Now Offering Telemedicine Appointments!

What is telemedicine (or telehealth)?

Telemedicine is simply conducting a medical appointment remotely through a video call.

Does insurance cover telemedicine?

Though telemedicine laws vary among each state, it is becoming more widely accepted by insurance companies each day. Many private insurances will currently reimburse telemedicine appointments the same as an office appointment. The best way to find out is simply to call your insurance company and ask about their coverage.

Special emergency provisions were recently established so even Medicare patients can safely access medical care during the Covid-19 pandemic, so this is now a viable option for anyone with Medicare. It is also covered by Medicaid.

Telemedicine
Health Insurance for telemedicine

Can I schedule ALL of my appointments through telemedicine?

Telemedicine appointments are an option for any medical problem that does not warrant a physical exam or in-office testing. For example, blood work reviews (or appointments to discuss other test results), routine medication follow-ups, anxiety/depression rechecks, etc. If you are not sure whether your appointment could be conducted in this manner, then just give us a call! We will be happy to help guide you to the best solution for your needs.

Telemedicine appointments can be a particularly good option for individuals who cannot take off time from work, or busy parents who do not want to interrupt their kid’s schedules. Telemedicine offers flexible and convenient medical care for people on the go, or for those who do not live close to the office.

Mom Telemedicine appointment while holding child at home

Can I schedule a NEW patient appointment through telemedicine?

Under normal circumstances, we prefer to see patients in the office for their first appointment. This allows us to get as set of baseline vitals and even order fasting blood work that same day if needed. However, during the Covid-19 pandemic, we are happy to establish new patients at the practice through telemedicine. We want everyone to have access to medical care and to keep them safe in the process, so we will gladly schedule new patient appointments via telemedicine when warranted.

Medicare typically requires patients first been seen in the office to establish a provider-patient relationship before they can schedule a telemedicine appointment, but this requirement is being waved during the Covid-19 health emergency. BCBS does not reimburse for the initial appointment via telemedicine, but they will reimburse for follow-up telemedicine appointments.

How does a telemedicine appointment work?

Patients can use their smartphone, iPad, or computer to connect for the visit. There are different platforms for telemedicine, but we are currently using Google Duo. It is HIPPA secure, so this offers an added layer of protection above and beyond other video call options such as Facetime or Skype.

Android phones already come with Google Duo installed on the phone, but iPhone or iPad owners can simply download the Google Duo App. Open the App on your phone and follow the instructions for set-up. You must give the phone permission to access your camera and audio.

For those who prefer to use their computer to connect, simply go to google.duo.com and follow the instructions to set up an account.

The nurse will call you on the day of your appointment to collect your copayment over the phone. She can answer any questions you have about set-up, take any refill requests, and update any pertinent medical information in your chart. At this time, the nurse can send any blood work or test results to your online portal account, so you have access to review them during your appointment. Then you simply need to remain by your phone or computer at your appointment time and wait for a phone call from your medical provider.

Doctor Telemedicine Call

Do I need to fill out any paperwork?

Yes.  Legally, patients should sign a consent form acknowledging they understand the potential risks versus benefits of conducting their appointment through telemedicine. You can download the form HERE. After reading it, please sign and either fax or email the form back to us before your appointment

During the Covid-19 pandemic, there is some grace regarding this documentation, but we believe it is still best for patients to read and sign this waiver up front if possible.

Consent Forms

Will my telemedicine appointment be at my exact scheduled time?

Ideally yes, but this is not always the case. It will typically be within a 30-minute window of your appointment time. Since we are also seeing patients in the office for appointments, our schedule does not always run perfectly on time. However, we make every effort to respect your time and be available as close to your scheduled time slot as possible. If personal or work restraints warrant an exact appointment time for telemedicine, then please let us know so we can make sure to schedule you at a time when that is possible.

As usual, new patients will be scheduled for 30-minute appointments and all other appointments will be scheduled at 15-minute increments.

We believe telemedicine is a great addition to the practice and will help us serve our patients more efficiently. Just contact the office if you would like to make a new telemedicine appointment, or change any previous office appointment into a telemedicine visit - we are happy to answer any questions and get you scheduled!

Now Offering Telemedicine Appointments!

Phone Call Appointment Sceduler