The COVID-19 pandemic has led to unprecedented changes across all industries. While it’s still unclear what our ‘new normal’ will look like in light of the coronavirus crisis, we do understand the need to reduce in-person visits to medical providers whenever possible. Not only can this cut the risk of contracting and transmitting COVID-19, but it’s also a far more time-saving way to manage your health while protecting yourself and others.
Preventing the Spread of Covid-19 with Telemedicine
People who are 65 years old or older, are immunocompromised or have underlying medical conditions, such as hypertension, kidney or liver disease, lung disease, asthma, severe heart conditions, diabetes or obesity are particularly at high risk for experiencing complications from COVID-19. These individuals already have a weakened immune system, leaving them less equipped to fight off a virus if they catch it. And yet, it’s these people that may need to see their doctors the most right now. From discussing any complications they are experiencing from their condition to getting a prescription filled, telemedicine allows these patients to receive the care they need without the added risk of being exposed to the virus.
Telemedicine doesn’t just protect the health of those with existing medical conditions, but those who are relatively healthy as well. By providing more patients access to medical care from home, SLMA is better able to minimize the traffic in our offices, and in turn, the risk of spread to our patients and our doctors working the frontlines. When you consider the amount of asymptomatic individuals who could be carrying the virus without even knowing it, it becomes incredibly clear how important it is to utilize telemedicine during this time. “We can now better serve you by eliminating any anxiety you may have of entering the doctor’s office, while still connecting you with your trusted providers to receive the quality care you need from a distance,” says Dr. Danielle Angeron.
Telemedicine & COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to many medical providers rapidly adopting telemedicine services to reduce all patients’ risks. And, lucky for patients, the government has moved quickly to help action the trend. On March 6, 2020, the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act was signed into law. This act gave the HHS the authority to temporarily waive some Medicare requirements for telehealth services, allowing more people to have this option. And on March 17, 2020, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that Medicare would cover telemedicine for routine follow-up visits.
What To Expect During A Virtual Visit
A telemedicine visit is very similar to a regular visit at the doctor’s office. Once you call a participating SLMA telemedicine provider to schedule an appointment, you will be provided with a time slot for your virtual consultation and a link to a HIPAA secure video call with your doctor. The doctor will have your medical chart ready and will walk you through describing your symptoms, taking your own temperature, or any other criteria needed to properly assess your health condition.
At South Louisiana Medical Associates, we are proud to offer Primary Care, OB/GYN and Endocrinology virtual appointments for new and existing patients from the safety of their own home. To learn more and to schedule an appointment with a SLMA provider at a participating telemedicine location, visit our telemedicine page.