The healthcare landscape is changing.  In an effort to slow cost increases and improve the care that we receive, the industry continues to innovate.  Urgent care centers are a good example – they have sprung up throughout our community as a way for us to receive care without notice, from a doctor, at a lower cost/hassle than the emergency room.

As an extension of this concept, telemedicine is becoming increasingly popular.  So what is telemedicine?  The definition from the American Telemedicine Association is:  “Formally defined, telemedicine is the use of medical information exchanged from one site to another via electronic communications to improve a patient’s clinical health status. Telemedicine includes a growing variety of applications and services using two-way video, email, smart phones, wireless tools and other forms of telecommunications technology.”  The full text can be found here.

Obviously, telemedicine isn’t appropriate for all medical needs.  If you are having an urgent episode of care, telemedicine doesn’t make any sense at all.  But a lot of the time, we seek care for non-urgent problems.  Telemedicine can be a good solution.  In fact, the trend for health insurance is to offer a discounted co-pay to receive telemedicine care.  Here are some sample uses for telemedicine:

  • Dermatology – submit a picture of the symptoms and receive a treatment, complete with prescription, from a dermatologist.
  • Minor illness – for a simple cold, sinus infection etc. some telemedicine services will treat remotely.
  • At home triage – quick consultation to determine the best modality for care

These are just a couple examples.  An in-depth look at dermatology telemedicine can be found here.

If you have questions about health insurance, please give us a call at 800.303.6329 or use our form.

This blog is intended to be educational in nature.  It is not advice and should not be interpreted as such.  If you’re interested in discussing options for insurance coverage in PA or MD, we are happy to provide our expertise.  This blog is not intended to be, nor should it be interpreted to be, medical advice.  Webb Insurance does not offer medical advice – we aren’t doctors and we don’t pretend to be.