Telemedicine Benefits for Patients Before and After COVID-19

Telemedicine, or the virtual delivery of urgent care through internet-connected devices, can help patients maintain social distancing and get immediate care. As COVID-19 continues to hamper access to care for millions, telemedicine continues to serve as a valuable gateway to healthcare for many.

Instant Urgent Care’s telemedicine access to help patients find accessible and affordable urgent care services, even while everyone is staying at home.  But as patients slowly return to their normal work schedules and activities, it may be worth asking if telemedicine will continue to be useful. 

The flexibility and accessibility of telemedicine provides a unique opportunity for patients to get almost immediate consultation and treatment for minor services. Even for the most basic or minor ailments, patients may no longer want or need to go into a doctors office for care. Rather, a telemedicine visit may just be what the busiest and most schedule-tight of patients need to get care moving forward.

So what are some of the benefits for patients when it comes to using telemedicine? Why would patients continue to use virtual urgent care services when states and businesses begin to reopen? 

Easily accessible care via telemedicine

Telemedicine is extremely easy for many patients to set up. All they need is an internet connection and an internet-connected device to get care from a provider. 

Using a desktop computer, tablet, or smartphone allows a patient to book an online appointment, speak with medical staff, and get virtual treatment from their provider. A growing number of providers can accept insurance coverage for telemedicine, which means that most patients with insurance are likely to have telemedicine benefits in their insurance package.

Contemporary challenges for getting medical care are also addressed by using telehealth and similar telemedicine platforms. Patients no longer have to plan extra time to commute to their doctor, schedule a medical appointment days in advance, or worry about waiting room crowding. A patent just needs to get care online through our user portal.

Telmedicine is likely covered by your insurance carrier

As we mentioned above, a number of federal restrictions for telemedicine are loosened for urgent care centers to provide telemedicine care. The majority of insurance carriers in the state of California, and the United States,

Before telemedicine regulations opened, many providers had to go through several steps in order to negotiate telemedicine billing with insurance companies. Only a select few medical providers had the infrastructure and financial agreements in place to bill insurance companies. Besides large hospital systems, many local providers did not have the ability to provide affordable telemedicine care. 

Now, providers can bill most major insurance providers to cover a majority of telemedicine visits including follow-up care for acute illness symptoms. But as with any medical service, it is important that you make sure you consult your insurance provider and health plan benefits to see if telemedicine is covered for your visit.  

Minor acute illness treatment via telemedicine

Patients have a variety of on-demand apps and services for many of their needs. These services and apps include the ability to order meals, supplies, groceries, retail items, and even more from the palm of their hand. With telemedicine, that same type of convenience and accessibility is available for patients for urgent care services

Why drive down to a clinic and wait for care when you can get treatment for a variety of needs from your phone? Not only is telemedicine easy to use, but it can help patients get treated for seasonal and sudden ailments that impact their work life, education, and daily activities.

Seasonal illness symptoms and minor rashes are more efficient, affordable, and flexible when completed via telemedicine. Any minor urgent care need that doesn’t require physical triage should be completed via telemedicine.

It is important however, to know that telemedicine has some limitations for patients. In-person care is required for suturing, injury treatment, x-rays, and lab testing just to name a few services. If you are experiencing a medical emergency,  please call emergency services right away.

A return to a normal community, workplace, and living situation may not be a fluid transition for a lot of patients that are still worried about current cases, vulnerabilities, and other COVID-19 risks. But the continued use of telemedicine ensures that most patients can get the care they need right away.