Although telehealth/e-visits were legitimate options prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, most patients and professionals opted for in-person meetings. Since March 2020, the prevalence of telehealth appointments has skyrocketed, and in some places, it is the only option to get care from a medical professional. With this widespread adoption of a completely different way of seeing patients, although challenges have occurred, many medical professionals have noted pointed benefits to this adjustment.
Easier to attend
For some patients, it can be an impossible task to take time off work for a medical appointment. Similarly, for other patients, they do not have the ability to travel to an appointment or would have to plan far in advance to be able to secure transportation to a medical appointment. Having the ease of connecting via phone call or video entirely removes the stress and impossibility of having to coordinate a large chunk of time off work or a particular method of travel to attend the appointment. This not only benefits patients, but benefits medical professionals, too, who now are able to see more patients and care for patients who are normally unable to attend medical appointments.
Good Germ Safety
The unfortunate reality of having in-person medical appointments is that medical professionals can and often do acquire illness from the patient(s) they are treating. Having a patient attend a medical appointment via phone or video to diagnose their illness is a safer experience overall. The patient does not have to leave the comfort of their home and spread the illness, and the medical professional can safely treat from afar.
The cost of telehealth appointments is generally lower. This is due to a variety of factors, including the eliminated cost of travel, including gas and parking, but also because some health insurances charge less for telehealth appointments. This means that the patient is more likely to be able to afford the appointment, which certainly encourages more types of people to schedule a medical appointment when they need one.
As conditions in the pandemic change, there will likely be a time where telehealth appointments revert to less common usage as it was before; until then, it’s useful to appreciate the newfound benefits of these types of appointments.
Williams & Nickl has represented many physicians who face issues with IDFPR. If you find yourself in such a situation, Williams & Nickl can provide the help you need.