If your needs can be met without an in -person visit, you might have the option to see Dr. Nolan via a telehealth using your smartphone or laptop computer. This allows you to see your doctor in a face-to-face environment without added risk of COVID-19 exposure or the inconvenience, stress or expense of travel.
In general, you need to have internet access and a device with a camera and audio. Usually this is easiest to accomplish with your smartphone or a laptop. Desktop computers can have a webcam and/or speakers installed, but may not necessarily come with this equipment.
Not all visits can be handled via telemedicine. For example, imaging such as xrays or MRI can not be performed over Telehealth, but they can be reviewed and discussed if already done. Wound care, such as dressing changes, suture removal and treatment of an infection, still needs to be done in person.
In most cases, it is currently covered by your insurance company as a routine visit. For example, if you would normally have a $20 copay for an in-office specialist visit, you would still have a $20 copay. There is no cost to use the software program.
In the past, we have offered Telehealth, but few patients were interested, as insurances did not necessarily cover this. The current situation has caused many carriers to change their policy. While they are currently saying it is a temporary change to help keep patients and staff safe during the Coronavirus outbreak, it is possible that they may see the value in continuing to cover these services when the pandemic is over. Some carriers still are not covering it, unfortunately.
If you are interested in scheduling a Telehealth visit for your shoulder or elbow problem, please contact our office at 405-278-8006.
By Oklahoma Shoulder Center PLLC
April 1, 2020