Virtual medicine, the use of technology to treat health symptoms, is rapidly growing. According to eVisit, a group of health practitioners and patients whose goal is “to simplify health care delivery for everyone, everywhere,” more than half of today’s US hospitals offer a telemedicine option. eVisit reports that nearly 75% of the US population would use telehealth services if available. Employers welcome virtual healthcare to reduce workers’ absences, and employees embrace it to avoid high emergency room (ER) visit copays.
Here are some benefits of virtual medical care.
- Your cost to visit a virtual practitioner is usually equal to or less than an office visit. It’s certainly lower than an ER visit, which can start at a $50 copay and run much higher. In fact, USA Today reported that by 2019, ER costs had risen 176 percent in the past decade.
- You can avoid travel expenses and work absences.
- You can usually avoid long wait times for an appointment.
- You can obtain a second opinion from virtual medicine. You’ll need to furnish underlying diagnostics, like X-rays, to the virtual provider.
- Your provider can easily contact you if you require follow-up treatment.
- You may be concerned about COVID-19. You can visit a provider without having to leave your home.
According to the American Telemedicine Association (ATA), patients report a greater level of satisfaction with virtual medicine. The ATA calls it “the future of healthcare.” While it may seem impersonal, if your primary care physician is unavailable, you would see a different provider in that practice if needed. You may wait weeks for an appointment with a specialist. It’s often much faster to “see” a specialist through telemedicine.
In these uncertain times, you may have many questions about your options. I am always here to help and happy to answer your questions. I am just a call or email away.