Q&A for Patients
To set-up a telemedicine consult, patients require a referral from their primary care provider, local mental health provider, or their KUMC specialist who would like to utilize telemedicine to see him or her. Typically these referrals would come from the local hospital or clinic that is already engaged in telemedicine services with KUMC. Please contact your local provider or KUCTT to help determine if telemedicine may be available to you.
Because telemedicine is not a separate specialty, just a way of delivering health care, Medicare, Kansas Medicaid, and many private insurance companies will reimburse for covered services delivered over telemedicine. However, reimbursement for services provided via telemedicine is not universal. Some insurance companies do not provide a telemedicine benefit or may only cover selected billing codes. In addition, patients may still be responsible for a co-pay or deductible, the same as a traditional in-person visit.
Patients rarely need to control or manage the technology. Most telemedicine consultations occur in a community hospital or clinic with the assistance of a local nurse or site coordinator. Most often, patients just arrive at the time of their appointments and wait for the video consultation with the doctor or specialist, as described in the next question.
A telemedicine appointment uses technology to create an experience very similar to an in-person visit.
• On the day of the telemedicine appointment, the patient checks in at the remote site and is taken to an exam room equipped with interactive video technology.
• The provider will connect to the appointment with an interactive video conferencing system. As with an in-person appointment, providers often start by asking about the patient's medical history and the specific ailment or getting updated on the patient’s condition since their last appointment.
• During the appointment, a telemedicine site coordinator (typically a registered nurse) will remain in the room to assist the patient and provider.
• The provider will end the appointment the same as an in-person appointment by providing treatment recommendations, requesting a follow-up visit, ordering lab work, or referring to another doctor.
• Telemedicine providers send copies of their notes to the patient's primary care provider if requested.
For some controlled substance medications, your telemedicine provider may need to see you in person once before prescribing medication or may consult with your primary care physician for your medications. Telemedicine providers can send standard prescriptions electronically to your pharmacy or, when required, mail a paper copy of the prescription to your home. Your telemedicine provider can often work with the telemedicine nurse at your site to order lab work at facilities close to you.