Many of our patients are new to telemedicine. Here’s how it works!
This guide is meant to help you make the most of your telemedicine visit and to answer some frequently asked questions about telehealth.
Scheduling Your Telemedicine Appointment:
You can schedule your visit three different ways:
- Schedule your visit with our online scheduler, MindBody Online
- Call our office at 650-485-2758.
- Email Front Desk within Charm or o[email protected]
Preparing for Your Zoom Video Telemedicine Appointment:
- New Patients: Fill out all questionnaires online within the Charm patient portal. You can also upload and share recent lab results with your doctor ahead of your visit.
- Check your email confirmation for instructions on downloading the zoom app to your phone or computer.
- Download the Zoom app at least 10 minutes before your visit. If you are prone to technical challenges, you are welcome to enlist our office staff to help you try out Zoom ahead of your appointment.
Starting Your Telemedicine Appointment:
- Click the link (from your confirmation email) for your doctor’s Zoom meeting room 2-5 minutes before your scheduled visit time
- Your doctor will admit you from the virtual waiting room once it is time for your visit.
- Don’t forget to share video and audio with your doctor. Zoom will prompt you to select these options automatically.
During Your Telemedicine Appointment:
Just as we would in an office visit, your doctor will review your current symptoms, lab results, and relevant history.
Your doctor will perform any physical exam that can be done remotely, including a visual inspection of skin, a blood pressure check, or recording your own temperature, depending on the tools you have at home.
Your doctor will explain additional labs that should be performed to help with diagnosis. If this is your first visit, your doctor may defer extensive supplement, lifestyle, or medication recommendations until they are able to determine the complete picture. During a follow up visit, expect your doctor to make detailed recommendations to address symptoms and their underlying causes.
Your treatment plan will be reviewed with you at the end of your visit and will be sent to you in the Charm portal.
Lab orders will be created in the Charm portal and shared with you under “Lab Order” or “Documents”. Blood work orders can be printed at home or shared directly with the lab if you have included your insurance information in the Charm patient portal. Lab kits from third party labs will be shipped directly to your home.
Your doctor will enter all supplements recommended into our online dispensary, Fullscript, for you to process orders on your own or you can get them from our office. If you prefer to have our front desk ship supplements to you, this will be arranged at check-out.
Following Your Telemedicine Appointment:
Our front desk staff will call you to process your check-out and schedule your follow-up visit. They will review any lab processing questions and can help to arrange shipment and processing of supplement and prescription orders.
Your superbill, which has detailed codes for insurance, will be processed within 2 days of your visit and can be submitted to insurance for reimbursement, depending on your insurance plan.
You may as always check-in with your doctor via Charm messenger if you need clarification of your plan, labs, or prescriptions.
What is telemedicine?
Telemedicine is the delivery of health care services and health care related information using equipment that can allow for communication between patients and healthcare providers and even healthcare providers exchanging information to provide better access to healthcare services. This work is done using technology over the phone or internet, using home or cell phones and tablets or computers.
Why Should I use Telemedicine?
Visiting the office is not always easy or convenient, especially during a viral pandemic. The purpose of telemedicine is to improve the opportunity to get healthcare quickly from the safety and comfort of your desired location.
What are the benefits of telemedicine?
The benefit of telemedicine is less waiting and travel time, less time away from work, and increased comfort and security. Examples of telemedicine include a video “chat” for mental health care, evaluation of a sick child by video, or taking a picture of a skin problem and sending it to your doctor for an assessment.
Is telemedicine safe?
Telemedicine is a safe and an effective way to extend the delivery of health care. It may not be appropriate for ALL clinical situations and a medical professional can help you determine if telemedicine is appropriate.
Guidelines also exist for telemedicine to ensure safety and quality. Clinicians are held to the same standards of care through a telemedicine visit as an in-person visit. Similarly, the same standards for privacy and confidentiality for an in-person visit apply to telemedicine. For more information, click here.
Zoom is a HIPAA-compliant platform. However, at the time of this pandemic, privacy guidelines are being relaxed to allow for access to telemedicine if needed via Facetime or Skype. We still recommend a HIPAA-compliant platform when possible.
Do health plans pay for telemedicine services?
Health plans, including Medicare and Medicaid, are covering a wide variety of healthcare services available through telemedicine. To find out if your health plan covers telemedicine services, please contact your health plan. You may learn more about telemedicine by visiting http://www.americantelemed.org/about/telehealth-faqs-
Expanded coverage for telehealth is currently being promised due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We still encourage you to check with your insurance provider.