When you need medical care or advice, getting it quickly is important. Virginians will have more expansive access than ever due to a new bill, signed into law by the governor that will allow you to seek help for your health-related concerns via telemedicine services. Telemedicine services mean the use of interactive audio, video or other electronic media to provide diagnosis, consultation or treatment. Telemedicine services offer you:
Here’s an example of how telemedicine works: You live in a rural location where specialists may be far away. You visit your primary care physician (PCP) for an illness or condition, and the PCP thinks you need to be seen by a specialist. Now, if your PCP’s office is outfitted for telemedicine, you could receive the diagnosis or treatment from your specialist while you’re still in your PCP’s office – using interactive technology.
Equipment utilized for telemedicine must have a high enough level of audio quality and visual clarity to be the same as what you would experience in a face-to-face office visit with a health care provider. Your payment for these services will be the same as if you had seen the specialist in person, and your actual cost will be based on your specific plan benefits. Your doctor will help determine when telemedicine services are appropriate, based on your circumstances, and will help you find a location from which to receive the service remotely. Note: Telemedicine services do not include an audio-only phone call, home video conference sessions initiated through technology such as Skype, or electronic mail message (e-mail) or fax transmission, all of which will continue to be a non-covered service. Access to telemedicine services will become available to all members, regardless of when they renew their health plan benefits on January 1, 2011. See this list
to find a telemedicine provider near you.