Telemedicine is when technology is used to deliver care at a distance. A physician or some other healthcare provider is in a different location than the patient, delivering care virtually, over video or phone.
Since the spread of the Covid-19 virus in 2020 telehealth and telemedicine coverage has been expanded, which was previously covered only in a limited fashion. Therefore, there has been a large increase in Medicare recipients seeing physicians using telemedicine. Many types of visits in most specialties can be handled through a virtual or telemedicine visit. This is especially important for the Medicare population, since it is mitigating their risk by not going to an office with exposure to others. In some circumstances it may still be necessary to do an in-person visit, for example to get an x-ray exam, get labs done or have a procedure done. Here are five helpful tips to help you best prepare for a Medicare telemedicine appointment.
Well… not quite; but it may not be what you think.
I’m not here to make the case about the importance of good oral health, the impacts of poor oral health on overall health and chronic disease, the potential to lower health care costs and our countless opportunities to integrate oral health into health care services. Rather I ask that you join me to learn just a bit more about what teledentistry is and how it can be used to expand access, provide education and elevate team-based care.
Utah has a population of over 3 million people spread across 82,144 square miles. Rural communities make up a little more than 10% of Utah's population. The details of Utah’s population raise a challenging question for healthcare: How to provide quality and timely care to the 10% of the population living in rural communities?
At Intermountain Healthcare, telehealth is a crucial part of our solution.
The Intermountain telehealth journey began when clinical leadership recognized that Park City Hospital was transferring many critically ill patients to Salt Lake City. The distance is not far, but potentially unnecessary transfers were taking place on mountain roads, during bad weather conditions typical of high-elevation, mountainous regions.
Snow birds. Not the kind that fly (certainly not now with COVID) but the human kind. For those of you who never heard the term before, snow birds are typically retirees who travel south in the winter to states like Arizona, New Mexico and Florida to get away from the snow and cold up north than go back up north in the summer when the heat hits the south. What does this have to do with telemedicine? A lot actually and not just with snow birds. We are a mobile population. People don’t stay in one place their entire lives anymore – we move around, we travel but when we move from one place to another we don’t get to leave our health conditions behind us. They stay with us and sometimes we just get sick when we travel. Being creatures of habit, however, most people like to have consistency in their health providers. We like to think that our PCP and specialists that we see know us and our problems, that we have a relationship. Back to the snow birds – if my cardiologist lives in Chicago and I see her during the summer I want to see her during the winter as well when I’m relaxing by the pool in Tucson staying warm. Problem is she’s back in Chicago shoveling snow so how can I see her? Telemedicine of course but it’s not that easy.
Do you know what it is? Probably not if you’re not “in” primary care. You may know the patient side of empanelment, though. If you have a primary care provider (PCP), it usually means you have been empaneled to that provider.
Empanelment is a foundational component of primary care and is essential in population health management. In 2019, the People-Centered Integrated Care collaborative, participants from 10 countries developed an overview of empanelment and a comprehensive definition:
Southwest Telehealth Resource Center • University of Arizona Health Sciences • P.O. Box 245105 • Tucson, AZ 85724-5105
This website was made possible by grant number G22RH30360 from the Office for the Advancement of Telehealth, Health Resources and Services Administration, DHHS