Virtual visits let you get quality care when and where you want. In fact, about six out of 10 people said they saw “no difference in quality” between virtual visits and office visits. What’s more, virtual visits are preferred because they save time and travel.
You should also know that virtual visits may save up to $1,800 over emergency room (ER) costs.
Here are three tips to think about the next time you need care.
Find out how to set up a virtual visit
Check with your clinic to see how to schedule a virtual appointment. Medicare Advantage plans may cover it. In some cases, there are no out-of-pocket costs.
Learn what kind of care you can get
Virtual care is widely used for minor and nonemergency medical problems. These include allergies, flu, pink eye and rashes. Virtual visits are also a good fit for talk therapy. They’re being used more often to help with problems like feeling low and worried.
In fact, as many as one out of four ER visits involve problems that could be taken care of with a virtual visit.* But if you have a serious medical problem, call 911 or go to the ER.
Use your "smart" devices
Smartwatches, activity trackers, blood sugar monitors and now even asthma inhalers are helping people track their health. These devices may offer important information that your doctor can use during a virtual visit.
*UnitedHealthcare data; based on an analysis of 2016 UnitedHealthcare ER claim volumes, where ER visits are low acuity and could be treated in a virtual visit, primary care physician or urgent/convenient care setting.
The information provided is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be medical advice or a substitute for professional health care. You should consult an appropriate health care professional for your specific needs.