Could a phone call change your claims?
Telemedicine is the next buzz word in the health care industry. What is Telemedicine you ask? It is a new service that carriers are offering that offers clinical health care via telecommunications. Mobile phones and computers can now help with simple medical services. More and more insurance carriers are offering this service to their members hoping to reduce the number of visits to the ER, Urgent Care Clinics, and some PCP visits. Although this service will not replace these types of visits, it is a great option for minor complaints such as cold, flu, allergies, ear infection, skin irritations, etc.
Picture this, you daughter comes home from school with a rash and slight fever. It is now 4:30 in the afternoon and you don’t want to wait until tomorrow to see the pediatrician so you set up a virtual visit with the Telemedicine vendor offered through your insurance plan. It requires you to register your insurance information, pharmacy information, symptoms, and the best time for a call back. These visits can be done on your phone or device through an app, or virtually on your computer. If the physician feels that a prescription is needed they will send the information to the pharmacy of your choice. Now, wasn’t that easier than going to the pediatrician’s office and taking time off work? The copay for virtual visits varies depending on the carrier and the plan, but the majority of copays are in the $40 range.
Currently telemedicine is a growing industry. I am hearing utilization rates of only 1.5-3.5% but this can increase with promotion. The major players in this industry are Teladoc, Doctor on Demand, and MDLive. Not sure if your carrier offers this service? Please contact me for more details and I will be happy to assist you.