Telehealth is the distribution of health-related services and information via electronic information and telecommunication technologies. It allows long-distance patient and clinician contact, care, advice, reminders, education, intervention, monitoring, and remote admissions. TeleCounseling is sometimes used as a synonym, or is used in a more limited sense to describe remote clinical services.
This is determined on a state-by-state basis. For example in Florida and many other states it is not necessary for the doctor/patient relationship to be established in-person.
In many cases, yes. Many insurers voluntarily pay for TeleHealth visits and 26 states have laws requiring them to do so. Nevertheless consulting your Insurance is always a good idea.
Medicare: Does cover telemedicine in certain circumstances and with a number of limitations. Video visits are covered by beneficiaries living in rural areas, but these visits must be conducted at a specific originating site.
Medicaid: Most State Medicaid plans cover some kinds of telehealth services, but each one has a different set of rules and requirements.
Yes, but only when it is conducted using an encrypted platform that was designed for the purpose. Consumer apps like Facetime and Skype are not secure enough for video visits.
The quality of telehealth as a method of healthcare delivery is confirmed by decades of research and demonstrations. Telehealth has been found to be a safe, cost-effective and convenient way to provide healthcare services.
There are three main beneficiaries of telehealth:
Clients: Telehealth gives clients the opportunity to receive care without a trip to the counselor’s office. They don’t have to take time away from work or family responsibilities. They don’t waste time traveling, or money on parking or public transportation. They don’t risk exposure to other clients with communicable illnesses. And they get better health outcomes and become more engaged in their own healthcare.
Providers: Telehealth visits reduce the time of each encounter, allowing providers to see more clients, more efficiently. This boosts revenue and minimize overhead expenses. Telehealth reduces no-shows and cancellations. It also helps secure client loyalty in a competitive healthcare landscape.
The Healthcare System: Even if you never use telehealth yourself, you will likely benefit from the practice. The efficiency of telehealth will reduce wait-times for in-person visits.