In today’s changing world, it’s nice to have options. Patients now have the opportunity to connect face-to-face with an MCH medical provider using TeleHealth.
TeleHealth harnesses the power of the Internet, WiFi, and cellular service to conveniently and securely connect you to MCH medical providers via a computer, tablet, or mobile phone. Please note the device you choose to use for your TeleHealth visit must be equipped with a camera, speaker, and microphone.
All MCH primary care and many specialty practices offer TeleHealth. In addition, Medicare, NH Medicaid, and most private insurance companies have temporarily expanded their coverage of telehealth services in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, so there may be no out-of-pocket costs to utilize these services.
Setting Up a TeleHealth Visit
Devices (functioning microphone and camera required)
- iPhone or Android Smartphone
- iPad or Tablet (with data package or Wifi access)
- Desktop/Laptop Computer
- Secure and reliable internet connection via at least one of the following:
- Wired Ethernet Connection (cable plugged into a router or wall jack)
- WiFi (wireless network in home or office)
- Cellular Network (3G or 4G) not recommended unless only option
- Minimum of 2mbs for upload and download speed
NOTE: Turning off other devices that require internet bandwidth will improve your TeleHealth connectivity. If you do not have the required equipment to facilitate a video appointment, we’ll work with you on a solution.
Once Your TeleHealth Visit is Scheduled
- You will receive a confirmation email or text message when you book your TeleHealth visit.
- Prior to your scheduled appointment, click the link in the confirmation email or text and complete the system compatibility check on the device you intend to use during your TeleHealth visit.
- With a successful compatibility test, you are ready to go. You will receive a reminder email or text 20 minutes prior to your appointment. Click the embedded link and you will be launched into your TeleHealth visit and wait for your provider to join.
NOTE: If the compatibility check fails or you experience technical difficulties, please call your provider’s office so we can assist you.
Special considerations during the COVlD-19 emergency
Special federal and state waivers and executive orders are in temporary effect during the COVID-19 emergency declaration. To expand coverage for telehealth services, certain restrictions have been lifted specifically to allow us to provide care during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Medicare, NH Medicaid and Commercial Insurance
Generally speaking, Medicare, NH Medicaid and commercial insurance:
- Will pay for telephone and telemedicine (video) visits for patients at home as medically necessary and appropriate.
- Have expanded the list of eligible providers and eligible services
- Will not require patient cost-sharing (co-payments, deductibles, or co- insurance) for medically necessary treatment delivered by telehealth related to COVlD-19.
Cost-sharing for care not related to COVlD-19 may be as usual, though many plans are also waiving cost-sharing at this time for all telehealth services. Please also note that self-insured (employer- based) commercial insurance plans may not be required to comply with governmental coverage mandates, even during the COVlD-19 emergency.
How do I know if I am covered?
It is always best to contact your insurance company to ask about their coverage of telehealth appointments.
What if I don’t have health insurance?
On April 3, 2020, President Trump announced that the Federal Government will pay for COVlD-19 related care for patients who do not have health insurance.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is a telemedicine virtual visit?
A: Telemedicine uses a video conferencing platform, much like Skype or FaceTime, to connect providers with patients in different locations for an outpatient appointment. Patients report great satisfaction with receiving care this way and most would recommend it to their friends and family.
Q: What are the benefits of a TeleHealth visit?
A: TeleHealth virtual visits allow patients to get care from the comfort of their home, eliminating the time and cost of traveling for an in-person visit. In the future, patients will have access to an expanding range of specialists –without the long commute that’s often required. By seeing your provider from home, you are limiting your exposure to infectious diseases such as COVID-19 or the seasonal flu.
Q: What are the limitations of a TeleHealth visit?
A: During a TeleHealth visit, you may experience technical difficulties with your connection or the software may impact what’s covered in your appointment. If this happens, you or your provider can decide to stop the visit and connect instead by telephone. It’s important to remember that if you choose to use data with your mobile phone carrier, depending on your phone plan, you may incur data usage fees. Other familiar aspects of a regular office visit such as vitals or a physical exam may be modified.
Your Telehealth visit may also limit internet access to your other devices while in-progress. Examples would include Netflix or other video streaming channels, along with other smart devices.
Q: Is TeleHealth safe and secure?
A: TeleHealth is safe, secure, and HIPAA-compliant. It is subject to the same privacy rules and regulations as in-person services.