If telemedicine, also called an e-visit, is not a regular part of your health care, it soon may be.
Telemedicine is a mobile application that lets you visit a physician using video chat. You can send photos of a rash or cut or describe your symptoms and often receive a diagnosis and prescription – all from your home or office.
This innovative approach offers several benefits that are causing more Americans to consider telemedicine when they need a doctor.
One of the top benefits is avoiding a room crowded with other sick people while you wait to see a doctor. Minimizing exposure to germ-infested areas could make telemedicine a top solution for reducing outbreaks. Other benefits include reducing co-pays and wait time, eliminating commutes, and improving access to health care. Reduced cost is also a perk. In one study presented in San Diego at the June 2018 AHIP expo, in-person visits cost an average of $114 while e-visits came in at $38.
Telemedicine pros and cons depend on particular circumstances, but an e-visit may be the answer for common symptoms like a cold, the flu, an insect bite, asthma, cellulitis, or a sprain. Additionally, consider how much e-visit benefits could mean to Americans in remote areas with limited access to hospitals and doctors.
Is this covered by insurance? Some insurers cover and even encourage e-visits. Your health insurance may recommend using Skype, Facetime, or your insurer’s portal to visit your health provider electronically from your home. Medicare’s website lists when it will reimburse for telemedicine. Private health providers may offer e-medicine access. Check with your insurance carrier to determine providers and co-pays if you choose to participate in e-medicine.