The Benefits of Telemedicine
The novel virus, COVID-19, is impacting communities across the country and many health care practices are turning to telehealth—the convergence of telecommunication (phone calls, video chats, text messages) and health— to help suppress the spread of the virus while providing you with quality health care.
Appointment availability for New and Existing Patients.
How does telemedicine work?
Though it’s always great to meet your healthcare professional in person, many patient visits do not need to occur face to face in order for an evaluation, diagnosis or treatment recommendation to be made.
Video visits allow you to see a medical professional from the comfort of your own home, and occur using Zoom, a safe, private and HIPAA compliant video chat portal. These are becoming increasingly commonplace and even allow patients to show their medical provider visual symptoms via their phone or computer’s camera.
Patients schedule their appointments online. You will receive an email confirming the date and time of your virtual visit along with additional details. We use Zoom, which you will need to download to your phone or computer.
At the time of your visit, click on the link in your confirmation email. You will be placed in a virtual waiting room while your provider is informed have arrived.
If you or your provider feel you need an evaluation in person, that can be scheduled for a later date.
What do patients think of telemedicine?
Patients and providers agree on the benefits of virtual care.
According to the Deloitte 2018 Surveys of US Health Care Consumers and Physicians, the top three benefits of telemedicine are:
- Improved patient access to care
- Improved patient satisfaction
- Staying connected with patients and their caregivers
Monitored and cared for remotely via real-time video calls, text and voice chat services, providers rated patients’ “general comprehension” as 4.5 on average on a 5-point scale in the teleaudiology period, compared to 2.7 when they weren’t using the remote service, adding that the remote service both decreased patients’ stress and improved their “alertness” and “awareness.”
Does telemedicine offer any additional benefits?
In addition to providing you with uninterrupted care, telemedicine offers a number of additional benefits, including:
- Eliminating transportation cost
- Decreasing need to take time off work
- Improving access to specialists
- Reducing chance of catching illnesses
- Shortening Ending time spent wasted in waiting room times
Can you take advantage of telemedicine?
Most ENT and allergy patients can utilize telemedicine services offered by Albany ENT & Allergy Services.
Current patients are able to continue receiving follow-up care while new patients can complete their initial visit and begin seeking treatment. Many assessments can be performed during a virtual doctor visit.
Does Medicare cover telemedicine?
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has broadened access to Medicare telehealth services so that patients can receive a wider range of services from their doctors without having to travel to a healthcare facility.
A range of providers, such as doctors, nurse practitioners, clinical psychologists, and licensed clinical social workers, will be able to offer telehealth to their patients. Additionally, the HHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) is providing flexibility for healthcare providers to reduce or waive cost-sharing for telehealth visits paid by federal healthcare programs.
There are three main types of virtual services physicians and other professionals can provide to Medicare beneficiaries:
- Medicare telehealth visits
- Virtual check-ins
We are here to support you during these difficult times. Contact Albany ENT & Allergy Services today to learn more about what telehealth services we offer or to schedule an appointment.