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What is telehealth and how does it relate to Medicare?

Telehealth is used to provide services such as office visits, consultations, and other medical services that are done by using a telecommunications system. By using this system, it allows the physician to monitor and evaluate the patient remotely. Certain telehealth services can be covered by Medicare Part B.

Telehealth technology

An example of telehealth technology is using an electrocardiogram, also known as ECG or EKG, which helps measure the activity of the heart. The ECG can give doctors feedback on a patient’s heart condition as they look for certain patterns, like irregular heart rhythms. Other examples of telehealth technology include setting up virtual appointments, reviewing test results through an online portal, or other remote monitorings. 

The idea of telehealth services being available is to help medical services be more accessible to those who live a long distance from their primary care doctor, have limited mobility and transportation, better access to specialists, and develop better communication between the doctor and patient. Overall, using telehealth can give you the services and healthcare you need, remotely. 

What is telemedicine?

While telehealth and telemedicine are used interchangeably, the two are actually different. Telehealth covers more of a large spectrum referring to all services that are issued through the telecommunications system. Telemedicine covers more of specific clinical services, such as the cold or flu. 

Telemedicine is used to provide clinical services remotely to patients, which can be done through video consultations between the doctor and the patient. It also refers to medical diagnoses and evaluations that are done remotely. 

To deliver these clinical services while doing so remotely, there are three types of telemedicine: 

  • Store-and-Forward: This type of telemedicine gives the primary physician, specialist, and patient a way to effectively communicate about medical information, such as lab reports or other important information.
  • Remote Patient Monitoring: Also known as telemonitoring, remote patient monitoring gives doctors and specialists the data they need by tracking a patient’s vitals. 
  • Real-time Telemedicine: This type of telemedicine can take the place of in-person visits by substituting them with video visits.

What does Medicare Part B cover?

The Medicare Part B deductible will apply, but you’ll also be expected to pay for 20% of the Medicare-approved amount, which is determined by your doctor’s services. However, you’ll usually pay the same amount as what you would if you received the same services in person. Medicare will also cover virtual check-ins, visits, and all ordered x-rays and lab tests.

Questions or concerns? We can help!

Reach out to us and book a free consultation today if you want to know more about Medicare Part B so our experienced brokers can focus on educating you first and help you make an informed decision on your healthcare. Give us a call today at 877-877-5505.

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