Online medical consultation necessarily involves the use of video, via a computer, tablet, or smartphone. The video then allows the doctor to examine a sore throat, swelling, pimple, or any other symptom leading to a diagnosis. The patient, thanks to communication technologies, will also have the opportunity to discuss it with his doctor. This teleconsultation takes place in the same way as a classic consultation in a doctor’s office. Also, this new practice gives rise to many advantages:
Telemedicine, a response to medical deserts
Rural regions are often affected by the lack of doctors, thus causing congestion in hospital emergency departments. This situation can also lead patients to forego care and thus see their state of health deteriorate. Also, thanks to the online medical consultation, the reduction in the renunciation of care can be considered. On the other hand, the delays in obtaining an appointment with a specialist (dermatologist, ophthalmologist) are very often very long, between 6 months and a year. With online medical consultation, it becomes possible to reduce these delays significantly.
The online consultation, a response to mobility problems
People who are unable to move around, due to lack of public transport or physical disability, will be among the first to benefit from the advantages of telemedicine.
Reducing the time spent in the waiting room
No need to wait long minutes before having a consultation with your doctor.
Improving the quality of care
A patient requiring regular medical follow-up, in the event of a chronic illness, may benefit from teleconsultation. Less restrictive in terms of time and travel, medical staff will be able to provide much better support and more easily consider the necessary care.
Telemedicine improves working conditions
Today, more and more companies offer their employees to consult a doctor from their premises, via an online consultation system. In this way, there is no need to be absent or take a day off to consult a health professional. Telemedicine is involved in improving the well-being of employees and working conditions.
Online consultation offered in pharmacies
In Alsace, pharmacies 2.0 offer teleconsultation equipment, in order to allow patients to make an appointment quickly with a health professional.
Can teleconsultation obtain a prescription?
Teleconsultation effectively makes it possible to obtain a digital prescription, with doctors authorized to provide it following an online examination. This new method of prescription also offers considerable advantages, in particular the impossibility of falsifying this document and an inestimable time saving for pharmacists. On the other hand, the second computer entry is then no longer necessary.
However, this practice is not yet democratized. Electronic prescription went through a testing phase in 2017, in the departments of Maine-et-Loire, Saône-et-Loire, and Val-de-Marne. The digital prescription remains in paper format but has a QR Code that the pharmacist scans, in order to access the doctor’s prescriptions.
At the end of the teleconsultation, an email will be sent to you from the telemedicine service on which the health professional you have consulted depends. You will then be given several options in order to collect the prescription.
Will the teleconsultation be reimbursed by Health Insurance?
Teleconsultation is billed at the same price as an in-office consultation, i.e. 25 €. But this price depends on the specialty of the doctor and his sector.
Teleconsultation can be reimbursed by the Health Insurance, to any patient with social insurance, regardless of his place of residence, for any reason for recourse, which can be carried out by any private doctor under the agreement, registered and practicing, whatever his specialty.
For this, the patient must be taken care of by his attending physician, or by a physician belonging to a regional organization close to the patient.
The Health Insurance then covers 70% of the consultation (or more, if the online consultation concerns a long-term condition, or is carried out in the context of pregnancy, or if the patient is CMU-Neck AME ).
Indeed, the percentage of the user fee (that is to say the part of the expenses payable by you) depends on several factors, in particular the type of consultation (illness, disability, an accident at work, maternity …), the act or treatment proposed, as well as the respect or not of the course of care.
The third-party payment is applied in a similar way: in full for patients suffering from a long-term illness, pregnant women, and patients receiving CMU-C or ACS. For others, third-party payment can be offered on the compulsory and/or additional part.
On the other hand, it is necessary to specify that certain conditions must be met, in order to benefit from a reimbursement of the online medical consultation:
This must integrate the course of care.
You must be known to the healthcare professional and have consulted him or her at least once during the last 12 months.
If you plan to see a specialist online, you will first need to go through your doctor. However, this does not concern specialists who can be consulted with direct access, such as gynecologists, ophthalmologists, psychiatrists, etc.
However, any patient under the age of 16 will be able to benefit from the free online consultation.
How does teleconsultation or online medical consultation work?
Teleconsultation with a doctor (general practitioner or specialist) can take place from your home, via different platforms: a site or a secure application, on a mobile phone, computer, or tablet. However, it is essential that the equipment chosen has a webcam. The online consultation can also be carried out in a nursing home, or a pharmacy equipped with the necessary equipment. It is also essential to have already physically consulted the doctor who will take care of you.
How to plan a teleconsultation?
To offer you an online consultation, your attending physician or specialist must be registered on a teleconsultation platform or application. The healthcare professional will then send you a secure link to access the online service.
The consultation can be scheduled in advance, in which case an appointment will be made. However, this can be taken spontaneously, by choosing one of the available time slots indicated on the site or the application by your doctor. However, this type of medical consultation cannot be reimbursed.
Teleconsultation tools allow you to schedule a consultation, depending on the availability of health professionals. These devices offer great ease of access for the patient, but also allow the doctor to organize himself more easily, and to have better reactivity. For example, a canceled physical appointment may be replaced by online consultation.
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