Telemedicine Visit Tips
With current concerns for Coronavirus Pandemic and the need to keep our staff, patients and loved ones safe, Joshua Thomas MD PLLC will be utilizing "Telemedicine" to manage patient care. Telemedicine has been around for some time, usually for the purposes of convenience and is an effective and safe way to receive quality mental health care. Phone appointments can be done, however opting for the video appointment is preferred as it allows for you and Dr. Thomas to see each other.
Follow these tips to help your telemedicine visit go as smoothly as possible.
· Find a quiet and private space at your location – close doors and windows to high-traffic areas.
· Remove clutter from the area where you will sit. You want your doctor looking at you, not what’s on your desk or wall.
· Make sure the area is well-lit. Keep lighting overhead and/or in front of you, rather than behind you. Close blinds and drapes to prevent glares and shadows.
· Ensure your device has enough charge (or is plugged in).
· Check your internet signal strength. A connection speed of 384 Kbps is common.
· Adjust the angle of your camera so you fill as much of the screen as possible.
· Know how to use your equipment. Have the phone number for tech support close by – just in case.
· Mute, turn off, or remove possible noisemakers such as your television, cell phone, alarms, or pets.
· Eliminate echoes.
· Check for air noises like a fan, AC unit, or open window that may affect the microphone.
· Make sure the microphone is not blocked.
· Speak normally – slowly and clearly – in the direction of the camera.
· Avoid too much movement.
· Don’t look at your picture on the screen. (Try your best)
· Explore the telemedicine app/plaform to get comfortable with it.
· Don’t be nervous or afraid to ask questions!
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: How do I schedule an appointment for a telemedicine visit?
A: Call our office (832-500-8716) to schedule an appointment, just as you would for an in-person office visit.
Q: Can I be at home and receive telemedicine services?
A: Yes. Most patients choose to be at home or in a private office, but any location that has adequate technology, internet service, privacy, lighting, and a low noise level is fine.
Q: What equipment do I need?
A: At the very least, you need a mobile device or computer that has a camera and microphone. You also need an internet connection that allows you to stream video.
Q: Can I use a Wi-Fi connection?
A: Yes, as long your connection is strong enough. It is recommended that you have an internet speed of at least 15Mbps for upload and 5Mbps for download. Don’t know your internet speed? In your browser, type ‘internet speed test’ and test your internet speed for free.
Q: Can my problem be treated?
A: Your doctor can diagnose many illnesses during a telemedicine visit, such as mood disorders, anxiety, ADHD, etc. You can receive mental health counseling, , prescription refills, and more. If you are a new patient to the practice, you must be seen in person prior to being prescribed controlled substances.
Q: How can my doctor diagnose me without an exam?
A: Physicians think about a lot of information to make a diagnosis, like the signs and symptoms you’ve experienced, your medical history, and so on. So, how you feel may be just as important as a visual exam.
Q: How long will the visit take?
A: Just as long as if you were being seen in the office – less the wait and travel time.
Q: Can my doctor prescribe a medication during this visit?
A: In most cases, yes. If your doctor decides you need a medication, he or she can send the prescription electronically directly to the pharmacy you choose.
Q: Will insurance reimburse me for this service?
A: As a reminder, Dr. Thomas is out of network with all insurance companies including Medicaid and Medicare. Patients are directly charged for services. If you are hoping to get reimbursed, please note that most insurance companies recognize and reimburse out of network telemedicine services directly to you, but this varies and may not be reimbursed as much as an in person visit would be. Before you schedule an appointment, call the number on the back of your insurance card to find out if your specific policy covers telemedicine service.