Using Telemedicine During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Although you may be used to making traditional doctor’s appointments when you’re feeling ill or when you are concerned about your health, telemedicine is becoming a viable solution during the COVID-19 pandemic. Social distancing is one of the most effective methods for slowing the spread of the coronavirus and virtual appointments make social distancing possible. With the help of our friends at HR360, we came up with some benefits of using telemedicine during the COVID-19 pandemic.
What is telemedicine?
Telemedicine is a form of technology-based communication that allows you to connect and communicate with a doctor without being in the same physical space. Many telemedicine options reduce the amount of time that you have to wait to see or talk to a provider. If you begin to experience symptoms of COVID-19, having options like telemedicine allows you quick access to a doctor, testing and treatment options.
How can telemedicine be beneficial?
Using telemedicine can be beneficial to you and the healthcare system in many ways. The symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to the seasonal flu, cold and allergies. As such, it can be difficult to know if you have COVID-19 without being tested or assessed by a doctor. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends calling your doctor or local care facility before you go for a visit, unless it’s a medical emergency.
As demand for these health services increases, facilities are being overwhelmed by phone calls and requests for tests. But using virtual health care services can reduce exposure and spread of the virus to health care workers and other patients by keeping those with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 quarantined at home.
Virtual appointments also keep non-COVID-19 patients safe by providing care over the phone or via video conference. It’s especially important to consider using virtual care if you are at higher risk for developing severe illness as a result of contracting the virus. The good news is that many provider practices and specialties have already instituted telemedicine virtual visits with their patients as an alternative to traditional face-to-face visits.
Do all plans cover telemedicine?
While many major health plans cover telemedicine services, be sure to check your plan’s summary of benefits and coverage or benefit summary. Please also review your employee benefits as many employers also provide access to stand alone telemedicine providers.
Rose & Kiernan, Inc. continues to monitor and relay information related to the many aspects of dealing with COVID-19 and the workplace. If you have any questions about this topic, please contact us here or by calling (800) 242-4433. You can also view our COVID-19 resources page for important information about Rose & Kiernan’s response to the virus outbreak.
Please note that news and events surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic are changing quickly. The information provided in this blog post represents where things stand on the date of publication.