to provide more accessible treatment, telehealth or telemedicine is becoming the new norm. This type of visit is convenient, safe, and affordable. While virtual meetings are convenient, there are certain challenges that can make them more difficult. Here are some tips to help you have a good meeting.
1. Check Insurance Coverage
To avoid any surprises, check with your insurance provider to verify if telemedicine consultations are covered. While several states have mandated that insurers fund telemedicine visits during the coronavirus pandemic, and Medicare has enhanced its coverage for these consultations, not all insurance companies offer telehealth or limit coverage to COVID-19-related issues. Furthermore, even if your insurance covers telehealth consultations, you may be required to pay a copay. Regardless of your insurance coverage, HIPAA rules protect any information disclosed during the telemedicine consultation.
2. Set Up Your Equipment
Before the appointment, follow the directions for setting up the equipment provided by the consult site or your provider. Be sure to have your computer turned on and logged into the site at least 15 minutes in advance. If you are using a landline phone to make the appointment, ensure you have a dial tone and a clear connection. If you will be using a cell phone, be aware of the reception in the area where you will be making the appointment, and try to stay in a place with the best reception.
3. Close Other Applications
If you have other applications open, such as your email or Internet browser, close them to avoid noise or pop-ups during the appointment.
4. Find a Private and Quiet Spot for Your Appointment
Many people find it helpful to make the appointment in a private place with no distractions. For example, if you are trying to make an appointment during your lunch hour, find someplace where you will not be disturbed. Put your cell phone on silent. Turn off the TV. Do not bring food or any other types of distractions into the room.
5. Have Your Information Ready
If you are making an appointment during a difficult time, it is even more important to be prepared. If you have a list of questions to ask, or reference materials, make sure you have them with you. If you need to do some research on the internet to find resources, do that before the appointment and print out any information that you need. It is also a good idea to have the name and contact information of your health care provider to give to the telehealth provider.
6. State Any Pre-Existing Conditions You Have
Identify any pre-existing conditions that the telehealth provider may need to know about. For example, if you are taking any medications regularly, or if you are on any type of regimen for a chronic condition, let the provider know about it. Also, if you suspect that you may be immune-compromised because of an illness or recent surgery, bring this up during the consultation.
Telehealth is a promising opportunity for patients to receive care in their own homes at a time and place that is convenient for them. But even though telehealth is useful in many situations, it does not eliminate all of the concerns and challenges accompanying a doctor visit. It is important to come prepared and to be aware of any potential problems that may arise during the visit.
Agile Urgent Care is an urgent care center offering expert medical services to people needing help. Our goal is to provide the best care possible for all health emergencies brought to our attention. Book an appointment with us today or drop by our clinic for walk-in work.