Telehealth for older adults
Get quality care from the comfort of your home.
Video visits can save you time and money while still offering quality care. In fact, about 6 out of 10 people said they saw “no difference in quality” between virtual visits and office visits. What’s more, they preferred video visits because they saved them time and travel.
You should know that virtual visits may save up to $1,800 over emergency room costs.
Here are three tips to think about the next time you need care:
Find out who offers virtual visits
Check with your hospital, health insurance plan or employer. Nearly 9 out of 10 employers offer telehealth to their employees. Medicare Advantage plans may also cover it. In some cases, there are no out-of-pocket costs.
Learn what kind of care you can get with virtual visits
Telehealth is most widely used for minor and non-emergency medical problems. These include allergies, flu, pinkeye and rashes. If you have a serious medical problem, call 911 or go to the emergency room (ER). (Note: as many as 1 out 4 ER visits involve problems that a virtual visit could have solved.*)
The video format turns out to be a good fit for talk therapy, as well. Virtual visits are being used more often to help with problems like depression and anxiety.
Use your “smart” devices
Smartwatches, activity trackers, blood sugar monitors, and now even asthma inhalers are helping people track their health. These devices may offer important information that your doctor can make use of during a virtual visit.
*UnitedHealthcare data; Based on an analysis of 2016 UnitedHealthcare ER claim volumes, where ER visits are low acuity and could be treated in a virtual visit, primary care physician or urgent/convenient care setting.
The information provided is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be medical advice or a substitute for professional health care. You should consult an appropriate health care professional for your specific needs.