Telemedicine: The Modern-Day House Call

Telemedicine: The Modern-Day House Call

Telemedicine: The Modern-Day House Call

You and your doctor have busy schedules. So busy that you might think there’s no time to get an appointment. We have good news. Visiting with a doctor is now easier, thanks to telemedicine.

In today’s tech world, you can stay tele-healthy using a smartphone or computer. Your health care providers may offer telemedicine and telehealth services. Ask if this medical care is right for you.

The Growth of Telemedicine

In the last few years it’s become a more common way for patients to seek care via a telehealth visit. Especially since the coronavirus pandemic.

Today, telehealth is changing how people access and receive health care. Real-time telehealth visits with doctors, mobile apps to book appointments, and wearable devices to remotely monitor vital signs let health care providers help patients in more proactive ways.

The American Telemedicine Association leaving site icon (ATA) notes the quality of care via telehealth is as good as care given in traditional in-person visits. In some areas, particularly with mental health and ICU care, telehealth delivers a better product with better outcomes and consumer satisfaction.

While it’s not a cure all, telemedicine helps provide care without the limits of distance and time. Often, visits can happen in a matter of minutes.

“It’s 1:00 a.m. and I don’t feel well!”

Telemedicine is great for unexpected sickness. The ATA leaving site icon explains that one of the advantages of telemedicine is “24/7 access to a health professional.”

Come down with the flu while away from home? Did your child wake up with a fever? If your health care plan offers telemedicine benefits and you have your smartphone, you can interact with a doctor around-the-clock. 

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois's (BCBSIL) Telemedicine Solution

Some BCBSIL members may be able to use Virtual Visits, powered by MDLIVE

Board-certified MDLIVE doctors offer consultations 24 hours a day, seven days a week, via mobile app, online video or phone.* You may receive treatment for many non-emergency medical conditions from a setting that’s convenient for you at home or on the go.

Sometimes, interacting with an MDLIVE doctor may be less costly and more convenient than going to the ER or urgent care. They may also write — and send — prescriptions (when appropriate) to a nearby pharmacy. **

Common uses for Virtual Visits are:

Seeing a doctor through your computer or phone might not be your thing, but it’s a good option if you can’t get to your doctor’s office.

Find out if your coverage includes Virtual Visits, powered by MDLIVE, by logging into Blue Access for MembersSM (BAMSM).

* Non-emergency medical service in Montana and New Mexico is limited to interactive online video. Non-emergency medical service in Arkansas and Idaho is limited to interactive online video for initial consultation.
** Virtual Visits, Powered by MDLIVE may not be available on all plans. Virtual Visits are subject to the terms and conditions of your benefit plan, including benefits, limitations, and exclusions.  MDLIVE operates subject to state regulations and may not be available in certain states. MDLIVE is not an insurance product nor a prescription fulfillment warehouse. MDLIVE does not guarantee that a prescription will be written. MDLIVE does not prescribe DEA-controlled substances, non-therapeutic drugs and certain other drugs that may be harmful because of their potential for abuse. MDLIVE physicians reserve the right to deny care for potential misuse of services. 
MDLIVE operates and administers the Virtual Visit program and is solely responsible for its operations and that of its contracted providers. MDLIVE and the MDLIVE logo are registered trademarks of MDLIVE, Inc. and may not be used without written permission.
Sources: Telehealth: A Temporary Fix or the Future of Health Care?, leaving site icon SAP, 2021; Telehealth: Defining 21st Century Care, leaving site icon American Telehealth Association, 2021.

Originally published 9/12/2017; Revised 2021, 2022