It’s a scary time right now, I get it. You watch the news or your Facebook or Instagram feeds and all you see are people being told to stay home, friends working remotely, and now parents trying to be substitute teachers for their kids. How can you help? How can you take care of yourself and your family?
The WHO (World Health Organization), the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) and the White House are all giving plenty of guidance on washing your hands, social distancing, and what symptoms to watch. Let’s talk about something else you can do remotely to help your family stay well, protect yourself and your loved ones from potential exposure, and do your part to help keep things the people who support your healthcare system engaged and not endangered any more than necessary: telehealth.
Telehealth in its very simplest explanation is the use of technology for medical professionals to treat patients remotely. Simply speaking, you can log onto your computer or your phone using a secure internet portal and have an “appointment” with your healthcare provider. This gives you a way to talk to your healthcare provider about the headache you have, the rash your child has, whether you maybe have a cold or a sinus infection, and not have to leave the comfort of your home.
Just today, the White House released information loosening the guidelines on telehealth and even allowing the use of Skype and Facetime to have these conversations.
While we still recommend the use of the online portals (which are more secure and compliant), if you’re in an area where internet access or telephone service may be a challenge, you have more options than before to access your care remotely. The best part? Most of the insurance plans currently cover telehealth services at one level or another, and all the carriers are monitoring changes at the government level to ensure they’re following guidance from the White House. You can also check in with your health insurance carrier and they will have information for you to follow as well.
I suggest that you consider reaching out to your healthcare provider, asking if they provide telehealth services and how you might use those, and keeping that information at the ready for the next time you need it. While the expectation is that hopefully, everything will return to “normal” in a few weeks, we are already hearing around the country about schools canceling classes for the year, travel being canceled or delayed, and workers being sent home to work remotely. At a minimum, having this option available to you means that your child who is sick at college could use telehealth to have a visit with your family doctor or your elderly parent who is homebound could still receive the medical care they’ve grown to know and trust.
So, while you’re reading up on the latest news updates and closures in your area, also take a minute to check out the resources we’re providing you here about telehealth, and check-in with your healthcare provider so you’re ready when you need a visit. Like our Facebook page and you can keep up with the latest information we’re putting out as well. While most of it is meant for the medical community (physicians, nurse practitioners, etc.), much of it is quite useful for you too.
We’re happy to be able to help. I wish you comfort and peace during this crazy, confusing time we’re experiencing.
President & CEO, Team CPR, Inc.
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