We providers are scared. And we know you are, too.
Until we have a vaccine against this virus, none of us can sleep well at night.
That being said, I have been busy transitioning from seeing patients in our clinic to now doing telemedicine.
Our number of visits have dropped from 140+ to less than 30 these days.
Most patients want to be swabbed for coronavirus so they are calling us and then sent to a tent to drive through.
But now the phones are ringing off the hook.
The very things that we saw in the clinic, we are now doing by telemedicine.
Medicine as we know it will be changed forever.
But the change is both professional and personal…
As I see patients over video, I am miserably missing the personal connection.
The touch, the smile, the way my patients move, what great book they were reading while waiting for me. What they are wearing…is it nice outside, I would ask…is the sun shining?
I’m cooped up in a clinic with no windows.
And now as I sit in a cubicle all day and not move, seeing patient after patient by video, I feel my hips getting larger (can that be??) and my neck getting stiffer, and my smile dwindling. I long for the personal touch.
But this is not temporary…
You are embracing telehealth. It is here to stay.
As 9/11 changed the way we travel through airports, COVID-19 will change the way we do medicine.
But it is for the best. I say, “Good for you!”…
When you have a doctor’s appointment at 10, why should you have to wait until 11 to be seen for 5 minutes?
When you know it’s a urinary tract infection, why not call to get an antibiotic? If worse, then come in and be seen.
Just think!! You won’t have to be weighed anymore. Will you miss this?
Why did we make you come in? It’s all about the money…
Years ago, before insurance companies, your physician made house calls, saw you in the hospital, called in prescriptions for you…
they didn’t send you a bill for every service. They knew you and your family. They were there to treat you, keep you healthy.
Up to a month ago, medical health care facilities were only paid if they saw patients in the office. There was no way to otherwise get paid from your insurance company.
COVID-19 has changed all that. Medicare is offering to pay for telehealth services. We are muddling through the rules and regulations now. We expect other insurances will follow suit.
They will not pay as much as the office visit but…
medicine as we know it will give you and your doctor a choice, like in the old days.
So, add telehealth to your arsenal of “Access to healthcare”…
There are only 2 steps:
1) Call your primary care physician to see how they are going to integrate telemedicine into your care.
2) If your Physician can’t see you on a day you need to be seen, find out which telehealth companies your insurance is willing to reimburse on your behalf. Let them know you want telehealth to stay on as an option.
Log in and set these up…now…
Otherwise, if they remove telemedicine from your list of reimbursements, I’m afraid you’re gonna get stuck in our waiting rooms again…and yes, we WILL weigh you.
Some things you just can’t change…