While our nation confronts the spread of the coronavirus, Northeast Orthopedics and Sports Medicine (NEOSM) is now offering Telemedicine appointments to continue our commitment to provide exceptional care for our patients and community. Although Telemedicine has been around for years, the recent COVID19 pandemic has taken Telemedicine from a rarely used mode of seeing your doctor to a necessity of social distancing. With Telemedicine, you have access to NEOSM’s team of orthopedic specialists from the comfort of your home.
What exactly is Telemedicine? And what can you expect from your virtual appointment? Here are some answers to commonly asked questions.
What is Telemedicine?
Telemedicine allows for patients to be evaluated, diagnosed and treated by a physician through video conference. By using this technology, Telemedicine allows access to care when an in-person visit is not the preferred option. This is very similar to common apps like FaceTime, but Telemedicine applications are typically HIPPA compliant and may have other features that assist in a patient visit, such as digital waiting rooms, ability to review xray/MRI images, integration with home blood pressure monitor, etc.
Why choose Telemedicine?
Several studies have shown that in many cases a Telemedicine visit is as good as an in-person visit. While there are some elements of a physical exam that cannot be done via video, many of the elements can still be performed. Under normal circumstances there are many benefits of Telemedicine to the patient including convenience, but during COVID19 the benefits are immense and critical to getting healthcare to the patients who need it most and who are at highest risk from COVID19.
Do I need special equipment or technology to use Telemedicine?
All that is required is a computer, tablet or smartphone with a camera and microphone enabled. No software is needed to be downloaded and you don’t need to create an account.
How do I make a Telemedicine appointment?
Call any one of our locations and our staff will schedule your virtual appointment.
I have made a Telemedicine appointment with NEOSM, what do I do next?
Prior to your appointment, NEOSM will email or text to you a ‘doxy.me’ link. At the time of your appointment, just click on the link. The first time you enter, you will be prompted to allow doxy.me access to your camera and microphone. After doing so, enter your FULL name to check-in. You’ll then enter the virtual waiting room and the doctor will be notified you have arrived. That’s it! As soon as the doctor is ready, they will start your visit.
Does insurance cover Telemedicine visits?
Telemedicine visits are covered by insurance as a regular doctor’s visit. Co-pays, referrals, etc. would apply as normal. Some insurance companies have waived copays during the Covid-19 pandemic for telemedicine visits. Please contact your carrier for more information.
What if an in-person visit is necessary?
If during your Telemedicine appointment the doctor determines that an in-person visit is necessary, we will have you schedule an appointment in one of our offices. Please note, NEOSM is taking many precautions to make sure our patients are as safe as possible when visiting our offices, like minimizing the number of patients in our waiting rooms and increased disinfecting of surfaces, to name a few.
If you have additional questions on Telemedicine or would like to schedule your appointment, please call our offices and we’d be happy to help!