During the pandemic, telehealth visits have seen a huge increase in their use across the country. However, it’s likely that the popularity of telemedicine is here to stay well after COVID-19 is under control. With modern improvements in technology and a wider acceptance of telehealth, an increasing number of doctor visits are taking place virtually.
While you may be a bit unsure about consulting a doctor by phone or video for the first time, you’ll immediately find that the experience offers numerous benefits.
Here’s a closer look at the perks of telehealth from the patient perspective…
1. Lower costs
Video-based doctor visits create less overhead for medical practices, so they’re available at a lower cost than in-person care, even for individuals without adequate health insurance. Basic medical visits from Walmart Health Virtual Care (WHVC) are available at a cost of $70 per visit (or less depending on your benefits plan). Alternatively, an in-person visit with a primary care physician could run upwards of a few hundred dollars without insurance.
2. Reduced exposure to individuals with illnesses
One downside of going to the doctor is that you may encounter other people who are sick. Telehealth eliminates that potential waiting room exposure and ensures that you won’t get anyone sick while you get the medical attention you need for your illness.
3. Access to medical care anywhere (including specialists)
When you need to visit a specialist, you may find yourself driving across town—or even to another city in more rural areas—to access the care you need. Telehealth puts a provider right at your fingertips, so you don’t have to travel far to get specialized care. Virtual visits also make it possible to access medical care in inclement weather, outside of regular clinic hours, or while traveling. In most situations, you simply have to be physically located in the same state as your provider to attend a telehealth visit.
4. No commute
Typically, attending a doctor’s visit requires much more time than the appointment itself takes up. You’ll need to drive to the doctor’s office, sit in the waiting room, and drive home. With telehealth, there is no commute required. For individuals who rely on public transit, this can make care more accessible than ever. It’s also ideal for working individuals who may not be able to get away from their workplace for an hour or two to go see the doctor. As well as folks living in rural areas where care options may be few or far between.
5. Around the clock availability
If you or your child needs care on a weekend or in the middle of the night, your first thought will probably be to head to an urgent care center or ER. However, telehealth services provide a more affordable and convenient alternative. WHVC can connect you with a licensed medical provider anytime, even outside of typical primary care hours.
6. No need for childcare
When parents become ill, they have the added stress of organizing childcare during their medical appointments. With telehealth, you’ll be able to stay right at home, so no babysitter is required.
7. Chronic illness support
Another benefit of modern technology is the ability to remotely monitor chronic health conditions and transmit readings to your physician. This can eliminate much of the stress of managing a chronic illness as well as many of the associated costs and trips to the office.
8. Availability of mental health care (even without insurance coverage)
Not only can you see specialists for various physical ailments through telehealth, but you can also visit a psychiatrist or attend therapy with a psychologist or other licensed mental health professional this way. Along with the convenience and privacy of care, you can also expect a shorter wait time to see a mental health practitioner. While some clinics may have months-long waiting lists, WHVC can connect you to a therapist in as little as 24 hours.
9. Support for medication refills
When you need to refill medications, it may not always be easy to get in for a doctor’s visit. Fortunately, MDs, DOs, NPs and PAs can all prescribe and refill medications following a virtual visit, so you can stay up to date with birth control, blood pressure medication, and any other prescriptions you may need.
10. Privacy and security
Established telehealth services utilize HIPAA compliant software, which ensures a secure connection for your visit. You can also enjoy the privacy and comfort of attending appointments from home, which may be especially beneficial for mental health and sexual wellness related visits.
Ready to try out a telehealth visit for yourself? WHVC makes it easy, affordable, and convenient to see a medical provider for urgent care, men’s and women’s health, and a psychiatrist or therapist for mental health care visits.