Visit your local doctor's office as usual. If your doctor believes a specialist consultation is necessary, he or she will refer you, and you will be called to schedule your appointment with a specialist.
The specialist will "see you" in your provider's office via videoconference. Working together, the specialist and your provider will determine the best treatment plan for you.
Visits by telehealth prevent extended time off from work, and transportation and childcare complications. You will be seen by a specialist who has advanced training in the convenience of your local primary care provider's office.
The distant site and your local provider's office will handle all of the necessary paperwork and insurance filing as they would for any in-person specialist referral visit. You will receive a bill from the specialist as well as your local doctor's office. Insurance coverage varies, so contact your health plan for details.
Contact your provider's office manager if you have questions.
There are many telehealth applications that allow you to contact a provider right from your personal computer, tablet or phone. These visits can be an online conversation between youand your provider or a face-to-face video visit. Contact your provider to access these applications or to find out more.
Telemedicine generally refers to the provision of clinical services from a distance. According to the American Telemedicine Association, telemedicine is the use of medical information exchanged from one site to another via electronic communications to improve a patient’s clinical health status. Telemedicine includes a growing variety of applications and services using two-way video, email, smart phones, wireless tools and other forms of telecommunications technology. Telemedicine is a component of telehealth.
Telehealth is a collection of methods, not a specific clinical service, to enhance care delivery and education. Ideally, there should not be any regulatory distinction between a service delivered via telehealth and a service delivered in person. Both should be held to the same quality and practice standards.
While telemedicine has been more commonly used in the past, telehealth is a more universal term for the current broad array of applications in the field. Its use crosses most health service disciplines, including dentistry, counseling, physical therapy, and home health, and many other domains. Further, telehealth practice has expanded beyond traditional diagnostic and monitoring activities to include consumer and professional education.