Many are choosing to postpone appointments with their healthcare providers even though there are telemedicine options available. Why? Is it discomfort with the technology? Concerns over the level of care provided? Are finances an issue? Are there concerns about security? Or, is it because they think addressing their health issues is not essential right now and can be put off?
While the reason likely varies from person to person, putting off getting help could make the situation worse – especially if there are chronic health conditions that need regular follow-up. In fact, stress, which we have a lot of right now, can worsen already existing health issues.
The stress response can cause changes throughout the body’s various systems, so it can have far-reaching consequences. If you are already suffering from a stress-related condition, things could get worse more rapidly with additional stress, so it’s important to not wait.
Health Concerns Associated with Stress
- Low Mood
- Sleep issues
- Poor memory and focus
- Poor cardiovascular health
- Hot flashes
- Low libido
This article explains what telemedicine is, how it works, and shares the benefits of telemedicine which may encourage people to seek help.
What is Telemedicine?
Telemedicine is an aspect of telehealth that provides health care using audio and/or visual platforms such as computers, smart phones, and regular phones. Depending on the type of care you are receiving and guidelines in your state, you may be ok with just a phone call. In most cases, the visual component is preferred. However, if you are uncomfortable with that level of technology, if broadband is not available, or you don’t have a smartphone or computer, a simple phone visit will be alright. Your healthcare provider will be able to let you know about the details of your appointment.
What are the Benefits of Telemedicine?
There are many benefits of telemedicine. Right now, with the pandemic, one of the top benefits of telemedicine is it reduces risk of exposure to coronavirus. Normally, one of the primary benefits is that you can receive care from your preferred provider regardless of whether you are at home, at work, or traveling abroad.
Additional benefits of telemedicine include:
- Reduced Infection Risk Beyond the pandemic, telemedicine is beneficial to the health of the elderly, immune-compromised, or very young. During peak flu and cold seasons, it allows these individuals to get checkups from home rather than risk exposure to those who are contagious.
- Less Time Required In general, a telemedicine appointment takes up less time due to travel and sitting in waiting rooms, which makes it more convenient for workers.
- Convenient Elderly Care The elderly often require frequent visits to healthcare providers. Transportation to and from these appointments can be a strain on their caretakers, costing time and wages. With telemedicine, their loved one can stay home, and they can join in without travel and time off.
- Rural Access In some regions of the U.S., access to healthcare is hours away. That keeps some from seeking care until they are too far along to correct the issue. With telemedicine, they can receive care earlier helping to maintain health.
- Continuance of Care Telemedicine allows you to continue to receive care from a preferred provider in many cases even if one of you moves away. This may vary depending on state laws and licensing. However, your provider should be able to tell you their status.
What Kind of Care Can You Get with Telehealth?
While there are some limitations, you can receive more care via telehealth platforms than you might think. It makes sense if you think about it. Many visits require your healthcare provider to listen to your symptoms and sometimes views physical signs. Many times this can be done easily with smartphones.
Life-threatening emergencies, hands-on procedures, physical exams for certain conditions, and prescriptions for controlled medications do require in-clinic treatment as do some lab tests. However, some laboratory services allow collection from the safety and convenience of your home. For example, Sanesco’s clinical model utilizes at-home urine and saliva collection to assess the impact of stress on the nervous and endocrine systems. This testing helps your healthcare provider develop a personalized plan to restore your quality of life.
Is Telemedicine Safe and Private?
Under normal circumstances, all aspects of telemedicine must be compliant with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). This act sets guidelines for protecting your personal health information (PHI). There are many aspects of HIPAA meant to provide peace of mind and protect the safety and privacy of your PHI. During the pandemic, some of these requirements have been somewhat relaxed in order to make it easier for you to communicate with your health care provider.
As a laboratory, Sanesco continues to take steps to protect your PHI as securely as we always have. There have been no changes in the HIPAA rules for laboratories.
Is Telemedicine Covered by Insurance?
Telemedicine insurance coverage varies by state and depends on insurance company policies, so you will need to check with your insurance provider. During the coronavirus pandemic, the government has loosened regulations for Medicare and Medicaid recipients allowing coverage for many telemedicine appointments. It is important to check with your insurance provider to determine coverage.
Keep Your Health on Track with Telemedicine
Many of Sanesco’s healthcare providers are set to practice telemedicine to address a variety of issues, especially those resulting from stress.
Common Health Issues Addressed by Sanesco Providers
- Sleep issues
- Low mood
- Poor memory
- Lack of focus
- Hot flashes
- Low libido
- Mood swings
- Behavioral issues
We can help you find a provider to help address your symptoms of stress using a telemedicine model. If you are a healthcare provider who would like to incorporate Sanesco’s clinical model into your telemedicine practice, please visit our website.