Insurance data reports are revealing a trend: Patients are forgoing traditional in-person office visits to get health care over the Internet or phone, often from providers miles away.
That’s called telehealth. Agents should understand what telehealth is, why patients use it, and how to advise clients about getting it covered.
1. What’s Telehealth?
Telehealth isn’t a particular service—it’s a means of delivering services virtually, over the Internet or by phone.
Many services can be provided this way, including clinical diagnosis, monitoring, management and education.
Telehealth can be a doctor confirming a diagnosis with a specialist over video chat, or a nurse checking a homebound patient’s vitals through electronic monitoring.
2. Why Telehealth?
Patients may live in underserved areas, have difficulty leaving their homes or prefer the convenience of not traveling for care.
A provider, such as a hospital, might want to treat frail patients through telehealth at home.