With the coronavirus pandemic, the very fabric of daily life has changed. We understand that there is a lot of stress and anxiety concerning this situation, and we want you to know that we are here for you.
One of the ways we’re serving our patients is by offering telemedicine appointments, where you can meet with one of our providers online. This enables you to have access to the same level of high-quality care from your own home. However, face-to-face visits are still available for those who need them.
How Is Raleigh Medical Group Responding to the COVID-19 Crisis?
First, we want everyone to realize that health care is an “essential service,” and Raleigh Medical Group is open to help you with your health care needs.
One of the reasons that primary care is so important is that it can help you avoid unnecessary, and expensive, urgent care and ER visits.
We have responded to the crisis in the following ways:
- We offer telehealth for our patients through ZOOM—except for those with emergent conditions.
- We screen all respiratory illnesses via our telehealth program.
- We are taking extra precautions to ensure the safety of all our patients and our health care team.
- We are offering drive-thru COVID-19 testing for appropriate patients. If you’re not sure if a COVID-19 screening is appropriate for you, please contact us for more information.
It’s also easy to stay in touch with your provider by logging in through our secure FMH patient portal.
Although telehealth is another important aspect of the services we offer, we want to assure you that it is also possible to schedule a face-to-face visit when appropriate.
What Is Telemedicine (or Telehealth)?
This service utilizes technology and video conferencing to allow you to have a “virtual meeting” with one of our Raleigh internal medicine providers. The use of telemedicine has expanded in recent years. It has proven especially helpful for serving those in rural areas where there may be a shortage of specialists.
Is Telemedicine Easy to Use?
Yes! In fact, our telehealth services are conducted through ZOOM, a video conferencing program that is well-known for its ease of use.
However, if you have questions about it, please do not hesitate to reach out to us. We want you to know that we are here for you, whether in-person or virtually. We’ll be happy to guide you through the process.
Will My Insurance Pay for Telehealth Visits?
Most major insurance companies will cover this, although you will most likely have a copay. However, because there are several variations among policies, our best advice is to speak to your insurance representative before your appointment.
How Can I Make the Most of My Telemedicine Visit?
We’ve compiled some useful information that will help you with your telemedicine appointment. Following this advice will help everything run smoothly.
1. Test your microphone and camera before the session.
This ensures that we’ll have a session without technical difficulties. You may wish to “test out” your microphone and camera by having a video chat with a friend.
2. Make a list of questions you’d like to have addressed.
This is a good piece of advice for both telehealth and in-person visits. This will ensure that all your concerns will be addressed. We are happy to take the time to answer all your questions.
3. Be sure your device is fully charged or plugged in.
No one wants to interrupt a session for fear that the battery is getting low! That’s why we recommend plugging in your computer or tablet to ensure you’ve got plenty of power for the entire session.
4. Utilize good lighting.
We want to be able to see you clearly! Be sure to conduct your appointment in a well-lit area using plenty of natural light.
Make sure the light is not behind you. This will cast shadows across your face.
5. Speak clearly.
Most computers and tablets come with effective, quality microphones. However, it’s still important to speak slowly and clearly. Every word you say is important to us!
6, Make sure you’re in a quiet area.
Background noise can interfere with the sound. That’s why we encourage you to find a quiet place like a home office to make the most out of your appointment.
7. Close any other programs you’re using.
This helps ensure you have the bandwidth needed to conduct an appointment.
How Do I Schedule a Telehealth Appointment With Raleigh Medical Group?
It’s simple to set up an appointment. Just follow these steps:
- Call our office or send us a message via our patient portal to schedule an appointment. We’ll book your appointment as usual.
- We’ll give you detailed instructions on how to connect to your Raleigh Internal Medicine provider through the ZOOM app. You can use this on your phone, tablet or laptop.
- You will receive an email from the provider to join the ZOOM conference at the designated time.
- If you are unable to use the ZOOM app, please call our office to discuss possible alternatives.
Where Can I Get the Most Reliable Information on the Coronavirus?
We want to be sure you have the most accurate information on the coronavirus. Often, social media and other items that are shared on the internet do not contain reliable information.
RALEIGH MEDICAL GROUP: PARTNER IN YOUR CARE
This is an unprecedented time in our nation’s history. Now, more than ever, the health of our community is of paramount importance.
We want to assure you that we are open and still seeing patients both face-to-face and through telehealth services. If you have questions or think you need to be tested for COVID-19, we encourage you to contact us.
Together, we will get through this difficult time.