Telehealth in Pennsylvania pertains to delivering medical and other health services to patients using synchronous two-way interactive audio and video telecommunications technology. Asynchronous store-and-forward, electronic mail messages, telephone conversations, text messaging, facsimile transmissions, and remote patient monitoring has been expressly stated as not falling within the concept of telehealth.
This state-provided definition of telehealth made live video the only modality that is covered and reimbursable in the state of Pennsylvania.
Before, telemedicine consultations can only be availed within the confines of the enrolled referring provider’s clinic and his or her participation. This means that the telemedicine service is available only when there is a need to consult other specialists other than the patient’s physician whom he or she sees in-office. This requirement has long been removed, and telemedicine can now be available in other settings or even at home in some instances as long as there are still trained staff such as other clinical professionals, nurses, or physician’s medical assistant present during the virtual consultation.
The decision to render telehealth services is subject to the health care provider’s discretion. He or she must consider several factors in coming up with the decision. Under the following circumstances, it would be medically appropriate and practical to conduct telemedicine consultations:
- The patient is not fit to travel or when doing so would be dangerous due to his or her health status;
- The patient lives in a rural area that would require 60 minutes or more travel time to a health care provider and 30 minutes when the patient comes from an urban area;
- When time is of the essence, and there are no available specialists for the patient’s condition within the area where the patient lives and transportation is difficult;
Providers are mandated to provide interpretively and sign languages if necessary for the proper delivery of telehealth services.
With the existing laws and corresponding limitations, telehealth cannot yet serve as a substitute to in-person consultations but rather only as a supplement to the latter. It is primarily used when the patient’s medical condition needs the expertise of other specialists.
There is currently a bill, referred to as HB 642, pending before the legislation, which would amend the Insurance section of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes. The bill aims to authorize the further regulation of telemedicine in the state, especially when it comes to reimbursement, both by Medicaid and private payers. It is now being discussed before the Insurance Committee.
Here’s all about how telemedicine and telehealth services work in Pennsylvania:
- The State of Telemedicine in Pennsylvania
- Pennsylvania State Telemedicine Laws and Policies
- State Reimbursement Policy
- Public Health Emergency (PHE):
- 10 Top-rated Online Doctors and Telemedicine Providers in Pennsylvania
- Telemedicine Resources in Pennsylvania
The State of Telemedicine in Pennsylvania
Technically, the practice of telehealth is not prohibited by any law in the state of Pennsylvania. However, there is also no comprehensive law discussing the matter. Several bills were submitted to the legislative for reading and hearing, but these bills were eventually disapproved or vetoed and were not passed into laws.
Some of the bills that could have made great improvements in telehealth services were Senate Bill 780, House Bill 15, and Senate Bill 857. The reason why some legislators and the Governor did not vote for these bills is because of disagreements when it comes to paying parity or insurance coverage and other provisions in the law tackling access to abortifacients.
Pennsylvania State Telemedicine Laws and Policies
Who can practice telemedicine in Pennsylvania?
The following health care practitioners and physician specialists can render health care services through telemedicine:
- Certified Nurse-Midwives
- Certified Registered Nurse Practitioners
- Maternal-Fetal Medicine Specialists
All health care professionals who are allowed to render health care services in the state of Pennsylvania must only do so within the scope of their practice.
Out-of-State Telehealth Provider
The state government and medical board of Pennsylvania allow the issuance of what they call extraterritorial licenses, which also cover telehealth practice. The only physicians qualified for this type of license are holders of unrestricted licenses in states adjoining Pennsylvania, whose location is near its boundaries and whose practice extends into Pennsylvania.
Extraterritorial licenses are not granted leniently. Other factors—such as the physician’s state of origin, the availability of medical care in the area where such physician intends to practice, and the needs of its constituents—are all considered before an approval can be given. The applicant shall also comply with other requirements like malpractice insurance coverage and certification from the licensing authority in the home state regarding the status of his or her medical license.
The extraterritorial license can be automatically revoked upon findings by the Commonwealth of any violation and upon transfer or relocation of the licensee of his or her office or residence. It is the licensee’s obligation to inform the board of any changes that concern the license’s approval and maintenance.
