New technologies help families afford medical care
These days, smart phones, tablets and computers can do more than connect us with long-lost friends or clarify the details of a grocery list as our spouse wanders the supermarket aisle. Families increasingly are turning to these technologies for safe, fast and affordable ways to get a diagnosis and treatment plan for non-emergency conditions.
The trend has been dubbed telehealth, and is allowing families to conveniently and affordably access quality health care through video conversations with board-certified physicians.
What many people don’t realize is that one answer to convenience in health care lies right in their pockets or purses — or on the top of their desks.
Here are just a few reasons why families increasingly are turning to telehealth services.
• Access anywhere, anytime: How many times has your child woken up in the dead of night with signs of an ear infection but the pediatrician’s office was closed? How often have you gotten sunburned on vacation and wanted medical advice but didn’t know who to call in the area?
With telehealth apps like LiveHealth Online, getting hold of a doctor is now easier than ever. In fact, you can connect with U.S.-based, board certified doctors within minutes by two-way video chat. Available 24/7, 365 days a year wherever telehealth is allowed in the U.S., it’s as easy as downloading an app on your phone or tablet.
• The power of choice: We pick our friends, we pick our hairdressers — and most of us want to pick our doctors from the choices available to us. Telehealth services let you review the background and patient ratings of doctors where you are so you can select the one that most suits your needs.
Doctors are there to handle acute conditions, exacerbations of chronic conditions, triage, refills and general advice. They can review a patient’s personal history with them, answer questions, diagnose and treat. Also, if medically appropriate and allowed by the state, doctors can send prescriptions directly to a nearby pharmacy.
• Save time and money: Americans are constantly trying to balance busy schedules and are looking for quick, affordable solutions to help manage it all. Telehealth lets you skip long lines at the doctor’s office and call from the comfort and convenience of your own home, with consultations typically lasting just ten minutes. No more worry about picking up additional germs as you sit in the waiting room.
Telehealth is a cost-effective alternative to urgent care or retail clinics and may even be covered with your health plan — so you pay less. For example, members of select Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans can use the LiveHealth Online app for covered consultations, generally at the same out-of-pocket cost they would pay for a primary care visit, and claims reimbursement is automatically filed.
To learn more about LiveHealth Online, visit http://www.livehealthonline.com. You can register by downloading the app from iTunes or Google Play store and signing-up in one quick step.
Smart health care consumers increasingly are accessing new telehealth services in their quests for affordable and convenient quality medical care.