When you’re feeling unwell, or have questions about your health, you might usually schedule an appointment with your primary physician. You may have to wait several weeks until the first available appointment. You take time off from work or take your kids out of school to sit in a doctor’s office for what feels like forever. Now, due to COVID-19, your physician’s availability might be even more limited than before. This is an ongoing issue that has impacted many Americans this year. If you’re showing symptoms of COVID-19, you may not even be able to have a face-to-face appointment with your doctor. This hardship has been extremely challenging for those with ongoing health issues. There are also individuals who do not feel comfortable going out in public because they may be susceptible to the virus, or suffer from severe anxiety at the thought of being in a public setting. Using telehealth services, you can now receive medical assistance at any time, all from the comfort of your own home.
What is Telehealth?
Through the use of electronic information and telecommunication technologies, telehealth provides patients and health care professionals with access to one another no matter where they are. Individuals use their smartphones, laptops, and similar devices to get medical care and services through telehealth. These services allow you to:
- Talk with your doctor over the phone or through video chat applications like FaceTime, Messenger, Google Hangouts, Zoom, or Skype
- Send and receive text messages with your doctor
- Contact your doctor and healthcare administrative services via email
- Securely exchange files like personal medical records or prescriptions
- Use remote patient monitoring, which allows your doctor to check in on you. This is especially useful for individuals who might use specific monitoring devices to gather vitals and keep their doctors informed.
What Type Of Services Are Available?
A remarkable variety of services are now available through telehealth. Although many of these options have been in place for some time, more doctors and health care providers are now encouraging participation in these types of services due to the pandemic. You are now able to turn to telehealth for:
- General health care, such as wellness visits
- Eye exams
- Applied Behavior Analysis Services, including therapy
- Nutrition counseling
- Mental health counseling
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
- 12-Step group meetings
- Urgent care conditions and advice
The Difference Between Telehealth and Telemedicine
It is important to note that telehealth and telemedicine are different entities. The World Health Organization (WHO) identifies telemedicine as “healing from a distance”. Although both telemedicine and telehealth are virtual medical services, through telemedicine individuals can also receive diagnoses, discuss and learn treatment options, and receive prescriptions.
HealthIT.gov adds that telehealth helps to improve patient care and physician education, and expands beyond telemedicine.
What Are The Benefits?
We are long overdue for more accessible healthcare for all Americans, which is one of the focuses of telehealth services. Beyond the pandemic, patients have been struggling with the limited options they have when it comes to receiving medical attention. Too many times, a person may have to choose between taking time out of their busy schedule and receiving the care they need. With access to the services that telehealth offers, people who live in remote areas or have intensive schedules can now receive the help they need, allowing them to improve their overall well-being without compromising the rest of their lives. These virtual visits provide patients and doctors with dozens of benefits, including:
- Reduced exposure to COVID-19 for all parties
- The elimination of commutes and waiting rooms
- The ability to see your doctor and receive services in a timely fashion
- Removing the obligation to take time off work or find and pay for childcare
- Less overall stress and appointment anxiety
Telehealth Could Save You Money
Beyond the benefits listed above, there can also be a financial gain to telehealth services. Along with the advantages of no longer needing in-person visits, the overall costs may be much less compared to a standard visit to the emergency room.
As the pandemic continues to lead people to turn to the advantages of virtual medical options, more health insurance plans are beginning to cover services obtained through telehealth. Some states have passed laws that require health insurance plans to reimburse patients who were overcharged for telehealth services.
Telehealth is not for everyone, and many services still require you to see your doctor in person. It’s best to check with your physician or health care professional to see whether services available through telehealth are right for you.
Due to the ongoing pandemic, many people are taking notice of telehealth. Although this type of care has been available for many years, stay-at-home orders and social distancing requirements have pushed telehealth to the forefront of modern medical practices. The benefits of telehealth can be endlessly helpful to people in desperate need of assistance. No longer are you required to wait for weeks to speak with your doctor or receive assistance for your health concerns. With the use of your smartphone or other devices, you now have access to a plethora of services. Telehealth comes with many positives, including a lesser financial strain on patients. It may not be for everyone, but the spike in the number of people utilizing its services shows that it is solving problems for some. If you want to learn more about telehealth and determine whether it is the right option for you, reach out to Everlast Recovery Centers. Call us at 866-DETOX-25