The practice of telemedicine – providing health services via electronic or telecommunications channels – has steadily grown in popularity over the last few years. Often referred to interchangeably as telehealth, the practice boomed in early 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic gripped the world, and it became a lifeline for practitioners and patients alike.
BetterMed Urgent Care offers the service as TeleCare: high quality, remote care offered to our patients through live video conferencing from their phone or computer. We began offering TeleCare in 2020, and our patients have found it to be an incredibly convenient service. Moms can have an appointment without packing up the kids in the car. Students can get checkout without leaving the dorm room. And after returning from a business trip across the country, having an appointment in bed after catching up on sleep is just a click away.
What is TeleCare for?
BetterMed TeleCare is for patients who don’t need or want to come into the office but who would benefit from a face-to-face visit and advice from a provider. It’s a great fit for certain urgent care needs, as well as some types of post-care followup appointments. For instance:
- Respiratory conditions – colds, flu, seasonal allergies and cough
- Ear, nose and throat ailments – sinus infection, ear ache and sore throat
- Conjunctivitis (pink eye)
- Upset stomach / diarrhea
- Urinary tract infections
- Urgent medication refills
- Follow-up for hypertension
- Dermatology or skin issues
- Bites and stings
Remote Evaluation for COVID-19
Another convenient and effective use of TeleCare that we’ve pioneered over the past year is the COVID-19 evaluation. We provide screening as well as PCR testing: once you’ve scheduled your TeleCare assessment, you’ll be prompted to schedule an in-person COVID-19 test at a nearby BetterMed location. Test results will be returned on the same day in the Greater Richmond area and the next day in the Fredricksburg area. Learn more about our dedicated COVID-19 testing lab and expected testing costs.
How much does TeleCare cost?
Telehealth, in general, has become widely used and an accepted method of care for many traditional insurance plans – your expected cost is simply your copay. If you’re paying out of pocket via our Sure Pay option, the cost is $70.
If your provider recommends that you be seen at one of our physical locations, you won’t be billed for the TeleCare visit; for those who use self-pay, we’ll apply the $70 towards your final bill.
How is the level of care?
You can expect a visit with BetterMed TeleCare to be just as thorough and professional as a visit to a BetterMed location, only from the comfort of your own home or office. One of our highly trained, compassionate health care providers will conduct your exam, your privacy is ensured by our security protocols and guaranteed under HIPAA laws and you can even have any necessary prescriptions sent from your TeleCare provider directly to your pharmacy of choice.
Even in the post-pandemic world that’s starting to emerge all around us, TeleCare is here to stay.