HOUSTON COUNTY, Ga. — Right now, during the COVID-19 pandemic, a lot of insurance companies are waiving the co-pay to see your doctor if you use telehealth. That's when you consult with your doctor electronically through your phone or your computer.
We know setting up a telehealth appointment may seem like a daunting challenge, but it is really easy, and it all starts with calling your doctor.
Don't worry about the Doxy app -- that's what they're all using -- but they're taking care of that on their end. So you call your doctor and they will send you a text message or an email through your computer.
When you click on that text or email, you'll go into a virtual waiting room and you'll sign in by typing in your name.
It may take a few minutes, but then the doctor pops up.
Dr. Dinakara Shetty practices at Houston Primary Care, and says he is seeing about 50 patients a day electronically because of COVID-19.
"Look at the office -- it's empty. This is the nurse's station -- empty, patient rooms -- empty," he said while pointing to an empty hallway in his office.
Now, he has doctors and nurses working together with their computers treating patients, and that includes those with possible coronavirus.
"Corona, yesterday -- 2 patients, 3 patients, we see them over the phone. I can see how sick they look. If they look bad, I tell them to check blood pressure, check oxygen level, we tell them to get a pulse oxygen monitor at home," Dr. Shetty explained.
Dr. Shetty says 90 percent of his caseload isn't critical and telehealth keeps people out of the emergency room right now.
"They don't need to end up at the Med Stop, the ER -- the risk is high going there," he exclaimed.
So if you've got anything healthwise going on, skip the car and go to your computer for an office visit.
You'll want to check with your insurance company on the telehealth fees before you call your doctor's office. During the appointment ask for a 90-day supply of prescriptions.
A lot of insurance companies are allowing early refills.
This will cut down on having to get out and go to the pharmacy.
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