What is telemedicine?

Website: Amwell.com

You may be hearing the words telemedicine and telehealth in print, on news channels, talk shows and other media. The truth is that telemedicine (which is actually the more descriptive term of the two) is quickly becoming a go-to-solution for quick and affordable healthcare for many medical conditions that you would normally go to see a doctor for.

Also interesting is that many of the telemedicine programs are also accepting the major health insurance plans and the telemedicine visits are a covered benefit sometimes at a reduced rate, compared to the traditional doctor’s office visit.

The other benefit provided by telemedicine programs, is that you do not have to have health insurance to use the service. You can simply pay with a credit card and to be seen. However, not everything can be covered taken care of with a telemedicine visit.

More details about Telemedicine …

Basically telemedicine is simply access to a physician consultation via telephone or computer (mobile or web). Up to 70% of health issues that arise daily can be managed quickly and effectively by professional telemedicine* plans. In this article we are discussing a telehealth company called Amwell.com

With telemedicine from Amwell, the approach is that you have immediate access to a nationwide network of US Board Certified physicians, available for live visits over mobile or web, whenever you need them and you can select your doctor. If you have a telemedicine account, you don’t have to wait for the doctor’s office to open. You can actually talk to a doctor online, anytime, day or night.

Here are some frequently asked questions:

Can I use this telemedicine program at night?
Telemedicine powered by Amwell can be used any time, day or night. It’s perfect when your doctor’s office is closed, and you are too sick or busy to see someone in person, or even when you are traveling.

Can I use the telemedicine physician consultation anywhere in the United States?
Physician consults are based on where you are located when you call in and the consults are governed by that state. So if you are on a vacation, and call in from a different state than the one you live in, then the telemedicine services are governed by the state you are currently in. Some states do have different regulations that govern telemedicine. For example many states are requiring that the telemedicine appointment be recorded via a video service. This would happen with the telemedicine provider’s technology. Also some states do not allow any prescriptions to be given via a telemedicine appointment, however these states are becoming fewer and fewer.

Can I get a prescription filled with Telemedicine?
During or after a Telemedicine visit, providers can send prescriptions (for most states) and recommendations for over-the-counter (OTC) medications to a pharmacy of your choice. Video visits are required for most states to have prescriptions as part of your treatment and there are a few states that do not allow prescriptions yet. Also prescriptions for narcotics and other addictive drugs are not allowed to be prescribed with a telemedicine appointment.

What conditions are appropriate for an online doctor visit?
Telemedicine offers urgent care for the following conditions: Cough, Sinus Infection, Sore Throat, Back Pain, Bronchitis, Vomiting, Diarrhea, Sprains/Strains, Fever, Pinkeye, Cold & Flu, Skin Conditions, UTI, Headache, Influenza, Rashes, Weight Concerns, Smoking Cessation, Depression, Anxiety and other non-emergency conditions.

Is telemedicine a covered benefit with my insurance?
Some health plans are offering telemedicine visits as a covered benefit at a reduced rate through Amwell. To see if you are covered, enter your plan and subscriber ID into the AmWell website portal before you have your visit. The Amwell website will automatically work with your plan to give you the lowest out of pocket expenses.

Can I use telemedicine with Medicare?
This is a complicated question. There are some limitations with using telemedicine services with Medicare and supplements. Contact your insurance agent and Medicare insurance company to get details. Congress did try to pass a law in 2016 that would have expanded the use of telemedicine with Medicare insurance plans.

Does my regular insurance plan have a telemedicine service?
Some insurance companies do have their own telemedicine services. You should call your insurance company and see what they offer. In researching this article we found “ask-a-nurse” programs and some services similar to telemedicine being offered directly by insurance companies but they tended to have limited hours of operation.

What should I expect during my Telemedicine visit?
Most telemedicine doctor visits take about 10 minutes, but you can always add time if you need to. Doctors on Amwell can review your history, answer questions, diagnose, treat and prescribe medication if needed and if allowed in your state. If a prescription is needed, you can select a pharmacy of your choice.

How do I sign-up?
Visit the Amwell website with a smart phone or computer. Use the online signup process to see a doctor. You can download the iOS or Android App or sign in from your desktop computer to talk to a doctor and see them through a live one-on-one webinar.

Are there other types of medical services available with Amwell’s telemedicine?
Amwell also has therapists available for ongoing telemedicine counseling sessions for concerns like depression, anxiety, stress, relationships, and insomnia, as well as for diet and nutrition help.

Next Steps …

Visit the Amwell website and click around before you need an appointment:

If you like what you see then bookmark the website. And remember the service of Telemedicine the next time you have …

Cough, Sinus Infection, Sore Throat, Back Pain, Bronchitis, Vomiting, Diarrhea, Sprains/Strains, Fever, Pinkeye, Cold & Flu, Skin Conditions, UTI, Headache, Influenza, Rashes, Weight Concerns, Smoking Cessation, Depression, Anxiety and other conditions.

* RNCOS Business Consultancy Services – Global Telemedicine Market Outlook to 2018; Forbes – Top Health Trend for 2014: Telehealth to Grow Over 50%