Q: What is “Telemedicine”?
A: Telemedicine is the practice of medicine done without a “face to face” in person evaluation. Telemedicine can be done strictly through a phone call with a physician, or a phone call augmented by texted photos if necessary, or through video conferencing through a wide variety of platforms available today such as FaceTime, Google Duo, and Zoom just to name a few.
Q: Can the doctor really evaluate me thoroughly from afar? Without an exam?
A: The answer is, “it depends”. If you provide a good thorough history and your issue is not super complex or potentially emergent the answer is “Yes”. This may not always be the case. Our physicians will do a brief intake process before any formal evaluation and if your issues clearly require ER evaluation (or an in home evaluation with one of our physicians depending on location) you will be advised as such and not charged.
Q: What issues can be evaluated remotely through Telemedicine?
A: Just to name a few: Allergy issues, asthma, sinusitis, sore throat, orthopedic injuries (if not severe), vomiting/diarrhea, pink eye, skin infections, cough/viral respiratory infections, medication refills, joint pain, ear pain/possible ear infection, sinus infections, and rashes. This is a short list and not all encompassing. Anything you would feel comfortable waiting for a clinic visit or going to an Urgent Care vs. calling an ambulance, likely we can manage it remotely.
Q: What things can I do to make sure the telemedicine doctor has as much information as possible to evaluate me in this unique format?
A: Please provide a detailed list of current medications, as well as a list of allergies and past medical history. If you have a blood pressure cuff at home your doctor will likely want to have you check your BP to have some objective vital signs. This also applies to any watch or other device that checks your Heart Rate or of course if you have a thermometer at home and symptoms suggestive of infection having a temp provided would be beneficial. If you have an Apple Watch, Fit Bit, or other comparable device try to make sure it is charged before your appointment to help the doctor get as much information as possible.
Q: What if I need lab tests done? Or X Rays or other imaging tests?
A: Urgent HomeMD has established relationships with companies offering lab services as well as outpatient imaging studies. While this is widely available throughout Texas, it may not be available everywhere. Whenever possible we will guide you to a facility we are established with to have your studies done.
Q: If I need labs or imaging tests, how does that work with billing?
A: These tests would not be billed through Urgent HomeMD. They would be the responsibility of the patient and billed through the lab company or imaging company providing the service. If you are uninsured many of our facilities will offer cash pay rates and also payment plans. While these facilities will bill you directly there may be some additional fees for our physicians to follow up on results, contact you and make recommendations.
Q: What does Urgent HomeMD charge for ordered lab studies/imaging tests?
A: We charge $25 to review the lab studies/imaging studies and make recommendations based on results. If you already have follow-up scheduled otherwise, there would be no charge for us to order the studies with your doctor to follow up at a later time. Our policy based on best practice is to not order studies without a physician or physician extender to follow up on results, either within our practice or elsewhere.
Q: Is Urgent HomeMD strictly a telemedicine practice model?
A: In the short term, with COVID concerns, we are primarily focused on telemedicine. We do offer In-Home evaluations, which at this point are limited to North Texas. For most issues, even if In Home evaluation is available to you based on your location, we recommend starting with a telemedicine evaluation and if need be we will schedule in home evaluation. Our telemedicine option is cost effective and we anticipate approximately 75% of our evaluations, if not more, can be handled remotely. If we recommend in home evaluation after a telemedicine call, the telemedicine cost will be deducted for a period of up to 48 hours after the initial assessment.
Q: What if I want to be evaluated in person but prefer a location other than my home? Do you have a clinic option?
A: Yes we do have a clinic option available when requested. This is limited to those who make a special request/appointment and not available to walk-in patients. Contact us at the phone numbers provided to make a request.