The Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine broadly defines telemedicine as delivering healthcare services, treatment, and patient care through electronic communication by a physician to a patient at a different location.
Evaluation, consultation, diagnosis, monitoring, and treatment of a patient’s physical, mental, and oral health can be conducted through telehealth. It also applies to prescribing medication and devices in the state of Massachusetts. Recent revisions in state law have included the use of either synchronous or asynchronous telecommunications technology, including audio-only telephone, interactive audio and video technology, online adaptive interviews, remote patient monitoring devices, and other electronic media technology in the definition of telehealth.
Healthcare practitioners in Massachusetts can directly render healthcare services through telehealth and telemedicine means without the need for a prior face-to-face encounter with the patient. However, considering that telehealth is viewed as just another mode of rendering healthcare services, medical practitioners cannot be mandated by the state or governing boards to offer their services through any of the telehealth modalities.
Similarly, clients or patients cannot be forced to receive healthcare services via telehealth and have all the liberty to refuse or decline the same should they opt to avail of in-person services. Another consideration that affects the decision-making of Massachusetts residents in availing of telehealth services is that only live video conferencing modality is currently covered and reimbursable under state reimbursement policies.
The Center for Health Information and Analytics, the Division of Insurance, the Executive Office of Health and Human Service, and the Health Policy Commission are taking measures to ensure the telehealth services aren’t financially burdening patients.
- Unmatched Feature of Telemedicine in Massachusetts
- Massachusetts State Telemedicine Laws and Policies
- Interstate Medical Licensure Compact
- Standard of Care
- Informed Consent
- Behavioral Health Services
- State Reimbursement Policy
- Public Health Emergency (PHE)
- 10 Top-rated Online Doctors and Telemedicine Providers in Massachusetts
- Telemedicine Resources in Massachusetts
Unmatched Feature of Telemedicine in Massachusetts
The Initiative has made telehealth resources available online on their website, which played a vital role in encouraging their fellow physicians to start delivering healthcare services via telehealth means.
The program’s main goal is to assist physicians in expanding their practice into telemedicine and improving the implementation of telehealth services by those participating in it.
The Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services and the Division of Insurance are tasked to report telehealth status and statistics in the state, particularly in terms of access and cost.
Through these reports, necessary changes and additions may be formulated to make improvements on the status of telehealth in the state. Massachusetts practitioners and residents can surely benefit from this mandate.
Massachusetts State Telemedicine Laws and Policies
Who can practice telemedicine in Massachusetts?
All physicians licensed by the Board of Registration in Medicine in Massachusetts can obtain credentialing and privileging by proxy for telehealth services with qualified health facilities or with other physicians. The following are some of the types of providers who may avail of this privilege:
- Chiropractic Doctor
- Doctors of Dental Medicine or Dental Surgery
- Doctors of Medicine
- Osteopathic Physicians
- Registered Nurse
- Social Worker
Interstate Medical Licensure Compact
Once passed, it will allow all qualified healthcare professionals to render their services in other member states by completing a single application before the Compact. It will serve as the basis for other member states to determine the eligibility of the interested practitioner before issuing a license in their favor.
The Compact saves the practitioner from filing multiple applications, thereby shortening the processing period and lessens the burden of submitting different requirements before individual state boards.
Standard of Care
Telehealth physicians must provide the same standard of care to patients as they would in person. A provider must determine their capability to deliver such services in compliance with state laws, licensure requirements, communication access, performance specifications, and programmatic regulations.
Telemedicine providers are expected to take the patient’s basic information, location, and relevant medical history, conduct examinations to determine the patient’s physical and mental status, establish a doctor-patient relationship, and diligently document the same in the patient’s medical records. The provider must also give their basic information, location, license, certifications, and credentials for the patient to identify them properly.
Extra diligence must be observed when dealing with a patient for the first time. The provider must carefully study the patient’s medical records and history not to miss any relevant information that may affect the diagnosis and treatment of the patient. Care coordination with the patient’s primary care provider and other doctors they might be consulting with is part of that diligence. It must also be reflected on the patient’s record that the healthcare service was rendered through telehealth.
