Telehealth: Is it here to stay?


Telehealth: Is it here to stay? The pandemic changed many things for many Americans, from how we work to how we socialize. One potentially positive shift is that it accelerated the already growing field of telehealth. Suddenly it became easier and made more sense to see your doctor online for basic ailments and routine check-ins. But is telehealth all it's cracked up to be? Here are some common questions you may have about telehealth:

What is telehealth?

Telehealth is the delivery of health services using electronic means. It doesn't just refer to virtual visits with your doctor: telehealth can also include reminder services, electronic health monitoring, and even just emailing with your provider or receiving healthcare results online.

What are the benefits of telehealth?

In many cases, telehealth visits just make sense and can have many wonderful benefits. If you have a terrible sore throat and just need to check in with a doctor, telehealth is a great option and potentially superior to an in-person visit: you get to stay home, others don't get exposed to your illness, and the visit might even be a little less expensive than attending in person. And if it's something more serious, your doctor can always ask you to come in.

Are there any downsides to telehealth?

Telehealth may not be the right choice for some people or circumstances. Sometimes it may be important for your doctor to see you in person, and some types of visits or testing simply cannot be conducted online. Logistical considerations, like a poor internet connection or not having a private space to conduct your visit; may make telehealth visits more difficult.

Is telehealth covered by insurance?

According to the Department of Health and Human Services, most insurance providers offer coverage for some types of telehealth, which can include everything from regular doctor's visits to therapy appointments. In fact, sometimes telehealth visits are less expensive for the consumer. But as with any medical visit, you should check to be sure the provider and service is covered before making an appointment.

How can I make the most of a telehealth visit?

As with any medical visit, it's important to make the most of the time you have with your provider. The first step is to find out whether a telehealth visit is recommended. Once you have something scheduled, write down your current symptoms, any medicines you are taking, and any questions you have. Make sure you have a private and quiet space in which to conduct the visit, and that your video conference software is up to date and secure. Don't forget to follow up with your provider if there's anything you forgot to ask or tell them about your condition or plan of care.

For any of your insurance questions, call or contact Executive Insurance & Financial Services today.

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