The real role of telemedicine or Telehealth lies in the convenience it offers to our patients who want medical advice or a treatment plan for a complex spine condition
The Convenience of Telemedicine / Telehealth
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have greatly expanded our telemedicine or Telehealth services so patients can get the primary and specialty care they need. At the Southwest Scoliosis and Spine Institute, a telemedicine or Telehealth visit is normally a covered benefit for most insurance plans. All visits are safe, private, and secure.
A telehealth appointment, also known as a telemedicine appointment or a tele doctor visit, is a virtual appointment with a healthcare provider that takes place using a video conferencing platform. During a telehealth appointment, patients can receive a diagnosis, discuss treatment options, and even receive a prescription without leaving their home. This is particularly useful for patients who have mobility or transportation issues, or who live in rural areas with limited access to healthcare services.
Medicare telehealth services have also become more widespread. Medicare telehealth services allow individuals who are enrolled in Medicare to receive healthcare services virtually, without having to leave their home. These services are particularly beneficial for older adults or individuals with chronic conditions who are at higher risk for COVID-19 and may prefer to avoid in-person visits.
One of the main benefits of telehealth services is convenience. Patients can schedule a telehealth appointment from the comfort of their own home, and they do not have to take time off from work or arrange for transportation to a healthcare facility. Doctors can schedule Telehealth visits outside of traditional office hours, which can definitely help individuals who have busy schedules.
Another benefit of telehealth services is cost savings. Telehealth appointments are typically less expensive than in-person visits, and insurance plans cover these appointments. In addition, telehealth services can help to reduce healthcare costs by providing preventive care and early intervention, which can prevent the need for more expensive treatments down the line.
However, telehealth services are not suitable for all healthcare needs. Some medical conditions require a physical examination or diagnostic tests that cannot be performed virtually. In these cases, doctors may require an in-person visit. Also, patients should understand that not all doctors provide telehealth services.
In conclusion, telehealth services offer a convenient and cost-effective way for patients to access healthcare services. This can be from the comfort of their own home. While telehealth services are not suitable for all healthcare needs, they offer an important option for individuals who need help.
Telemedicine & Telehealth Services
Telemedicine or Telehealth is usually in the form of a video call using your computer. This mode of communication does not replace face-to-face visits. Instead, this tool provides a patient with the ability to see a doctor, explain their condition, and review other medical tests to achieve a diagnosis. After a diagnosis is determined, the team will formulate a treatment plan designed for each patient’s unique condition. Then the doctor will discuss the plan with the patient and any further testing needed. It’s the first step in getting treated by one of our spine and scoliosis specialists when you live more than 2 hours from our office.
The real role of telemedicine or Telehealth lies in the convenience it offers to our patients who want medical advice. This also includes obtaining a treatment plan for a complex spine condition. Also, it is cost-effective in comparison to driving to our office or other healthcare providers. By having a telemedicine meeting, a patient can discuss his or her condition, hopefully at an early stage of the condition. Then, if necessary visit our Expert Scoliosis and Spine Doctors in person.
Benefits of Talking With A Doctor who is Hundreds of Miles Away
Telemedicine services offer many benefits to spine patients and providers alike such as:
- Meet directly with an expert: Our expert doctors can meet with you on line to provide an evaluation and diagnosis. Additionally, the doctor can devise treatment plans for your unique condition. In conclusion, telemedicine gives patients living far away the ability to easily consult with our doctors.
- Easy Access to Spine Care: Once your telemedicine appointment is over, you’ll have a clear plan to follow to get better soon. Also, your plan may include additional testing, prescriptions, follow-up appointment, and such.
- Save Time & Travel Costs: Telemedicine allows spine patients to use video on their computers or smartphones to connect with our board-certified spine surgeons. This can be done without leaving home or taking time away from the office. In addition, this cuts unneeded travel time and expenses.
- Health Insurance Coverage: Telehealth is a regular healthcare service. Thus, it should be billable to your health insurance. Our office will help you ensure that your insurance covers telehealth.
- Receive Second Opinions: Our award-winning spine surgeons can provide a second opinion.
- Save Unnecessary Medical Costs: A virtual doctor appointment is far less expensive than driving hundreds or thousands of miles to see a doctor. If an in-person visit becomes necessary, you and your doctor will discuss the reasons.
- Patient Privacy: The Southwest Scoliosis and Spine Institute uses a secure telemedicine system that adheres to all HIPAA guidelines. We offer our telemedicine spine patients the same level of privacy as our in-office appointments.
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Does Insurance Reimburse Telehealth Sessions?
Acquiring telehealth insurance payments is easy; although, it is a very new method of getting health care. The best method to ensure that your health insurance company will pay for some or all of the visits is to call them. That way you will know if a co-pay is required or not.
What Can I Expect in Terms of Sound and Video Quality?
Connection problems can be caused by a variety of outside factors. For instance, low quality, older equipment, or too many programs open and running. In general, poor video quality is usually because of a poor internet connection.
Here are some basic steps that can improve the overall quality of your visit:
- Use a wired ethernet instead of a wifi connection. A wired ethernet internet connection will give you a smoother, more consistent experience. A wifi connection will work, but you may experience a lag or some interference, which can make your video and audio choppy.
- Test your internet connection speed. Make sure it’s of good quality and at least 10 Mbps.
- Close other programs or apps you may have open. To minimize disruption, close out all other programs/apps that are running in the background. Make sure you have enough lighting so the doctor can see you well. Small lighting tweaks can make a big impact. Avoid any backlight and make sure your camera is at eye level.
What Equipment Do I Need?
To provide telemedicine or telehealth sessions, you will need the following:
- An integrated or external microphone.
- A computer (laptop or desktop) or a smartphone. Newer devices (purchased in the last two years) will be better equipped to provide telehealth sessions.
- An integrated or external web camera.
- An internet connection that is at least 10 Mbps. For optimal results, a reliable, high-speed internet connection with a bandwidth of at least 10 Mbps will minimize connection issues and provide the best quality.
Who Qualifies for Telemedicine
Patients who qualify for telemedicine live over 90 minutes away from our offices. In recent years, telehealth services have become popular as a convenient and cost-effective way to access healthcare services. Telemedicine services involve the use of telecommunication and information technologies to seek clinical healthcare services from a distance, This is helping patients interact with their healthcare providers. The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the adoption of telehealth. And therefore, many individuals have become more familiar with telehealth appointments and telehealth visits.
If you or your loved one suffers from back pain from a spinal condition, there is hope. We can help. Call Southwest Scoliosis and Spine Institute at 214-556-0555 to make an appointment today.