Documentation of the barrier or reason why the patient did not receive healthcare in person is not required of the telehealth provider. If the provider determines that the patient’s medical case cannot be appropriately addressed remotely during the telemedicine encounter, they should refer the patient to a clinic, office, or other healthcare facilities.
Just in case an emergency would arise after the telemedicine encounter, the practitioner basing on their assessment of the patient’s medical case, must provide a protocol to be followed by the patient or a family member.
There are no explicit provisions in Massachusetts law requiring telehealth practitioners to obtain patient’s informed consent before rendering healthcare services. However, given the standard of care required to be observed, it is best for online providers to get still the patient’s informed consent similar to what is needed when services are rendered in person.
Informed consent not only serves as a protection for the practitioner but also allows the patient to be apprised of the benefits, limitations, and risks of availing telemedicine services before agreeing to receive the same.
The provider must make sure that all telehealth encounters are conducted via a secure and private telecommunication system. No identifiable patient health information must be made accessible or leaked to third parties without the patient’s consent.
This is a major concern for telehealth services, given the nature of electronic information transmitted from one device to another. However, the federal government has set forth the standard to be followed when handling a patient’s medical information in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.
The Massachusetts state government and medical boards or agencies observe this standard and have integrated them into their additional guidelines. All encounters via telecommunications technology must be encrypted and protected by a password.
Online providers and prescribers are expected to observe the minimum standard of care required before issuing prescriptions to their patients. To secure the patient’s safety and welfare, a physician-patient relationship must exist before a prescription is issued via telemedicine. The same must be done within the usual course and the prescriber’s scope of practice. All prescriptions must be completely and properly documented in the patient’s medical records.
Prescription of controlled substances falling under the Schedule II category requires an initial in-person evaluation of the patient by the online prescriber. Every three months after that, for the entire duration that the patient is to take the subject controlled substances, an in-person examination must be conducted to monitor the effects of the drugs. This required in-person ongoing examination does not necessarily have to be personally performed by the online prescriber as long as the primary care provider collaborates and forwards the results to the former.
When it comes to clinical visits concerning marijuana use, the initial assessment must be done in person, and only then can succeeding visits be conducted via telehealth. The Cannabis Control Commission has issued guidelines requiring a bona fide provider-patient relationship, a full assessment of the patient, especially the subject’s debilitating medical condition, and orientation by the certifying healthcare provider of the benefits and risks of using marijuana.
Prescribing physicians are prohibited from recommending a specific pharmacy or suggesting their preferred pharmacy to the patient.
Behavioral Health Services
Behavioral health practitioners must undergo telehealth training before being allowed to render services through the various available modalities. The training includes learning how to operate telehealth equipment, troubleshooting technical problems, securing the privacy and confidentiality of patient health information, observing clinical work best practices, and clinical risk management protocols.
The following outpatient behavioral health services may be delivered through telehealth means:
- Counseling and Clinical Case Management for Ambulatory Services
- Opioid Treatment Services Counseling
- Pregnancy and Postpartum Care Services
These teletherapy and telepsychiatry services may be delivered by Community Health Centers, Community Mental Health Centers, and Outpatient Substance Use Disorder providers. Such services may only be delivered through live video conferencing alone or through a combination of audio-only telephone consultation, electronic mail, facsimile transmission, instant messaging, and phone text as they cannot be used as stand-alone modalities.
State Reimbursement Policy
The general rule to be followed by Medicaid managed care organizations, contracted health insurers, health maintenance organizations, behavioral health management firms, and other healthcare service plan providers are to cover and reimburse telehealth services if these two requisites are present:
- The telehealth services to be rendered is considered covered when delivered in-person; and
- It has been determined that such healthcare services can be conducted appropriately via telehealth means;
There are recent changes and developments integrated into Massachusetts’ reimbursement policies. It introduced parity for behavioral health services and coverage for other healthcare services as well. This means that payment rates for rendered telehealth services must not be less than what is paid for when the same services are rendered in person.
Despite the inclusion of other modalities in the state’s definition of telehealth, reimbursement of these modalities such as store-and-forward and remote patient monitoring is still not required of healthcare plan providers. However, it is to be expected that payment rates for interactive audio-video communications and even audio-only telephone consultations are higher than what the other modalities available are paid.
Facility fees incurred at either the originating or distant site are not reimbursable under state policies, and online providers cannot include the same in the billing for their claim.