Interstate Medical Licensure Compact
The state of Pennsylvania is a member state of the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact. It is one of the first few states to have passed legislation on this matter. However, House Bill No. 1619, which is now a law, was delayed.
Under the Compact, Pennsylvanian physicians can now easily obtain licenses to practice medicine in other Compact states subject, of course, to each member state’s licensing rules. The same is also true for non-resident physicians who wish to practice within Pennsylvania and do not qualify for an extraterritorial license.
The process has been made easier because of the availability of the physician’s information to other states based on what is shared by its State of Principal License and the issuance of the latter of a Letter of Qualification. It has cut the time needed by the other state to conduct evaluations and background checks on the applicant. Hence, achieving its main goal of expediting licensure.
Psychology Interjurisdictional Compact
The state of Pennsylvania, through Senate Bill 67 now enacted into law, allows the practice of telepsychology under the PSYPACT. Under this compact, psychologists can now render services in receiving member states, provided they are holders of unrestricted licenses in their home state.
However, membership in the compact does not automatically mean that they are free to practice in any manner and extent they want. They are still subjected to the receiving state’s laws and guidelines when it comes to medical practice.
Standard of Care
Providers have the responsibility to make periodic annual reviews of the quality of their telehealth service under the written plans they have maintained. The reviews must consider the equipment, software, technology, training, security checks, and technical aspect of the service.
Providers must first obtain the prospective patient’s consent to receive the telehealth service. The patient must have sufficient knowledge of the way the service will be delivered and the participants of the consultation. Although documenting the consent is not required under the law, it would be wise on the part of the provider to record the same, whether oral or written.
The patient has the right to refuse delivery of any health services via telehealth. The exercise of this right cannot be used against the patient when it comes to availing of face-to-face services instead.
The main guideline observed by health professionals and providers in the state of Pennsylvania is that outlined in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), along with related state and federal laws.
Under the act, a business associate agreement (BAA) must exist between a physician and his or her provider to protect patient health information.
All services availed of via telehealth, the reason behind the utilization of this type of service, when it was delivered indicating therein the time it started and ended, and other health information must be reflected on the patient’s medical record be kept private and secure.
Other Technical Requirements
The success of telehealth services relies heavily on the quality of the telecommunications technology utilized during the virtual consultation. Hence, the equipment used must meet these minimum requirements:
- Can be fixed or mobile
- Clear display of the full body of the patient and his or her environment
- Compliant with federal and state law when it comes to secure transmission of patient’s health information
- Sound and image must be synchronous and without delay
Controlled substances can only be prescribed by individuals who are holders of licenses to practice medicine and surgery or other equivalent licenses issued by their respective boards within the state of Pennsylvania.
Electronic prescribing go controlled substances has become mandatory in the state. This was implemented to minimize forgery, errors, and diversion of prescriptions for these substances, which could cause harm and damage not just to the individual but to the society as a whole.
Aside from a license, other preconditions that must be complied with before electronically prescribing controlled substances are taking of patient’s medical history and conducting an initial physical examination.
Compliance with the requirements may be forgone in case of emergencies and other justifying circumstances. These are the only provisions in Pennsylvania laws that discuss or provide guidelines on online prescriptions.
Behavioral Health Services
The general rule when it comes to behavioral health services is that telepsychiatry cannot be delivered to a patient’s home. However, there are exceptions to this rule. A patient’s home can be considered as a valid originating site if the service is part of or qualifies any of the following circumstances:
- Assertive Community Treatment (ACT)
- Dual Diagnosis Treatment Team (DDTT)
- Mobile Mental Health Treatment (MMHT)
- Presence of staff trained in the use of telehealth equipment and in-person clinical intervention
As for distant sites, the following are considered under state laws to be valid:
- Drug and Alcohol Outpatient Clinics
- Psychiatric Outpatient Clinics
- Psychiatric Partial Hospitalization Programs
- Other settings allowed by Behavioral Health Managed Care Organizations (BH-MCOs)
State Reimbursement Policy
Under state laws, the only modality of telemedicine reimbursed is the live video which mostly involves consultations. There are no provisions stating reimbursements for other modalities such a store-and-forward, remote patient monitoring, e-mail, telephone, facsimile, or text message as they have been excluded in the definition of telehealth.
