Potential Benefits of Telehealth

Telehealth, sometimes referred to as telemedicine, allows patients to meet with healthcare providers either by a video call or a voice call. More providers have turned to this option in recent years as technology has advanced. For many patients, telehealth is a more convenient option than an in-person visit for many reasons.   

Care From Your Couch

With telehealth, you can see a healthcare provider without leaving your home. Taking advantage of this service means there’s no need for you to drive to a healthcare office or sit in a waiting room. You can see a healthcare professional while staying in the familiar environment of your own home. Whether your favorite spot is your recliner, your kitchen table, your front porch, or snuggled on your couch, you can arrange to take your telehealth call anywhere you can get service. For individuals who may have anxiety when they encounter medical offices or crowds, telehealth visits provide an option to see a healthcare provider without entering an environment that could trigger stress or a panic attack.

Less Exposure to Infectious Diseases 

Telehealth can be used to prescreen patients for possible infectious diseases. This could reduce the number of people gathering in the same location to receive treatment – like a waiting room. The less people gathered in one spot means less potential exposure to germs.

Possible Cost Reduction 

Doctor visits and therapy sessions can be expensive, and add up quickly. One of the benefits of telehealth visits is that they typically cost less than an in-person appointment. Check with your healthcare provider to see if a telehealth visit is less expensive with your current health plan than an in-person appointment.

Access to Care for People in Living Far from an Office

For those who live in less populated areas, seeing a healthcare provider could mean a lengthy commute. A telehealth visit could not only eliminate the commute, but may also mean that they can see a provider more quickly. If weather conditions such as icy roads or blizzards make travelling on roads unpredictable, a telehealth visit could be an alternative to having to cancel and reschedule an appointment.     

Keeping Family in the Circle  

You may have a family member who lives far away, but whom you would like to have included in discussions about your healthcare. With authorization from you, some telehealth providers are able to add this person to the call as well, so that family member can help you take note of what your healthcare provider is relating to you.

Providers Can Better Asses Your Environment 

One advantage of telehealth medicine is that providers can not only assess the signs and symptoms you are exhibiting, but they also can get a peek into your daily environment. For example, a physical therapist can recommend an exercise program you can practice at home based on the space and materials you have access to.

What Specialists Can See Patients via Telehealth?  

Thanks to the rise in use of technology, many medical specialists are now taking advantage of telehealth. These specialists include but are not limited to:

    • Dermatology
    • Psychiatry
    • Family Medicine
    • Geriatrics
    • Occupational Medicine
    • Infectious Diseases
    • Neurology

During the pandemic, many healthcare providers started using telehealth platforms. Since then, many offices have switched back to in person visits, but many still offer options for telehealth visits.

What Services are Possible with Telehealth?   

When you think of telehealth, you may think of having a video visit with your doctor, but there are other services that can also be done. You can check test results, and request prescription refills using telehealth. Telehealth can also be used to monitor elderly patients in their home to monitor how often they are taking medications. If you wear a device to monitor your health, such as a glucose monitoring system, a telehealth portal can record those readings and send them directly to your healthcare provider.  

Limitations of Telehealth  

One of the most obvious limitations of telehealth is the inability to do an in-person physical exam. This means that providers cannot listen to your breathing or check your blood pressure. There are some tests, such as bloodwork, that cannot be done using telehealth. There may be other examinations, tests, procedures, or reasons why your healthcare provider may need to see you for an in-person appointment.


What Do You Need for a Telehealth Visit? 

In order to participate in a telehealth visit with a healthcare provider, you will need access to a computer or other electronic device that has a camera and a microphone. It is likely you will need an e-mail address as well to set up the appointment. Healthcare offices vary, so it is best to ask questions before setting up your appointment on what other requirements there may be.

Insurance Coverage for Telehealth Visits  

Most health insurance carriers offer some coverage for telehealth services, however, options vary depending on what specific plan you choose. Coverage can also vary depending on what state you receive services in. Check your health plan to see what telehealth options may be available.


This article is for general informational purposes only and is not to be relied upon or used for any particular purpose. Cross Insurance shall not be held responsible in any way for, and specifically disclaims any liability arising out of or in any way connected to, reliance on or use of any of the information contained in this article. The information contained or referenced in this article is not intended to constitute and should not be considered legal, insurance, accounting or other professional advice, nor shall it serve as a substitute for the recipient obtaining such advice. The views expressed in this article are that of its author and do not necessarily represent the views of Cross Financial Corp. and its subsidiaries and affiliates (“Cross Insurance”) or Cross Insurance’s management or shareholders.


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