What services are reimbursed in the state of Massachusetts?
By MassHealth – MA Medicaid:
- Live Video
X Remote Patient Monitoring
X Stand-alone or combination of Audio-only Telephone Calls, E-mail, or Facsimile
Among all the available and allowed telehealth modalities in the state of Massachusetts, the live video takes precedence over others given its nature and close similarity to an in-person consultation. Its rate is equivalent or almost equal to what an office or clinic visit would be paid.
To be considered reimbursable, the equipment to be used must conform with the required standard for an “industry-wide compressed audio-video communication for real-time, two-way, interactive audio-video transmission.”
Services falling under behavioral Health, including mental health and substance use disorder, are also permanently covered to the same degree. Pediatric acute-onset neuropsychiatric syndrome (PANS) and pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorder associated with streptococcal infections (PANDAS) have been given mandatory coverage by state laws.
However, fee-for-service providers are not covered under the state’s Medicaid program.
By Private Payer or other healthcare service plan providers:
Insurance plans and contracts between a private insurance corporation and an insured member may include a statement providing for the application of copayment, coinsurance, or deductibles in telehealth services. The only limitation is that the rate indicated must not exceed the copayment, coinsurance, or deductible applied to similar in-person services.
A summary description of the following telehealth services, the extent of their coverage, and available telecommunications technology must be laid down to interested individuals upon enrollment:
- Behavioral Health Services
- Chronic Disease Management
- Primary Care Services
Service and payment parity exists and is already in effect in the state of Massachusetts.
Who can avail of these reimbursements?
Qualified registered providers under the MassHealth program are eligible for reimbursement. This non-exclusive list shows some of the types of healthcare practitioners who can avail of the said reimbursement:
- Advanced Practice Nurses
- Behavioral Health Nurses
- Clinical Social Workers
- Nurse Practitioners
- Occupational Therapists
- Physical Therapists
- Professional Counselors
- Social Workers
Public Health Emergency (PHE)
When the public health emergency was declared, the State rolled out issuances and amendments to healthcare policies and guidelines. When the Covid-19 pandemic struck, the state made temporary changes to the rules and regulations in the health sector, including telemedicine practice. The following are some of the changes introduced at the time of a health crisis:
- Out-of-state physicians are allowed to render their services in the state through the Emergency Temporary License Application as long as they possess an active and unrestricted license to practice medicine in other states within the country.
- Prior in-person consultation is not required before an online provider can render healthcare services to a patient as long as the physician determines that telemedicine is appropriate and sufficient to address the patient’s medical needs.
- Healthcare practitioners can temporarily practice beyond the scope of their fields of specialization or general practice during the existence of a public health emergency.
- Covid-19 testing, inpatient or outpatient treatment, emergency, and cognitive rehab services are automatically covered.
- All telehealthcare services delivered by in-network providers, for as long as they are medically necessary and clinically appropriate, must be covered by all state and private insurers at the same rate as if the services are rendered in-person.
- There is a rate parity extending up to ninety days after lifting the state of emergency for all services. Meanwhile, for primary care and chronic disease management services, the parity extends to up to two years from the effectiveness of the local law.
- Uninsured Covid-19 patients, those exhibiting Covid-19 symptoms, or those who are receiving care as part of contact tracing can receive free telehealth consults with providers from Doctor on Demand who have inked a deal with the state of Massachusetts.
When the state of emergency was lifted last June 15, 2021, the temporary license waiver in the state of Massachusetts was rescinded. Similar measures are expected in other public health emergencies.
10 Top-rated Online Doctors and Telemedicine Providers in Massachusetts
The health of the residents in a state correlates with the accessibility of healthcare services in the area. Telemedicine provides more than just accessibility and convenience to those who choose to receive this kind of service without compromising the quality and standard of healthcare services. With a population of almost seven million, telemedicine serves as an additional avenue or alternative for the residents of Massachusetts needing healthcare services without having to leave their homes or miss work and school. Below is a list of telemedicine providers in the state that offers quality services delivered by top-rated online doctors:
- HIPAA Compliant
- Board Certified Physicians and Specialists
Mass General clinicians are now virtually accessible through their Center for TeleHealth department. They cater to Massachusetts residents with health issues and consulting physicians who seek medical advice with their specialists and experts through telehealth means. Their Telehealth program is all-encompassing and extensive as it includes the following:
- External TeleHealth Programs: Under this program, providers and healthcare facilities can access on-demand consultations with Mass General’s world-renowned specialists in the field of dermatology, neurology, newborn medicine, pediatric critical care, and psychiatry.
