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Telemedicine Facts

Written by S.O.

Posted on September 16, 2015 at 10:42 pm

Perhaps you have heard of telemedicine recently? It is the delivery of health care using the technology of telecommunications. These telecommunications can be done via wireless, the internet, telephone, tablet computer, or satellite.

Telemedicine is becoming more and more prevelent, as it is growing rapidly. Right now, there are over 200 telemedicine networks in the United States, with over 3,500 service sites. There are over a million Americans that are making use of cardiac monitors, and The Verteran’s Administration delivered 300,000 telemedicine remote consultations in the year 2011.

Right now, over one-half of the hospitals in this country are actively using some form of telemedicine. Around the world, the popularity of telemedicine is also on the upswing. Millions of people use telemedicine to keep track of their vital signs, in order to reduce the number of visits to emergency rooms and hospitals. There are even health and wellness apps that can be downloaded to a smartphone.

Is Telemedicine Safe?

When used in accordance with clinical practice guidelines, and technical standards, telemedicine is safe and has the backing of several decades of research. It is a proven cost-effective way to deliver health care. The ATA even has a series of standards and best practices to ensure responsible use by healthcare providers.

Where Can A Patient Get Access to Telemedicine Services?

If you feel you could benefit from telemedicine, talk with your primary care physician, your local hospital, or insurance company. It is very possible there are already telemedicine services with existing home health monitoring programs available. There are also private companies where you can purchase telemedicine services that include 24/7 access to a doctor. Remote monitoring services, medical adherence, and online wellness apps are other services they may be able to provide you with.

Do Private Insurance Plans Cover Telemedicine?

There are currently 24 states, along with the District of Columbia, that require private insurance companies to include telemedicine as part of their services. There are also many other insurance companies that offer some form of telemedicine services. Many more are expanding their services every year to include more telemedicine. Ask the benefits manager of your insurance company to find out what is available to you.

If you are on medicare or medicade, most plan cover some sort of telem service. As far as Medicade, states can vary greatly in what they cover. To find out what is available in your state, click here for more information.

Tags: telemedicine

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