Telemedicine Visits Save You Time and Travel
A telemedicine program enables our patients to consult with specialists at MidMichigan Health or other organizations, including the University of Michigan, without traveling for an appointment. The consultations are available using a technology called telemedicine. This program helps you avoid the stress and cost of travel or ambulance transfers and get the specialized input needed for quicker planning and treatment.
What is Telemedicine?
Telemedicine is any kind of technology that enables you to receive medical care or expertise from a remote location. We use audio and video equipment and a secure Internet connection to enable a doctor in another location to examine you, ask you questions, consult with your local care team and provide you expert advice. You will be able to see and hear the expert in real time and interact with them much as you would during an in-person appointment.
How Does it Work?
If your physician feels that you would benefit from having a specialty consultation, they will discuss the process and benefits of telemedicine with you before scheduling a telemedicine appointment. In some cases we can even schedule immediate telemedicine consults for patients who are already at our facilities, such as in the Emergency Department or during an inpatient stay.
You are welcome to have a visitor or family member participate in your telemedicine appointment. Please let our clinical staff know if you want to include someone else in your appointment. We will also ask you to confirm that you are comfortable with your care team sharing your medical information in front of your visitor or loved one.
When it is time for your appointment, a trained member of our clinical staff will act as the telemedicine presenter. They will operate the audiovisual equipment, take your vital signs or perform other physical examinations as requested by the remote physician, and ensure that all parties can see, hear and understand each other during the consult. We use a secure connection to protect your privacy during the telemedicine visit. If the consulting specialist recommends any additional testing or interventions for you, our team will work with your physician to place the appropriate orders.
After the Telemedicine Appointment
Your care team and the consulting specialists will typically share their conclusions and recommendations with you during or immediately following your telemedicine visit. A report of your visit will also be documented in your medical record and will be available to your local care team for reference during follow-up care.
Costs and Insurance
You may receive a separate bill for this service from the consulting physician in addition to your bill from MidMichigan Health. Medicare and Medicaid typically cover telemedicine visits for patients at rural facilities, and some other insurances cover this service regardless of location. You may want to contact your insurance company to determine your actual coverage. However, keep in mind that even if this service is not covered, it can help you to avoid other costs such as travel or ambulance transfer, and it can also ensure you get the timely care you need to prevent a more serious condition or a worsening of your condition.
Available Telemedicine Programs
Our telehealth program is constantly growing and adding more services. Below is an example of available services:
- Behavioral Health (Available in Alpena)
- Cardiology (Available in Clare)
- General Neurology and Acute Stroke
- Infectious Disease (Available in Alpena)
- Maternal Fetal Medicine (Available in Alpena)
- MidMichigan Hospice/Home Care
- Nephrology (Available in Alpena)
- Pediatric Epilepsy (Available in Alpena)
- Pharmacy Medication History
- Telerespiratory - Including vent settings, BiPap adjustments, etc. (Available in Mt. Pleasant Emergency Department)
- Ten16 Recovery Network
- Urgent Care (Available at Houghton Lake Community Health Services)
- Ventilator Management (Available at Gladwin Pines Nursing Center)