- Inpatient Programs: Through Mass General’s CareTeam Connect Suite, admitted patients at the hospital can communicate with specialty providers, interpreters, and family members using video conferencing technology. Aside from English, other languages available for this platform are Arabic, Chinese, Haitian Creole, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.
- Program License and Advisory Services: This program was developed especially for academic medical centers and health systems focusing on specialty care such as behavioral health, cardiology, intensive care, neonatal medicine, oncology, and many others. It provides tools and program materials for other institutions to utilize in developing their system.
- Research and Clinical Trials: Studies on the accessibility, impact, and effectiveness of telehealth and telemedicine services in addressing the healthcare needs of individuals in the state of Massachusetts are conducted by Mass General researchers and faculty. These publications, along with other virtual tools, are made available for other researchers on their websites.
- Telehealth in the News: Mass General administrators and physicians host podcasts and write articles based on their own telehealth experience and how they address challenges associated with using this mode of delivery of healthcare services.
- Virtual Visit Program: With the Zoom application, patients can consult with their provider similarly to in-person encounters. The patient would see their online doctor in person if they both determine it to be necessary during treatment. The same is also true in terms of in-person consultation to virtual visits.
- HIPAA Compliant
- Board Certified Primary Care Physicians, Internists, Preventive Medicine Specialists, Nurse Practitioners
Boston Medical Center patients are free to switch their in-person consults into telehealth visits and vice versa before their scheduled appointments. Those who opt for a video visit but won’t be able to push through with it may change the same to a phone consultation instead with the approval of the online doctor.
Some of the medical concerns they can address and treat via telehealth visits are:
- Alcohol use disorder
- Diabetes management
- Hypertension management
- Joint problems
- Mild asthma flares management
- Skin rash diagnosis and treatment
- Substance use disorder
Through telehealth, additional services are virtual physical examination, issuance of prescriptions, medication refills, ordering of laboratory tests, reviewing of results, and referrals to a specialist.
Before scheduling a virtual appointment via Zocdoc or MyChart, it is best to check with your provider about the eligibility of your medical concern for remote care. They also offer free interpreter services for Albanian, Amharic, American Sign Language, Arabic, Cantonese, Cape Verdean Creole, French, Haitian Creole, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian, Somali, Spanish, Tigrinya, Ukrainian, and Vietnamese languages. If ever you need a professional medical interpreter or language facilitator for your appointment, you must inform the scheduler beforehand so one can join you on the day of the telehealth visit.
Telehealth visits and in-between visits communications with Boston Medical Center providers are channeled through MyChart, which serves as their patient portal. Patients can access their medical records, scheduled appointments, and other health information on their accounts. For easy access on mobile, one can download the MyChart app on Google Play or App Store.
- HIPAA Compliant
- Board-certified Physicians, Physician Assistants, Nurse Practitioners
With a wide range of specialists from women’s health, oncology, internal medicine, infectious disease, neurology, hematology, and many others, patients can be sure that they can be very well cared for by experts at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
Patients can choose between a phone consultation or a one-on-one video conference with doctors at BWH. It is one of the founding members of the Mass General Brigham and Massachusetts General Hospital and other renowned healthcare institutions in the state.
The hospital’s telehealth visits allow both new and established patients to:
- Discuss symptoms and observations about one’s Health
- Get a diagnosis and corresponding treatment
- Follow up on the previously diagnosed condition
- Receive orders for laboratory tests, imaging, and other needed examinations
- Have the results reviewed
- Be issued a prescription or medication refill
- Be recommended for therapy
- Consult about their scheduled surgery and other procedures
- Ask for a second opinion
Depending on the severity of one’s medical condition, Brigham and Women’s Hospital have the discretion to deny a patient care through its telehealth services and refer them for an in-person visit or emergency room. Some of the minor medical conditions they can address remotely are as follows:
- Eye irritation
- Mild asthma exacerbations
- Painful urination
- Sinus symptoms
- Upper respiratory infections
- Yeast infections
Although they cater to children, care for some illnesses such as urinary symptoms is only available for adults. Virtual visits can be conducted either through Zoom or with Mass General Brigham’s Patient Gateway. The apps for both can be downloaded at the App Store or Google Play. Family members, caregivers, and other concerned individuals are free to join the video conference regardless of where they are located at the time of the telehealth visit.
