By: Robert Pusateri, Capstone Brokerage Benefits Consultant October 26, 2017

A client called me late Thursday night not feeling well. They said they called Urgent Care and there was a long wait time for new patients. The client said they were hoping to tough it out till the morning. I asked if they tried the Telemedicine feature on their insurance plan and they said no they haven’t but would try anything. I thought this was a great opportunity for my client to try out the Now Clinic app and give me some first hand feedback.

The Now Clinic App is simple to install on a smart phone or tablet making it super convenient to use. Once installed simply enter the data requested and create a personalized user name and password. Once Registered, you can find Dr.’s and PA’s to choose from, simply make a selection and get ready to talk to the doctor. Crazy healthcare within minutes! Online visits can be as low as $10.

Now I know what your thinking how does it work though, what is the catch? Basically there aren’t any just be prepared to enter the current medical symptoms, verify phone number and pharmacy address and have a credit card handy to cover the co-pay.

As for my client, they were informed where they were “in-line” for a call back and after about 8 minutes the doctor contacted them online and they were medically treated over a video. Once the situation and symptoms were accessed by the doctor a prescription can even be called in, talk about innovative technology and convenience.

UHC, Sierra Health and Life and Health Plan of Nevada all have telemedicine capabilities called “Now Clinic”. Now Clinic connects insureds to a provider 24/7, 365 days a year from a computer, smart phone or tablet. No appointment is necessary, and the co-pays are usually less than the standard PCP co-pay.

Ok Sign me up:

First, go to nowclinic.com or download the app, sign up, choose a provider and get care from home. The standard online/phone visit is averaging ten minutes long. The physician also has the option to extend the visit at no additional charge to the patient. Because this is a medical service involving personal health information, each person over the age of 18 (including dependents over the age of 18) must have a separate account.

How to access online health care:

1. Enroll by providing identifying information (e.g. first name, last name, date of birth); input credit card, pharmacy, and health history.

2. Login or call using your unique member name and password established during enrollment; select provider.

3. Submit request to connect and, while the provider is being notified, wait in the “online waiting room” and/or enter a phone number to receive a text when the provider is ready to meet–usually in less than 10 minutes.

4. Consult with the provider via video and/or audio capabilities to discuss symptoms and options for care.

5. Receive a self-care plan, diagnosis and/or prescription*

6. When done, see the visit summary and cost of service; confirm credit card transaction. In 1-2 days, the provider may contact the member for follow-up and closure.

* Prescriptions exclude controlled substances, appetite suppressants, and lifestyle drugs.

When the session is over, you can share the visit notes with other providers (for example, your primary care provider) as appropriate. A complete record of each visit is kept for you, so you can go back and access it at your leisure. You will need access to a computer to set up your user ID and password. Once a provider has been selected, a member/subscriber will be placed in an online waiting room. They can usually expect to wait from 5-10 min for the provider to review and accept the consultation via phone. Sometimes a video interaction may be required for prescribing some Rx.

Providers can assist with an assortment of medical needs related to:

• Acne, Allergies, Asthma, Athlete’s Foot, Bladder Infections/UTI, Bronchitis, Cold Sore, Cough/Cold, Diabetes, Diarrhea, Eye Infection/Sty/Pink Eye, Fever and Chills, Flu/Flu-like Illness, Gout, Insect or Spider Bites, Laryngitis, Nausea, Runny Nose, Sinus Infection, Skin Inflammation, Skin Rash, Sore Throat, Sunburn, Viral Illness

Having access to health information is always important to providers and helps them provide timely, informed managed care. When you allow your provider/PCP to view your health information, he or she can provide more informed medical advice tailored to your specific health needs which really can help the prognosis.
If the doctor on NowClinic believes medication is warranted, he or she can write a prescription for non-narcotic medications (i.e. no controlled substances), which can be sent directly to your preferred pharmacy. Each NowClinic visit is in full compliance with the privacy and security protection afforded to you under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

As telehealth becomes more prevalent among US healthcare institutions, states are rolling out or modifying their laws to better define regulatory frameworks specifically affecting remote delivery of care. Every state but Connecticut and Massachusetts, has made substantive legal changes to how telehealth is delivered in the past, with some taking specific actions to better define the path of mental health-focused treatment, according to recent data on telemental regulations.

Remember you are still in your pajamas when all this occurs. Convenient healthcare at your fingertips. For more information about accessing telehealth and online healthcare speak reach out to a knowledgeable broker or your Human Resources department.