Telemedicine Efforts Ramp Up

By Orange County Register

Hoag has launched a remote way for patients to reach a doctor without stepping foot into the hospital.

The hospital’s “telehealth” program promises to connect clients with Hoag’s primary and specialty care physicians through phone or video visits. The hospital said video visits are being conducted using the popular Zoom platform, and patients should call their doctor to find out if such appointments available.

“Hoag is proud to provide the continuity of care our community has come to expect – even during this time of global crisis,” said Robert T. Braithwaite, president and CEO of Hoag, in a statement. “Our patients can continue to ‘see’ their trusted clinician to maintain their optimal health and communicate with them directly.”

Hoag points out the telehealth options are best for non-emergency care and for patients with chronic medical conditions (diabetes and high blood pressure), and patients who are continuing specialized care for acute illnesses (heart problems, gastrointestinal disturbances and cancer care). So, call the ER or 9-1-1 if your symptoms are more urgent.

For Medicare or Medicare Advantage patients, telehealth visits, including telephone visits and video visits, are covered for any condition. Commercial HMO and PPO coverage will vary by plan.

Those patients who want to access virtual care at Hoag should first check with their insurance companies with questions about coverage.

Visit the Orange County Register to view the original article.