- HIPAA Compliant
- Board-certified Physicians, Behavioral Health Specialists, and Nurse Practitioners
- Insurance: Private only, MassHealth is currently not accepted
Firefly is a fully virtual healthcare provider that observes a comprehensive and proactive approach. Their online providers can issue prescriptions that will be directly sent to the patient’s chosen pharmacy. If the subject medical concern requires the advice of an expert in the field, they can also make specialist referrals.
Some of the medical cases they handle involve primary care for the following:
- Acute and Urgent Primary Care: back pain, cold, flu, headache, infection, joint pain, nausea, sinus infection, skin problems, stomach problems, sprains, strains
- Behavioral and Mental Health: ADD, anxiety, depression, grief, insomnia, stress management
- Chronic Conditions: allergies, arthritis, asthma, blood pressure, cholesterol, chronic pain, diabetes, gastrointestinal disorders, migraines, weight management
- Everyday Care, Wellness, Health Coaching, and Preventive Care: sexual health screenings, sleep issues, smoking cessation, weight loss, wellness exams, and routines
- Women’s Health: birth control, breast cancer screening, female health exams, menopausal symptoms, menstrual cycle concerns, pap smears
Firefly treats patients in teams consisting of physicians, nurse practitioners, health guides, and behavioral health specialists. If none of them is available and you want to receive immediate medical attention, there have standby providers who are accessible all the time, so there will always be someone to address every patient’s concern.
After registration, Firefly sends essential resources and tools such as a thermometer and blood pressure cuff so that you can take your vitals. You can coordinate with them through the Firefly Health app, which can be downloaded from the App Store or Google Play.
They have in-person partners specializing in dermatology, ENT, OB/GYN, orthopedic, and physical therapy to set an appointment for you directly. If you have your preferred doctor, they can work with them too. They also have laboratory partners for testing and imaging when necessary.
- HIPAA Compliant
- Board Certified Cancer Specialists/Oncologists
US News and World Report ranked Dana-Farber as one of the top cancer programs in the country. With its life-changing researches, discoveries, and clinical innovations, it is no wonder that cancer patients seek the care and treatment offered by cancer specialists at Dana-Farber.
The first thing they do is determine what type of cancer you have and its genetic profile before they formulate an individualized treatment plan to address your special and specific needs. The overall treatment includes:
- Counseling: To address anxieties and concerns associated with being diagnosed with cancer, counseling is conducted by licensed psychologists, psychiatrists, and social workers. Patients can also opt to avail of spiritual care offered at Dana-Farber.
- Integrative Therapies: To enhance the cancer patients’ quality of life through expressive arts therapy, meditation, movement classes, and many other forms of therapy.
- Nutrition Services: To help the patient sustain a healthy and balanced diet from oncologists who have undergone special training for such purpose while integrating scientifically proven research on nutrition.
- Patient and Family Support Services: To provide support for the entire family against a disease that can greatly affect them physically, emotionally, and financially. Dana-Farber offers counseling, spiritual care, and financial planning to address these concerns.
They also have an Online Second Opinion Program wherein adult patients and parents of pediatric patients from anywhere in the world can receive an expert second opinion from one of their oncologists through Grand Rounds or Boston Children’s Hospital. This program can help individuals who have recently been diagnosed with a new type of cancer or blood disorder, experience changes in condition, or have been introduced to a new treatment plan.
- HIPAA Compliant
- Board-certified Pediatricians
A child’s holistic health, including their physical, mental, and emotional well-being, is the priority of pediatricians at Newton Pediatrics. It has affiliations with Brockton Hospital, Newton-Wellesley Hospital, South Shore Hospital, and a few other hospitals.
