Women's Medicine Focus on Wellness: Frequently Asked Questions
Consistent with our mission to help you achieve your greatest health potential in body, mind and spirit, we are proud to be on the cutting edge of modern health care delivery. Below, the Women's Medicine team answers our patients' frequently asked questions about our new model of primary care: a focus on wellness.
What Happens if I Have an Annual Exam Scheduled?
Your annual exam will be converted to a chronic care visit via telemedicine. Your provider will update your medical history and review any concerns you have by phone or video. You will then be scheduled for your yearly wellness visit in the office where you will have a physical exam, complete important health screenings and be offered recommended vaccinations.
What if I Am Scheduled for a Wellness Visit, but Have Developed a New Symptom or Want to Discuss a Chronic Condition?
A wellness visit is a preventive care appointment. Preventive health care aims to maintain wellness and prevent health problems before they occur. If you have concerns about a new symptom or a chronic condition, just let us know before the visit. We can schedule a separate chronic care or targeted visit. If your concerns are more urgent, we can convert your wellness visit to a chronic care or targeted visit and reschedule the wellness visit for another time. Our goal is to dedicate the wellness visit to “health” care and not “sick” care.
What if I Am Uncomfortable Coming into the Office Because of a Risk of COVID-19 Exposure?
We have protocols in place to keep you safe including limits on the number of patients in the waiting rooms, social distancing in all areas, and strict cleaning protocols. We know it can be scary to come to the doctor’s office during this pandemic, but deferring important health care visits for too long can lead to health risks. We will do all we can to keep you safe, but if you are still uncomfortable, we will work with you to provide telemedicine visits.
Do I Need Both a Wellness Visit and a Chronic Care Visit Every Year? Why Can’t I Do Everything in One Visit?
The focus of each visit is very different. If you have chronic medical conditions, we feel it is important to see a health care provider at least twice a year. If your chronic condition or symptoms are not well controlled, you will likely need more visits. This new model of care gives you the opportunity to see your provider as much as needed to maintain good control of your health, but also dedicates time for preventive health care and health care maintenance. Women without any chronic medical conditions may only need a wellness visit each year.
What Is Telemedicine?
Over the past two decades, many smartphone users have taken advantage of technology to interact with friends and family and even work related meetings. Many use FaceTime and Skype as ways to interact with family and friends rather than just speaking by phone.
This technology has expanded to the field of medicine in the form of telemedicine (or telehealth). Using a phone, smartphone, tablet or computer, a patient can connect with a health care provider for medical advice. Telemedicine offers new opportunities and benefits to our patients.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, telemedicine has become a “new normal.” Many have appreciated the opportunity to continue to meet with their provider while also maintaining safety and social distancing. For some, rather than multiple visits to the office, follow up discussions with their provider have been held using telemedicine. Telemedicine also removes barriers for those with transportation or child care issues. While in-person care will always be part of health care, and is often preferred, telemedicine has expanded the services we can provide to our patients. Patients have been pleased with telemedicine appointments and report feeling connected, listened to and satisfied with the care they have received.
Is a Telemedicine Appointment Covered by Insurance?
Because insurance plans vary, as with any medical visit, it is the patient’s responsibility to check with their insurance provider to see what is covered under their plan. Patients should confirm their coverage prior to the visit to understand if there will be any out of pocket expense.