Preparing for Your Telehealth Appointment

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact face-to-face interactions, the popularity of telehealth rises. Telehealth provides you with remote health care that you can access through the comfort and safety of your own home. Telehealth services can include health education, patient monitoring, prescribing of medications, and urgent care. Utilizing virtual health care not only helps to decrease the spread of COVID-19, but it can often give you a more affordable and convenient option when you’re in need of health care. In fact, some research shows that for minor health issues, telehealth can provide the same level of care as in-person visits., Below, we’ve compiled a list of ways to help you maximize your telehealth experience.

1. Plan Your Technology

Before your appointment, contact your doctor’s office to ask any questions you may have and to discuss the type of technology you plan to use for your appointment. There are many options, such as video conferencing via computer, laptop, tablet, or smart phone or you can simply use a phone if you don’t have access to a device with a video component. Doctors tend to prefer video conferencing because most of what can be done in-person can also be done over video. It also allows them to have a better understanding of your health needs or symptoms. It’s a good idea to test out your microphone and/or camera ahead of time with someone to ensure they can hear and/or see you clearly.

2. Prepare Your Environment

A good way to maintain focus during your appointment is to set up a distraction-free environment. Try your best to be in a quiet, well-lit room to help both you and your doctor concentrate. You can limit distractions by keeping the television off, putting pets in a separate room and minimizing outside conversations. You may also consider inviting a trusted person to join you during the meeting. He or she can serve as someone who controls the technology or can help you stay organized during the appointment.

3. Write Down Questions and Concerns

Compile a list of anything you need to discuss with your doctor before your appointment. If you’re feeling sick, write down your symptoms ahead of time to share with your doctor. If you need to talk about a specific health need, note a few concerns or questions you’d like to cover. Doing this preliminary preparation will help facilitate an efficient conversation with your doctor and will limit your chances of forgetting important details you need to discuss.

4. Have Important Documents Handy

Your Medicare card, insurance ID card, driver’s license and list of current prescriptions should be readily available if or when your doctor asks you for them. Other important items to have handy are your pharmacy’s and primary care doctor’s contact information.

5. Familiarize Yourself with What Your Medicare Plan Covers

It’s important to be familiar with the costs your Medicare plan covers and the costs you’re responsible to pay. It may be helpful to get in contact with your insurance company ahead of time to confirm any out-of-pocket payment required.

6. Prepare for a Follow Up

Be sure to take notes during your virtual appointment in the event your doctor advises you to make an in-person follow-up appointment. Being able to identify important details about your discussion could be helpful for your next visit.

Telehealth can be convenient and beneficial when utilized appropriately. We hope these tips are helpful to you as you navigate upcoming doctor visits. If you have any questions about what your Medicare plan covers, you can call your insurance company or our team! You can reach us at 1-877-222-1942.

If you are not a RetireMEDiQ client and have questions about the topics in this post or you would like to explore Medicare plan options, call us at 1-855-981-8611.

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