MyChart is the patient portal utilized by Newton Pediatrics where patients from infancy up to college ages can set an appointment and consult with their pediatrician and other physicians. Some of the services they offer are:
- Age-appropriate counseling
- Asthma screening and treatment
- Breastfeeding consultation
- Complex care management
- Comprehensive mental health screening
- Dental health education
- Gastrointestinal care
- Healthy living goal setting
- Hearing screening
- Newborn and infant care
- Obesity management
- Vision screening
Aside from pediatric care, they also provide the following services:
- Behavioral Health: ADHD evaluation and management, anxiety evaluation and counseling, Asperger’s syndrome screening, autism screening, bullying prevention and advocacy, child-rearing questions, depression therapy, education on normal developmental stages
- Environmental Health: allergens, coliform bacteria, dust, lead, mold, nitrates, tobacco smoke, ultraviolet radiation, water contamination
- Travel Medicine: diarrhea management, insect precautions, parasite exposures, pre and post-travel counseling, rabies exposure, yellow fever guidance,
Consultations may be conducted via video conference, phone, or secure text messaging. If a child needs to be seen in person, continuity of care can be observed in their locations in Newton Centre, Waltham, and Wellesley.
- HIPAA Compliant
- Board Certified Behavioral Health Specialists, Psychiatrists, Psychologists, Nurse Practitioner
Lifestance Health was formerly known as Commonwealth Psychology. They offer online telepsych visits to patients who seek psychological and psychiatric care. The patient must confirm their location within the state of Massachusetts before any mental healthcare is rendered by one of Lifestance’s providers. Their services include:
- ADHD Testing and Treatment: This service is not available for patients below the age of eight.
- Behavioral Medicine for lifestyle changes to alleviate symptoms or prevent illnesses: asthma, diabetes, cancer, high cholesterol, hypertension, irritable bowel syndrome, gastrointestinal problems, migraines, obesity, pain management, sleep disorders.
- Career Assessment and Consulting: The client’s personality, values, strengths, and interests are carefully reviewed and analyzed to help them decide on what career path to take that would give them satisfaction. University students choosing a major, fresh college graduate, mid-career professionals, and unemployed individuals can greatly benefit from this program.
- Child and Adolescent: behavioral difficulties, communication and assertiveness training, gender identity or curiosity, life transitions, parents’ divorce, phobias, physical Health, self-esteem, social skills training, stress management.
- Therapy and Counseling: academic concerns, ADHD, ADD, anxiety, depression, gender identity, grief, life transition, loss, relationship and intimacy issues, stress.
Since not all mental health issues can be appropriately addressed through virtual visits, clinicians may directly refer you for an in-person consultation instead based on the assessment of your symptoms, medical history, and complexity of your case by their Intake Department or based on your answers on the online form they require to be filled up before proceeding.
- HIPAA Compliant
- Board Certified Therapists with Subspecialties
Physical therapy may not seem like a viable option for patients who need this type of service, but MOTION has made it possible. MOTION therapists customize each patient’s exercise and therapy program according to their specific needs. They will give you instructions on going about with your routine and assisting you throughout the session via video conference. Patients may also opt for a phone consultation to get answers or clarifications for their queries.
Rehabilitation services at Motion include:
- Hand and Upper Extremities Therapy
- Occupational Therapy
- Physical Therapy
- Speech Therapy
Patients of all ages get telehealth services for balance, strength, coordination, chronic pain, and post-surgery concerns or problems. MOTION’s pediatric therapy services address developmental delays, motor skills impairment, sensory processing disorders, toe walking, and many others. They also integrate modern techniques and devices in their assessment and treatment programs.
Aside from this, exercise manuals and other online resources are also provided on their website for patients to follow in between scheduled sessions. Patients can also access their information, track their progress, and communicate with their therapist via messaging through their accounts.
As with other medical cases, online providers will first assess whether the subject condition can be properly treated via telehealth. If the therapist determines that the patient needs to be personally and physically examined, they can be easily referred to one of their various locations across the state in Boston, Essex County, Middlesex County, and Norfolk County.
- HIPAA Compliant
- Board Certified Family Doctors, Internists, and Emergency Medicine Doctors
Medical professionals at PhysicianOne can render telehealth or telemedicine services to patients of all ages within the state of Massachusetts, New York, and Connecticut. Each virtual visit begins with the online provider asking about the patient’s symptoms, timeline, and actions. Write them down to maximize your time during a consultation.
