In these turbulent times, AAUrology has expanded our telehealth capability to ensure continuity of care for appropriate patients. Via several private platforms, our providers can meet with you from the comfort of your home and evaluate and treat many common GU conditions. If you have a telehealth appointment scheduled, please click on the provider link below to be directed to their ‘virtual’ waiting room.
Frequently Asked Questions about Telehealth: A Patient’s Guide
What is telehealth?
Telehealth is the delivery of health care services and health care related information using not in person methods of communication between patients and healthcare providers. It also sometimes encompasses healthcare providers exchanging information between themselves to enhance patient care and/or access to additional healthcare services. This may be done via utilization of several different technologies including wifi, computers, internet, satellite, iPhones, or smart phones. Telehealth may be deployed in a variety of locations including Provider’s offices, emergency clinics, hospitals, homes and nursing facilities.
Why Should I use Telehealth?
It is not always easy or convenient for our patients to travel to get help for their health care needs. The purpose of telehealth is to improve the opportunity to receive healthcare, when appropriate, in the most convenient and accessible way possible. Telehealth is another option for the receipt of care. The benefits of telehealth included shorter waiting times, less or no travel, less time off from work or other priorities, potentially less need to involve or burden caretakers. Telehealth often, but not always, involves a visual component where the patient and provider are able to see one another; however, in certain cases, the communication may only be a phone call. Examples of telehealth include video or phone “chat” for lab or imaging results, medication questions, Discussions about surgery, Pre op Questions, Post op questions, as well as Kidney Stone pain or UTI symptoms.
How common is telehealth?
Around the world, millions of patients use telehealth to receive care, monitor their health status signs, continue and modify treatment regimens, learn more about their and their loved one’s conditions and, hopefully, stay out of offices, hospitals and emergency rooms. Over half of all Maryland hospitals, and many clinics ,now use some form of telehealth. Many employers now offer telehealth as an added benefit in their health insurance program.
Is telehealth safe?
Telehealth is a safe and an effective way to extend the delivery of health care. It may not be appropriate for ALL clinical situations and a medical professional can help you determine if telehealth is appropriate for you. Guidelines exist for telehealth to ensure safety and quality. Clinicians are held to the same standards of care through a telehealth visit as an in-person visit. Similarly, the same standards for privacy and confidentiality for an in-person visit apply to telehealth visits.
Do health plans pay for telehealth services?
Telehealth has made connecting with your provider easy and convenient. You don’t need to leave home and travel to a doctor’s office to talk with your provider. As this option for care is getting more popular, you might wonder what your insurance covers when it comes to virtual options. Many insurance plans now cover:
- Virtual visits.
- Phone call visits.
- Medical advice via patient portal.
Health plans, including Medicare and Medicaid, cover a wide variety of healthcare services available through telehealth. After your telehealth visit with your provider, a charge will be generated and billed to your insurance carrier. Your Insurance carrier will process your claim and there may be a patient responsibility for copay, deductible, or coinsurance. To find out if your health plan covers telehealth services, or what your responsibility might be, please contact your health plan.