WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN CHOOSING A TELEHEALTH COMPANY?
Picking a Telemedicine Company
Picking a telemedicine company is an important choice you must make for the benefit of your entire family. There are times in life when you need to seek medical care, but the ailment or injury is so minor that you can’t justify taking time off of work or spending your hard-earned money to attend an in-person doctor’s appointment. This is why telemedicine is becoming such a popular healthcare option.
When you search the web, it seems like there’s a telemedicine company popping up on every virtual corner. This can leave some families overwhelmed by all the options. Here are some friendly tips on choosing a telemedicine company for your family.
Key Factors When Choosing a Telemedicine Service
Affordability of Telemedicine
One key factor for most families is the affordability of the telehealth company. You want to get the most bang for your buck without sacrificing the quality of care that you deserve. Remember to weigh the subscription cost against the overall value that you receive. The lowest subscription rates don’t always translate to the most overall value. Here are some pointers for determining the value of the telemedicine solution you are considering.
- Cost Per Visit: Some telehealth companies require a consultation fee. With others there is no consultation fee; the cost of a doctor visit is built into a convenient fee.
- Membership Programs: Determine whether the company offers a pay-as-you-go or a la carte visits or membership programs. A la carte companies are attractive to those who rarely visit a doctor. However, those who need a telehealth doctor for their family find membership programs a better value as it allows them to stay within a medical care budget.
- Research the Fee Structure: To be clear, pay as you go telehealth companies will always have a consultation fee. However, it gets a little trickier when you’re looking at membership programs. You will find that in addition to charging you a membership fee, some telehealth services will also charge you a consultation fee. Fortunately, there are services that offer one affordable fee with zero consultation fees. Choose one of the latter companies so that you can predict your telehealth costs.
Your Doctor Sessions
Your online doctor cares about your well-being and strives to deliver quality care. Here are some tips for checking into information about your doctor sessions.
- Check on the Time Limit: Telemedicine care session time allotments will vary from one company to the next. The average telemedicine care session is 20 minutes or less . However, you want to ensure that you are choosing a telemedicine company that does not charge you extra if you exceed a certain number of minutes. Their goal should be your wellness, not the number of minutes billed.
- Determine the Value to Your Family: In terms of value, you’ll likely find that telemedicine companies offering multiple care sessions for a membership fee will deliver the most value. This holds true both in terms of quality of care received and the value of the peace of mind it offers you.
- 24/7 Care: Choose a service that provides you with 24/7 care every day of the year. Convenient access to medical care should be one of the perks. You can’t predict when your child will wake up with an acute ear infection or you have a minor accident. Accept no less for your family than round the clock access to medical professionals.
- Your Insurance Plan: Find out if your insurance plan covers telehealth visits and if the service you’re considering accepts your plan. It must be a two-way street. However, some patients choose a telehealth membership to supplement their insurance, so they can skip the hassle of filing insurance claims altogether.
Telehealth Options is not an insurance plan and we are not an insurance company. You cannot substitute our program for an insurance plan.
The doctors you’ll find with reputable telemedicine services are U.S. Board Certified Physicians who can write prescriptions. Here are some further points about prescriptions issued during a telehealth appointment.
- 30-day Supplies: Because most telehealth appointments will be for minor illness, the doctors generally write prescriptions for 30 days or less. Any illness that extends more than 30 days or becomes chronic deems a visit to your regular physician.
- Excluded Medications: Telehealth doctors can’t prescribe DEA controlled medications. Examples of excluded prescriptions include opiate painkillers, medical marijuana, suboxone, or stimulants.
- Electronic Prescriptions: Your doctor might be online, but you can still choose your local neighborhood pharmacy. Your telehealth doctor will issue the prescription electronically via tablet or computer as he closes out your session. Your prescription will be available as easily as if you had dropped it off in person.
Accessibility of Care
You should be able to access a telehealth care provider within minutes. Choose a company that allows you to access the doctor in a variety of ways for the ultimate in convenience. A few options that should be made available are as follows:
- Smartphone app
- Landline calls
- Secured Email / Secured Messaging
Types of Treatment Available
Check out the types of treatment available to members of the telemedicine services. Just as all in-person doctors vary in specialties, the same holds true for telemedicine doctors.
- Medical Concerns: Each telemedicine company will vary in offerings from acute care to emergency care with physicians to treat a myriad of ailments. Know what scope of treatment is offered, including if they offer various specialty areas like dental emergency treatment such as toothaches, or dermatology.
- Psychological Concerns: Some telehealth services offer psychological care and crisis management. Find out if this is true of the company that you are choosing. Telehealth counselors available 24/7 can mean the difference between life and death.
Choosing a telemedicine company can be overwhelming due to the wide range of services available today. Make sure that you are reading the fine print and picking the best telehealth company for your family’s medical needs and budget. Got more questions? We are here to help guide you. Call us at 855.753.9573. We will be glad to answer any questions about telemedicine or help you sign up for Telehealth Options.