Most of the common illnesses and injuries they treat are:
- Acid reflux
- Eye pain
- Insect bites
- Minor burns
- Respiratory infections
- Seasonal allergies
- Skin rashes
- Sinus pain
- Urinary tract infections
All treatment plans are tailored to patient needs, following an evaluation by the online doctor. If medically necessary, drugs will be prescribed and forwarded to the patient’s chosen pharmacy. They also provide prescription refills if determined to be appropriate.
During the virtual consultation, the PhysicianOne provider may assess the patient to need further testing and be seen in person. In such instances, they will be referred to the nearest urgent care location for proper attention. Their on-site services include laboratory tests, x-rays, physical examinations, and treatment of minor injuries and cuts.
Its affiliation with Tufts Medical Center has aided in providing healthcare services, having been given access to education, training, research, and clinical trials. Their online providers can collaborate with your primary care doctor and other specialists on all matters related to your health.
- HIPAA Compliant
- Board Certified Emergency Medicine Doctors
OnDemand Virtual Urgent Care is now available at BIDMC, a teaching hospital of the Harvard Medical School. This service is accessible to all individuals who are located within the state of Massachusetts. If the patient is a child or a minor, the parent simply needs to add them to their account. It must be noted that the subject child must be present during the entire virtual visit.
Video consults are available for non-life-threatening conditions such as:
- Back Pain
- Eye Irritation
- Insect Bite
- Minor Injuries
- Sinus Issues
- Skin Conditions
- Sore Throats
- Urinary Issues
Issuance of a prescription is left to the sole discretion of the online provider, depending on their assessment of the medical necessity for any medication. BIDMC physicians do not prescribe erectile dysfunction medication or muscle relaxants as part of their policy. They also do not issue prescriptions for opiates or narcotics as it is against the law. These may be sent electronically to the patient’s chosen local pharmacy.
Symptoms and conditions such as breathing difficulties, chest pain, neurological changes, persistent vomiting or diarrhea, severe pain, slurred speech, uncontrolled bleeding, and vomiting blood cannot be accommodated by BIDMC’s OnDemand service appropriate for a virtual consultation as these are emergency medical conditions.
BIDMC physicians can be instantly accessed through their app downloadable at the App Store or Google Play. You can receive quality medical attention for your urgent non-emergency health concern through these telehealth channels.
Telemedicine Resources in Massachusetts
While telemedicine has existed for a time now, it does not guarantee a perfect or flawless process. Although federal laws and national publications are accessible to everyone on the web, the same cannot be said for state or local policies. To be sure you are getting accurate and up-to-date information, check out these telemedicine resources:
- MA Board of Registration in Medicine: The BORIM is the one responsible for regulating the practice of all physicians in the state of Massachusetts. They likewise handle the licensures and discipline of those under their jurisdiction. To access all state regulations, policies, and guidelines on medical practice, including telehealth and telemedicine, you can visit their website. Proposed regulations, updates, revisions, obligations, and other matters practicing physicians must equip themselves with are also available.
- Northeast Telehealth Resource Center: This is a program under MCD Public Health and exists to provide telehealth technical assistance to states within its jurisdiction, including Massachusetts. Its main goal is to aid in the expansion, development, and implementation of telehealth in the region by giving general information, research articles, schedule of upcoming events, news, and educational materials on the administrative, clinical, ethical, and financial aspects of it.
- The Telehealth Initiative: This telehealth resource can be found on The Physicians Foundation website. It provides various and comprehensive resources targeted especially for physicians who want to expand their practice into telemedicine. Most of these resources are from the American Medical Association, such as Quick Guides, Digital Playbook, CMS or Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Policies and Regulations, Coding, and Frequently Asked Questions.
- Center for Connected Health Policy (MA): This project of the Public Health Institute can provide you with the highlights of all you need to know about Massachusetts’ telehealth Medicaid program, private payer laws, reimbursement policies, and professional requirements. You can also search by state or topic all telehealth information from news and research to miscellaneous matters. Readers can even download all materials in portable document format for printing and easy reading.