5 Ways Telemedicine Will Make Your Life Better in 2020

Mar 23

5 Ways Telemedicine Will Make Your Life Better in 2020

Telemedicine is coming—in fact, it’s already here. Tens of thousands of providers around the country are integrating telemedicine services into their practices and prioritizing this in-demand service.

Telemedicine is essentially a consultation with a medical care provider over your computer or smartphone where they can diagnose your condition and write you a prescription.

There are a few simple reasons why telemedicine is suddenly on the tip of everyone’s tongue in the medical industry: technology and the medical industry have finally evolved to a point where an online appointment through your smartphone or computer is both possible from a technological standpoint and acceptable in the medical community.

Now that this technology is widespread and poised to become one of the most common ways Americans access healthcare in 2020, here are 5 ways telemedicine is going to make your life better.

1—Avoid Those Long Waits at Doctor’s Offices

Healthcare is notorious for having long waits, especially for specialty providers, and what can be most frustrating is when you’ve spent an hour or two in a waiting room just to get in to see the doctor, wait another 20 minutes, and then talk to them for 10 minutes, only to find out you probably didn’t need to be there in the first place.

Have you ever misdiagnosed yourself and thought you were having a medical issue that was much worse than what the doctor diagnosed? Have you ever been frustrated that you spent the time and money to go see a doctor for, say, pain in your side that you thought was a kidney stone, only to find out it was bad indigestion?

Telemedicine allows you to save a great deal of time by avoiding the wait at the doctor’s office completely. While of course there is still a waiting period of some sort—you have to call to schedule an appointment—that time waiting is spent in the comfort of your own home (and doesn’t require you to drive to the doctor’s office).

2—Stay Home During Flu Season (and Avoid All the Sick People at Your Doctor’s Office)

One of the biggest challenges in healthcare today is this: when patients who are otherwise healthy visit a doctor’s office or hospital for care, they sometimes go home worse than before, having contracted the flu or another illness from another sick patient.

When there’s an outbreak of the flu or other illnesses (take for example the current spread of COVID-19, also known as coronavirus), it’s often better to stay home than risk going to a doctor’s office and getting infected.

However, that’s not always possible, especially if you have a chronic illness that has gotten out of hand or if you have a medical emergency.

But what about the times when you’re not sure if you have an emergency or not? Take the example listed earlier—the patient believes they have a kidney stone, but they’re not sure.

Do they really need to go to the emergency room and risk getting the flu? A simple telemedicine appointment that diagnoses the “kidney stone” as bad indigestion could save that patient not just time, but also keep them from getting the flu (or worse).

3—Access Providers Quickly

Telemedicine appointments are fast for a number of reasons. First, unlike in-person medical visits where you, the patient, are in charge of finding a provider, telemedicine services often connect you first to a care coordinator who assesses your symptoms and then makes an appointment for you based on available providers.

What this means is that you don’t just call the first provider you find listed on your insurance website and then end up accepting an appointment a week or two down the road, never knowing that there was another provider available in a day or two (if only you had called). The care coordinator gets you an appointment as soon as possible based on your needs.

The appointments themselves are also fast. You’re not stuck in a waiting room or a cold exam room waiting for the doctor to show up. You simply call in at the appointed time and have your appointment right then and there.

And because telemedicine is available 24/7, you’re much more likely to speak to a provider quickly if you’re able to schedule your appointment during off hours. Unlike doctor’s offices, which close around 5pm in most cases, you can schedule an appointment any time of the day or night.

4—Access Providers 24/7/365

Doctor’s offices simply can’t stay open 24/7. The cost of keeping staff in an office and keeping the lights on and equipment running when only a few patients might come in for an appointment is prohibitive. It’s one of the main reasons you pay so much to go to the emergency room.

Telemedicine changes that dynamic. You’re able to schedule an appointment that fits your schedule. For shift workers or people who work long hours during the day and during the week (which is most of America), this is a huge benefit.

You won’t have to take off work just to schedule a single doctor’s appointment. In fact, many telemedicine patients are able to schedule telemedicine appointments during their lunch breaks—and still have time to eat their lunch.

For shift workers, the benefit of being able to schedule a doctor’s appointment late at night when they’re normally awake is huge. Even being able to schedule a telemedicine appointment over the weekend when you’re not working can have a significant impact on your health as you’re going to be more likely to access services and not put them off because of time constraints.

5—Save Money

While there are still plenty of cases where you’ll need to see a provider in person, for the vast majority of patients, an in-person visit isn’t necessary most of the time, but you still have to pay the in-person price when you go to your provider.

Telemedicine is often much more affordable than an in-person visit. If you know that you simply have the flu or a cold and want something to deal with the symptoms, you probably don’t need to see a doctor in person.

Telemedicine allows you to get the prescriptions you need and get back to your life without paying a large copay (or going into a doctor’s office and exposing other patients to your illness).

Learn More About AmeriPlan’s Telemedicine Services

Access telemedicine services today. Click to learn more about how telemedicine works for our members and how much you can save.

Contact your Benefit Consultant to get signed up for #TeleMedicine today!

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