Telemedicine arrives at Miller Family Dermatology
What is telemedicine and how can it keep you healthy?
Simply put, telemedicine is medical care facilitated by technology that does not require the patient and the caregiver to be in the same room. This includes store-and-forward telemedicine (email or portals) and real-time virtual visits by one of many video services. The technology to perform high-quality patient-caregiver interactions has existed for nearly two decades, but was never widely adopted because insurance carriers did not want to provide coverage. The COVID-19 pandemic has lead to the erasure of this obstacles.
What are my options for teledermatology visits?
We have two options, each with their own pluses and minuses.
Option 1: Zoom Video
First is a real-time, or synchronous, virtual visit. Think of this like FaceTime or video conferencing. Both parties need to be present at the same time to have the interaction. The main advantage is that these virtual visits are now covered as an in-person visit and can be billed through insurance. This type of visit requires the use of the Zoom.us app – available online via any web browser or via a mobile device using an iOS or Android app. You do not need a Zoom account.
To schedule a real-time virtual visit please click here. When scheduling your visit, choose “telemedicine”.
Option 2: Store and Forward
Second is store-and-forward, or asynchronous, teledermatology. Think of this like email. You write an email and send it. Pictures are encouraged. The recipient receives the message at some future time and replies to the email at that time. The sender and the recipient do not communicate at the same time. This method of teledermatology is convenient if you have an issue that occurs after hours but isn’t emergent, or you cannot create the time in your day for a virtual visit.
Medicare covers store and forward service.
However, it is not yet clear if commercial plans provide coverage. To check on your insurance coverage, please call your insurance company and ask them if they cover codes 99421, 99422, and 99423.
If your insurance denies coverage for this service, we would bill you for the service – $20 – $60 depending on the complexity of the issue. Unless you write a novel, we expect most of these to be billed as 99421s @ $20.
To make a store-and-forward visit please click here to send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We use a HIPAA compliant secure email service provided by Luxsci.