Telemedicine, as defined by the American Telemedicine Association is the use of medical information exchanged from one site to another via electronic communications to improve a patient’s clinical health status. A telemedicine visit can be conducted through multiple channels, including two-way video conference, e-mail, telephone, and other forms of telecommunications.
Services provided through telemedicine are generally no different than those provided on-site and, often no separate coding is required for billing of remote services. By eliminating the necessity for a physical visit to get medical advice or treatment, patients can access a healthcare professional without the wait time and money.
Advantages of Telemedicine
Because of a growing need for access to health care providers, a wide range of health services are now managed with Telemedicine. The most common telemedicine services that are available include:
- Mental and behavioral health
- Primary and urgent care
- Chronic disease management
- Prevention and wellness
The availability of telemedicine is of immense value in the follow-up of patients with chronic diseases such as diabetes, high cholesterol, or high blood pressure. Such patients have no immediate medical problem, but require help with dosage adjustments, lifestyle regimens, prescription refills, or even just access to group support.