February 25, 2019
As technology improves, more physicians are offering virtual office visits. Here are 5 advantages of virtual physician visit services.
Getting to and from a physician’s office can be challenging for older adults, especially those who live in rural communities or those who’ve given up driving. Many are reluctant to ask a busy adult child for help and aren’t aware of other transportation options. For some seniors, it is a barrier to getting the care they need when they need it.
One option that has been growing in recent years is virtual physician visits. As the technology improves and is easier for seniors to use, the number of physicians offering this service has grown. Insurance companies are seeing the value of virtual visits and including them in their list of covered services.
There are issues to be aware of if you are a senior considering virtual physician visits or the adult child of one. Here’s what older adults and their families should consider.
5 Advantages of Virtual Physician Visit Services
- Convenience: Being able to have a face-to-face conversation with a physician from the comfort of your living room is appealing to many. As technology becomes easier to use, even those seniors who aren’t experienced computer users will likely find this service to be convenient.
- More focused physician-patient interaction: Physicians are busy professionals, sometimes so busy that patients feel they aren’t being listened to. The doctor might be distracted by other office personnel and patients. Those who have utilized virtual visits often cite the advantage of their doctor’s attention. When it is just the patient and the physician talking by video conference, a doctor can focus more effectively.
- No exposure to viruses: Physician waiting rooms are full of sick people. That can expose an older adult, who may have a weaker immune system, to bugs and viruses. Visiting your physician virtually eliminates that risk.
- Less time spent waiting: Physicians are notorious for running behind schedule. That leaves patients stuck sitting in the waiting room with nothing to do. It can be stressful and aggravating. When you are waiting for your virtual visit, however, you can relax in the comfort of your own home.
- Easier access to specialists: Patients often want to seek a second opinion when they are diagnosed with a health condition. That can be difficult to do for people who live in rural communities. With the help of technology, a patient in Nebraska can meet with a physician in New York virtually to receive advice.
Other Factors to Consider
While virtual physician visits have many advantages, there are a few other factors to consider and ask questions about:
- How easy is the technology to set up and use? If the senior runs in to problems, how will they go about finding assistance?
- Does the older adult’s insurance or Medicare pay for virtual visits? If not, how much is the out-of-pocket charge?
- Is the older adult’s internet connection strong enough? For seniors in rural communities, a lack of good internet options might make virtual visits challenging.
Transportation Provided at Legacy Senior Living
One of the most popular services used by residents of Legacy Senior Living is transportation. Seniors and their families have peace of mind knowing our communities can arrange transportation to and from physician offices. Call the Legacy community nearest you to learn more about this vital resident service.