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6 myths about pediatric telemedicine and the truth behind them
May 27, 2020
6 myths about pediatric telemedicine and the truth behind them

COVID-19 has changed the delivery of health care for both kids and adults 

As many appointments have shifted from in-person to telemedicine – visits by video or phone – some myths have cropped up about how exactly this works.

While telemedicine may not be appropriate across the board, this mode of caring for kids’ health care needs may be more universal than you think.

Myth #1: It’s too hard to access telemedicine care.

Fact: All you need is a smartphone, tablet or computer with internet connection – and your kid! You can schedule your child’s virtual visit the same way you schedule in-person appointments, by calling (804) 828-CHOR (2467) or requesting an appointment online.

We’ll answer any questions you have when scheduling the appointment. We’ll also call you on the day of your child’s appointment to ensure you’re ready for the visit and that everything is working as it should.

Myth #2: There are very few things that can be addressed via virtual appointments.

telemedicine appointments Fact: Virtual visits can be beneficial for new and current patients and for many appointment types, from sick visits to well-child checkups, surgery follow-ups and mental health. Depending on the reason for your visit, you may be asked to help with the exam by measuring your child’s weight, taking their temperature, shining a light down their throat or applying pressure to their belly.

There are certain exams that can’t be done virtually, such as checking ears. We’ll help you determine what type of visit is most appropriate when scheduling the appointment.

Myth #3: Specialty services are not offered via telemedicine.

Fact: We’ve expanded virtual visits to continue caring for kids and families, while maintaining social distance to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Most of our subspecialists are seeing patients by telemedicine when appropriate, even as we continue to safely and responsibly re-open our clinics for in-person outpatient care.

Myth #4: Health insurance doesn’t cover virtual visits.

Fact: Just as health care providers and patients are adjusting to new approaches to care as a result of COVID-19, so are insurance companies. Many insurance companies, as well as Virginia Medicaid, are covering most or all of telemedicine visits. It’s a good idea to call your health insurance company to confirm your specific coverage.

Due to the public health emergency related to COVID-19, the regular copay amount required at the time of your virtual visit will be $0. You may receive a follow-up bill from your provider for your copay or additional amounts.

Myth #5: Telemedicine is not private.

Fact: We take your child’s privacy seriously. It’s true that we have less control over this privacy during virtual visits than we do in our hospitals and clinics. Due to the increased demand for telemedicine in response to COVID-19, rules within the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) for these appointments have been slightly modified to allow the use of additional applications.

We have several telemedicine options available at CHoR. Please talk with your provider about any concerns you may have so they can select the platform that best meets your needs and comfort level. We also encourage you to make sure that you and your child are in a private space during the appointment.

Myth #6: My kid won’t sit still for an appointment at home, so telemedicine won’t work for us.

Fact: We specialize in caring for kids. Don’t worry if your child doesn’t sit perfectly still or respond exactly to what we’re asking. Every child and family is different and we’re prepared to work with you.

Sometimes it’s helpful to have a book, coloring book or quiet toy available to keep your child entertained while you talk with the provider. They might show us their favorite game or pet and that’s OK too!

Take a look at our other tips for a great virtual visit.

Request a virtual visit with a CHoR pediatrician or specialist, or call (804) 828-CHOR (2467) to schedule an appointment by phone.

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