Telehealth services to limit the spread of COVID-19

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has expanded access to Medicare telehealth services so that members can receive a wider range of services from their doctors without having to travel to a healthcare facility.

How does telehealth work?

Technology such as email, videoconferencing, video chat services such as skype and phone enable patients to get care remotely. Responses from health-care professionals can either be provided via webcam, or by directing individuals’ questions to answers that are already online. This all depends on the provider’s technical capabilities.

Can telehealth providers write prescriptions?

Doctors can send prescriptions directly to a local pharmacy via telehealth. Always check with your doctor about this.

Can telehealth providers treat the coronavirus?

Healthcare providers can’t diagnose a coronavirus infection during a telehealth visit, but they can offer self-care and quarantine tips, educate patients about when they need to go to a hospital, and if they do, help to coordinate testing, according to the American Telemedicine Association.

Is the quality of care the same as an in-person visit?

The quality of telehealth as a method of healthcare delivery is confirmed by decades of research and demonstrations. Telehealth has been found to be a safe, cost-effective and convenient way to provide healthcare services.

How much does telehealth cost?

$0 Copay. Copays have been waived  and there’s no cost to members. No prior authorization required. Also there’s no cost for lab tests to identify COVID-19 as well as no prior authorization required.

How do I get an appointment or find a remote provider?

Please call your provider to see if they offer telehealth services, or check with your AgeWell New York Care Manager on how to access telehealth services.

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