Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, telehealth was gaining popularity. Minor medical complaints and even routine follow-up appointments that don’t really require an in-person visit were becoming the norm. However, as we continue to work our way through this uncertain period, the need for remote medical care is even more important.
But if you’ve never had a telehealth visit, you might not know what to expect. To make your first visit just a little easier, here are four questions you should ask at your appointment.
How Does Telehealth Work?
Unlike in-patient visits that limit both patients and healthcare providers to one physical location, telehealth appointments can be conducted from any location with a secure internet connection. For routine follow-up appointments, you’ll meet with your healthcare provider to go over how you’ve been doing.
They will inquire whether you have experienced new symptoms. If you are scheduled for an acute-care visit, your doctor or nurse practitioner will want to know what the issue is, how long you’ve been experiencing the problem, which remedies you have tried and whether or not they were effective. Both types of appointments are typically via a face-to-face conversation, similar to when you use Facetime on your phone.
Is It Expensive?
Telehealth visits are usually covered under your existing plan. However, it's always best to check with your insurance carrier prior to scheduling one. You may have to pay a different co-pay than you do when seen in the office. In some cases, you may have to pay the entire cost of the visit.
Can I Get A Prescription Filled?
Similar to in-person visits, your doctor can write and fill prescriptions for you. They will fax the prescription to your pharmacy for you. They may also offer to send it to you, but if it's a controlled substance, like a pain killer, they will fax it directly to the pharmacy.
When Should I Head To The Hospital?
Most people know to go to the hospital when they have a medical emergency but with so many people worried about catching COVID, they're also hesitant to do so. If you're suffering from a medical emergency, like chest pain, shortness of breath, or excessive bleeding, you need to head to the nearest hospital. Your telehealth doctor will not be able to diagnose potentially life-threatening problems, so it's always better to get examined in person.
Health care has come a long way over the past few years. And as it continues to evolve, so do your options for medical treatment.
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Anita Ginsburg is a freelance writer from Denver, Colo. She studied at Colorado State University, and now writes articles about health, business, family and finance. A mother of two, she enjoys traveling with her family whenever she isn't writing. You can follow her on Twitter @anitaginsburg.
Founder Ray Spotts has a passion for all things natural and has made a life study of nature as it relates to health and well-being. Ray became a forerunner bringing products to market that are extraordinarily effective and free from potentially harmful chemicals and additives. For this reason Ray formed Trusted Health Products, a company you can trust for clean, effective, and healthy products. Ray is an organic gardener, likes fishing, hiking, and teaching and mentoring people to start new businesses. You can get his book for free, “How To Succeed In Business Based On God’s Word,” at www.rayspotts.com.