Q: What is telehealth?
A: Telehealth, also known as telemedicine, is a kind of communication technology that provides certain health care services.
The use of communication technologies like a telephone, video conferencing platforms like Zoom or WebEx, or an instant message system allow patients to avoid in-person visits with a health-care practitioner like a doctor or nurse.
While there are many ways to receive telehealth services, the Department of Health and Human Services advises against using Facebook Live, Twitch or TikTok.
Some resources available through telehealth include, but are not limited to, general wellness visits, medicine prescriptions, skin care, eye exams, nutrition counseling, mental health counseling and urgent care resources related to symptoms like back pain or common rashes.
Some medicines may require an in-person visit, according to the Drug Enforcement Agency. This can include controlled substances, but it is important to first check with a doctor.
Medicare, Medicaid and insurance providers often assist with telehealth payments similar to their in-person equivalents. It is important to check with your doctor or insurance provider before scheduling a virtual appointment.
Many of these services are also available for dentists, pharmacists and veterinarians, too.