The demand for telehealth services has skyrocketed in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Still, an increase in consumer demand over the past several years can guarantee that telehealth options are here to stay.
Public health officials are encouraging consumers to utilize contact-less telehealth services to stay safe and slow the spread of COVID-19. Not only does this form of healthcare keep the user safe from germs, but it also can help give doctors quick access to patients who need care urgently, but may be located in other parts of the country. While there is a lot to understand when it comes to telehealth services, here are the things we consider to be the most important:
How are people responding to telehealth services?
According to a survey from Accenture, 74% of those surveyed were happy with their telehealth experience. About 75% of people said they would use telehealth services to access healthcare after hours. Two-thirds said they would use this service for follow-up appointments rather than seeing a healthcare professional in person.
So, how does telehealth work?
Email, video conferencing, and video chat services are used to receive care from the comfort of your own home. The healthcare professionals responding to consumers either respond in real-time or giving consumers a place to find their answer.
The costs associated with telehealth services are dependant on the insurance plan coverage. Programs like Medicare cover telehealth services. Consumers can also pay out-of-pocket for their telehealth services. These services can cost anywhere from $50 to $80, or a potential annual membership fee.
As far as security goes, patient privacy is protected if the providers are operating in good faith. But if these services use avenues, like Zoom or Skype, the security may be a little riskier. At SBMA, we offer 24/7 access to doctors with no cost to you, as well as behavioral health services with a $50 copay.
Telehealth services also give doctors the ability to send in a prescription to a pharmacy. Our telehealth services cover generic physical and behavioral prescriptions with a $10 or $25 copay.
While telehealth services cannot diagnose or treat coronavirus, they can offer quarantine and self-care tips to implement while you are home. If you are unsure whether or not to go to the hospital, you can use telehealth services to help decide whether or not you need to.
For more information on telehealth services and how you can offer them or receive them, contact us!