Important announcement: I’m switching to telemedicine
Important announcement: I’m switching to telemedicinejimgagne19502020-03-28T22:15:18-07:00
As you know, during the coronavirus Health Emergency, our government is asking everyone to stay home. Most physicians are switching to telemedicine visits, and so am I. Most of my patients and I are at increased risk of serious coronavirus illness. It could even be fatal. Let’s remain home and stay safe!
Starting immediately, I am ending almost all in-person office visits. You and I will still see each other, and I will prescribe the medications you require, via “telemedicine.” This means I’ll stay in my home and you’ll stay in yours. We’ll talk via a video link, using your laptop or smartphone.
I’ll be doing these remote visits throughout this Health Emergency. Here’s how it works:
For best results, you’ll need a smartphone or laptop with a camera and microphone, so we can see and speak with each other. A few of my patients don’t have these available, in which case we can use FaceTime or just your telephone. But a video link is much better.
I’m using Zoom, which works great with any device. There are several other systems for video conferencing, such as GoToMeeting, Google Hangouts, FaceTime, etc., but Zoom works the best, and that’s what I’m, using.
If you’re on a computer, you can use Zoom just with your internet browser. Or download the Zoom app at http://zoom.us, your choice. On an iPhone, iPad, or Android device, you’ll have to download and install the Zoom app, using the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. It’s called “ZOOM Cloud Meetings”.
When it comes time for us to meet, I’ll send you a special web address that you’ll insert into your browser. (I can’t list it here on the web, because internet “trolls” overwhelm publically available Zoom links.) My system will automatically direct you to your Zoom appointment. It will ask you for your name so I know who’s there.
Zoom will direct you into my “office.” Everyone goes to the same office. So that I’m not talking with more than one patient at a time, I’ve set up a “waiting room” where you’ll start. Zoom notifies me when someone is waiting. When I’m ready to see you, I’ll bring you into the “office” and start the appointment. Some of the time I’ll be off to the side, entering your information into my electronic medical record, so then you’ll be able to hear me better than see me. I can send your prescriptions electronically as well.
I can also email you a copy of your “superbill” so you can bill your insurance. For those with Medicare, we’ll send your visit information directly to Medicare. Expect Medicare to reimburse you within a few weeks.
During this Public Health Emergency, Medicare specifically pays for telemedicine office visits the same as regular in-person office visits and encourages doctors to do so. Other insurers vary. Hopefully the government will mandate insurance coverage for all insurers. My fees for your visit are the same as they would be in person. Because this is a “pay as you go” practice, please have a credit card ready at the end of your visit. If I have your email address, I can email you a receipt.
What about new patients who haven’t seen me before? I’m very reluctant to prescribe for people I’ve never met. I may make exceptions in certain specific cases, but on the whole, I’m limiting my practice to those I’ve previously seen. If you’re new to the practice and think I can see you remotely, please send me an email.
Here’s the good news. Because I’m working from home, I don’t have to limit visit hours to the Tuesdays I”m in my Glendale office. And as you can imagine, I’m home most of the time. So if you’d like to set up an appointment for another time, please let me know.
You can always contact me by leaving a voice mail at my office phone. Even better, send me an email via the Contact link at the top right of the web page.