The Rise of the Virtual Doctor Visit

Who Me?

Well-Known Member


Well-Known Member
Yeah, now that most doctors use some sort of online communication hub around here, it's possible to follow up with a line of questioning that used to be impossible while playing phone tag.

I see a handful of specialists, and they each respond differently to the new technology. My PCP is willing to go back and forth two or three times adjusting, say, my BP meds, but then there's a point she clearly says if you need another adjustment you'll need to come see me. When I later check my insurance records, I see she performed no billings for those exchanges -- just the ones when I actually come to her office.

Another doctor I see has found a way to bill for his quick online (or phone) prescriptions. He seems comfortable with the new technologies because he doesn't feel he's giving away his time.

Still another is stubborn, always telling me I have to make an appointment for any little thing. I put my foot down once with his office, telling them I had a right to know my lab results without an appointment, and I finally won -- but they still made me swing by to get the results.

Who Me?

Well-Known Member
My NP is great. We Skype and I go in once a year. My PCP is so out dated (he uses a flip phone). While most modern docs have secure ways to email, I have to fax to get information to him unless I want to call and talk to the office person who never stops talking. She's exhausting.

I saw my PCP last month to talk to him about Valcyte, monitoring and pain meds and a few other things. I Faxed and said I was ready, now all of the sudden he wants to see me again. He's seen my crawl into his office I'm baffled by this need to see me.

We can't be running in for every little thing. I just won't go, it's too hard on me.

You're lucky.


Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising
Staff member
My NP appointments are Skype. My PCP would not RX me something we talked about at an appointment last month, which was my reason for going to see him. He wants to see me again. Why? This guy has seen me crawl into his office. Check please.

There has to be an easier for for us to get non-emergent care without landing us in bed for a week.
I don't think there's any good reason for him to require that. I think you just need to be seen in the office once a year (???)

I agree there's huge potential for this. It's cheaper and more efficient. For more minor matters this is the way to go!

In October, Google began experimenting with a service that asks users looking up health symptoms if they want to connect with a doctor via a video chat. That same month, the CEO of theAmerican Telemedicine Association told a U.S. News Hospital of Tomorrow forum that 1 million people will receive webcam consultations from a doctor this year, according to the magazine, and that remote monitoring of patients with chronic conditions has "huge potential."

In November, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced it would begin providing coverage for telemedicine services, a move that aligned it with a growing number of private health insurance companies that reimburse for telemedicine.

An article in Bloomberg Businessweek provides a glimpse of how a video chat with a doctor using the program LiveHealth Online was experienced by Beth Ferrin, whose 9-year-old son came home one night with a swollen throat and fever:
"After a quick diagnosis of an infection...a prescription for an antibiotic was called in to a pharmacy near Ferrin’s home in Bellbrook, Ohio. 'By 10 p.m., I was back home,' she says. 'It was quick and easy.' Her other options would have been to see a doctor in the morning or risk a long wait at an urgent care facility. The video call was faster and cheaper—it cost $40 instead of the $100 a pediatrician would charge, she says." "

Who Me?

Well-Known Member
I'm baffled by this unless he's needs to cover his ass. Got what I needed elsewhere.

UHC is doing it now. They have a really funny commercial with the Dirty Dancing theme.

This makes so much sense. Docs need to jump on board.

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