The COVID-19 pandemic has brought unprecedented changes to every aspect of our lives. One area that is seeing dramatic changes is the healthcare industry. Hospitals have become trauma centers, and doctor’s offices have been overrun with patients experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. Many people are avoiding these areas for fear of contracting the virus. This has made telemedicine a growing trend across the country. In this article, we discuss the benefits of telemedicine, conditions that can (and cannot) be treated via telemedicine, and telemedicine and long term disability claims.
Benefits of Telemedicine
Telemedicine has many benefits that are making the lives of patients more convenient. To see a doctor virtually, you need internet access and a web camera. You can see a doctor through your computer, tablet, or smartphone from the comfort of your couch. Co-pays are paid through the apps, and you don’t even have to put your shoes on while you wait in the virtual waiting room. Another benefit is that you won’t have to sit around at the pharmacy to get your prescriptions filled. Your prescription will be sent directly to the pharmacy and you pick it up at your convenience.
What is Treatable Through a Virtual Office Visit?
Virtual office visits can treat all sorts of conditions, such as:
- Infections like pink eye, fungal rashes, and contact dermatitis;
- Minor muscle injuries;
- Urinary Tract Infections;
- Chronic conditions that require medications like high blood pressure, asthma, and COPD;
- Coronavirus test order; and
- Behavioral health disorders like anxiety and depression.
What Is Not Treatable Through A Virtual Office Visit?
Some conditions cannot be treated through virtual office visits. Things like:
- Ear infections;
- Broken bones;
- Strep throat; and
- Life-threatening illnesses.
Virtual Office Visit Tips
- Find A Distraction-Free Environment
Just like in a regular office visit, you will need to be able to speak with your doctor without being distracted. This can be very difficult during the quarantine. Try to think ahead and plan your visit during your kid’s nap time or go in a room without your pets so you and the doctor can concentrate on your health concerns.
- Good Lighting
Doctors conducting a virtual examination may ask you to help them perform some basic things to help them diagnose your condition. For example: Opening your eyelid for a pink eye exam or bringing the camera close to exam a rash. In order for them to see it, you need to be in a well-lit room if possible. Even outside in the daylight if necessary.
Telemedicine and Disability Claims
While the world is struggling to deal with the changes in the workplace due to social distancing orders, disability insurance companies are still requiring the same information from claimants when they file their disability claims. What does this mean for you? You still have timelines that must be met to file your disability claim.
Finding a way to see the doctors treating your disability is critical. Luckily, most doctor’s offices are seeing the benefits of telemedicine and encouraging patients to use it. Many offices are giving patients detailed instructions, and the staff members have patience with you to help you get online with them. Your doctor can order lab work, x-rays, or MRI’s online so you won’t have to make multiple trips to the doctor’s office. If you do have to go into the office, it will most likely be for an exam that just cannot be done online. Most patients are asked to wait in the car to decrease your possible exposure to COVID-19.
Will Virtual Office Visits Be The New Normal?
So the question regarding telemedicine- is it the new normal? Telemedicine and virtual office visits are only growing by the day. More people realize how this technology can keep them safe, and it’s a lot more convenient than traditional office visits for minor illnesses. After this pandemic, regular office visits will probably begin to trend up again, but telemedicine will stay there.
Consult a Disability Attorney
With executive orders from the white house and state governments changing by the day, it makes it very difficult for claimants to keep up with the demands of their claims, but a long-term disability attorney can help. The experienced legal team at Ortiz Law Firm is working around the clock to monitor the legal issues and insurance company guidance to make sure that claimants are getting a fair claim review. We offer a free consultation, with no obligation to use our services. You can ask any questions you want, and we will review your claim to see where we can help you. Give us a call at (888) 321- 8131.