We all know the ability to see or talk to a doctor in times of ill health or even times of health is crucial to their overall sense of health and well-being. Knowing that we can check in with our health care professionals, access important services, and be cared for when we need it takes a lot of the worry out of life. Additionally, we all know access to treatment when we are sick is crucial, but it’s also true that preventative care and routine care is just as necessary and important for everyone. That is why the emerging popularity of telehealth services is making life easier for more and more seniors.
Why Choose Telehealth Services?
Seniors in particular will want to have qualified and compassionate medical professionals there for them to manage ailments small and large. There are certain barriers which can make it difficult for seniors to access healthcare such as transportation, distance to the clinic, hospital, or doctor’s office, and long gaps in between scheduled appointments.
For active seniors appointments can take up a lot of time that could otherwise be spent enjoying the outdoors, spending time with children and grandchildren, volunteering, or working. You may notice appointments taking up more of your time than you would like. All of these barriers truly point to the need for telehealth services. Telehealth for seniors can mean staying independent while keeping a close connection to their providers. This will ensure the health of many for years to come!
By now you probably have a few questions. You may be saying, Okay, this sounds great in theory, but…
How Does Telehealth Actually Work?
Due to the need for telehealth services there are now a range of options available to you. You can track vital signs with monitoring devices, speak directly with a nurse through a web portal, and even receive care from a doctor by video chat. Can you imagine being able to discuss your health concerns directly with your doctor from your own home?
Your virtual healthcare visits are completed by phone or video. It is also possible to add a second or third member to the call. This will be very important if you have a loved one or caretaker who is intimately involved in your health care routine and is an active part of your decision-making and daily care. This type of care is intended for non-emergency needs and available seven days a week – any time of day!
You may be concerned that this new virtual care will replace your valuable in-person care altogether, but on the contrary, it should be used to supplement your in-person care and not replace it. By staying in touch and being in communication with your doctor this way you and your doctor will both be better prepared for your in-person visits. Again, think of telehealth as an addition to your existing healthcare and not a replacement of it.
Will Medicare Cover Telehealth Services?
There was a change to the way the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, or CMS, were able to get funding to provide telehealth services to Medicare Advantage enrollees. This means there was recognition that Medicare telehealth benefits were important and that the services would now be government-funded for Medicare Advantage.
The change to government-funded Medicare telehealth benefits means that people enrolled in Medicare Advantage can now access a wide variety of services from their homes. This includes blood pressure monitoring, changing medication dosages, diagnosing illness, and much more. These services will also be extremely helpful for the many Medicare users who have chronic illnesses like heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, or who are recovering from strokes.
Medicare telehealth benefits will also be available to non Advantage Medicare patients depending on the circumstance. If you are not enrolled in Medicare Advantage you will want to see if your specific needs match the criteria of accessing Medicare telehealth benefits. Talk to your healthcare providers to see if your own need for telehealth services will be recognized and covered under your Medicare plan.
Here are just a few of the benefits of telehealth services reported on from studies:
- Fewer hospital admissions
- Fewer hospital readmissions
- Few days spent in the hospital
- Participants are more engaged in their own healthcare
Like many seniors, you enjoy your independence and freedom. You know that staying in touch with your doctor and treating ailments and chronic pain or serious health conditions is an absolute must. Medicare telehealth services may fit your lifestyle more than you realize. With convenient in-home virtual care you will find more time for enjoying life while still prioritizing your healthcare. Perhaps you will even feel empowered to increase your own participation in your healthcare when you see how helpful these services can be.
You are the expert on how you are feeling and being in communication with your doctors, nurses, and care team by telephone or video will give you the tools you need to take excellent care of your health for a long, active, fulfilling life!
>> Contact Cano Health today at 855.CANOMED (855.226.6633) to learn more about our telehealth services.