What is TeleMedicine? As one of two TeleHealth services at Sun Health (the other being TeleTherapy), TeleMedicine is the provision of face-to-face care from one of our highly qualified healthcare professionals. The difference is that with TeleMedicine, the care takes place using secure, videoconferencing technology, rather than in person at the doctor’s office. Patients can meet with a psychiatrist for routine check-ups and prescription refills.
This page will answer frequently asked questions about TeleMedicine at Sun Health, including:
- What is TeleMedicine and what are its benefits?
- What is TelePsychiatry, and how does it work?
- How effective is TeleMedicine?
- Does insurance cover TeleMedicine appointments?
“Virtual appointments with my doctor have made long-term recovery seem more achievable.”– Ken
What Are the Benefits of TeleMedicine?
At Sun Health, we use a state-of-the-art, digital TeleMedicine platform that allows you to connect privately and securely with your doctor, without having to leave the comfort of your home. You get the same human connection, compassion and care that you would in an in-person appointment—only with the added convenience of not having to waste precious time driving or in traffic, and away from work and/or family responsibilities.
Another benefit of TeleMedicine is the access, anonymity and safety it offers to certain patients. Some patients have disabilities that make commuting to our office difficult, if not out of the question. Others have health concerns or medical conditions that mean a remote appointment is the safer and more sensible option. For patients who worry about stigma, the anonymity of an online appointment can be just the thing that helps them finally seek treatment. (For example, studies have found that a reduced sense of stigma is one benefit of TeleMedicine for people with substance addictions.)
Does TeleMedicine Help with Drug Addiction?
The convenience of our TeleMedicine services is also more supportive of successful long-term recovery and optimal brain health. For best addiction treatment outcomes, a program of medication maintenance should be accompanied by counseling and therapy, according to research. All too often, though, location, scheduling or transportation barriers can become impediments to attending medical and counseling appointments over the longer term.
Keep in mind that medical check-ups and therapy appointments are only one component of a truly comprehensive approach to recovery. While most addiction treatment services patients benefit greatly from a treatment plan that integrates medication with therapy, they also do better when they’re attending weekly peer support groups, regularly exercising, managing stress, eating healthier and getting plenty of sleep.
All of these things take time and priority, which can be hard to find in the midst of life’s many demands. But, with more time and flexibility thanks to TeleMedicine, patients are better equipped than ever to incorporate these aspects of successful recovery into their daily lifestyle.
TelePsychiatric Appointments for Mental Health Conditions
Many patients have a mental health condition, such as a mood disorder, that co-occurs with drugs and alcohol or is a primary diagnosis. In some cases, TeleMedicine appointments can be a helpful bridge between in-person check-ups. Often, once a patient has found a medication regimen that works for them and is feeling more stable, they may decide in consultation with their psychiatrist to meet entirely remotely for check-ups.
How Effective Is TeleMedicine?
Naturally, people want to know whether they’re getting the same quality of care via TeleMedicine. The research into this question is promising. In fact, some studies have found TeleMedicine outpatient recovery outcomes to be as good and—in at least one study—better than in-person recovery outcomes. For instance, TeleMedicine seems to help patients stay in treatment longer, and patients who stay in treatment longer achieve better long-term outcomes.
Does Insurance Cover TeleMedicine Appointments?
Many private insurers and Medicaid coverage will pay for TeleMedicine services. Still, navigating what your insurance provider will and will not cover can be a headache. We can do this work for you. For trusted answers, call us today.