Services exchanged between two health care professionals, including consultations between them, are likewise not reimbursed under state policy. The interaction must strictly be between a physician and a patient.
All Fee for Service systems delivered by behavioral health practitioners is now covered.
What services are reimbursed in the state of Pennsylvania?
By PA Medicaid:
* Live Video
X Remote Patient Monitoring
X Stand alone or combination e-consults through telephone, e-mail, text message, or facsimile
To be reimbursed for telehealth services availed through live video conferencing, the telehealth service must be conducted at a physician’s office who is enrolled with the Medical Assistance Program to be reimbursable.
For telepsychiatry services rendered in Federally Qualified Health Centers or Rural Health Centers, the service must fall under the managed care option, rendered by psychologists and psychiatrists only, and must have an approved service description passed through the Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS).
Aside from consultations which can either be with a patient or a family member, Medicaid has also included other services to be covered in telepsychiatry. These are:
- Pharmacological management
- Psychiatric diagnostic evaluations
- Psychological evaluations
By Private Payer or other health care service plan providers:
There is no existing law in Pennsylvania mandating reimbursement by private payers for the telehealth services availed of by its insured members. This is because lawmakers and implementers cannot provide a provision regarding this matter that is agreeable to all parties concerned. Some prefer to have it covered the same extent as in-person services, while some suggest that insurance companies must set up their rates for reimbursements.
On the other hand, there is no law prohibiting insurance providers from covering telehealth services and reimbursing the same. It is up to the health care service plan provider’s discretion to include the same in its coverage. Many plan providers already include telemedicine services, but they are at liberty to decide the lowest and maximum amount they will reimburse without set minimum requirements. They can also pick which telehealth services to cover only while excluding some despite being equivalent. Many factors could determine the final covered and reimbursable services by private payers without the much-needed law.
Who Gets Reimbursements?
Pennsylvania has been very selective when it comes to naming eligible providers, especially for the facility fee. Although there have been several additions to the role of medical health professionals covered and reimbursed under state law, the list remains short. Below is a compiled list of these practitioners:
- Certified Nurse-Midwives
- Certified Registered Nurse Practitioners
- Licensed Clinical Social Workers
- Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists
- Licensed Professional Counselors
- Licensed Psychiatrists
- Licensed Psychologists in the HealthChoices Program
- Medical Assistance Program enrolled Psychiatrists
- Physician Assistants Certified in Mental Health
Public Health Emergency (PHE):
Pennsylvania laws may not have tackled specific topics that could have simplified the regulation, implementation, and reimbursement of telehealth services, but the state government quickly addressed some of these concerns during the public health emergency, the Covid-19. Below are some of the guidelines to be observed while a public health emergency exists:
- All healthcare professionals who are holders of a Pennsylvania medical license issued by the Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs (BPOA) can render services via telehealth. Some of the boards that are observing this mandate are as follows:
- Examiners in Speech-Language Pathology
- Marriage and Family Therapists
- Nursing Home Administrators
- Occupational Therapy Education and Licensure
- Osteopathic Medicine
- Physical Therapy
- Professional Counselors
- Social Workers
- Veterinary Medicine
- Telephonic-only devices may be utilized when there is no available video technology.
- Out-of-state healthcare providers in good standing are currently permitted, when medically necessary and appropriate, to provide telemedicine services to residents of Pennsylvania after submitting with the state’s medical board their license details and other basic information.
- For behavioral health services, they are currently observing the following guidelines in rendering services via telehealth:
- A patient’s home is temporarily considered as a valid originating site and is no longer limited to Assertive Community Treatment (ACT), Dual Diagnosis Treatment Team (DDTT), and Mobile Mental Health Treatment (MMHT).
- The presence of trained staff with the patient as provided by law is not required in the meantime.
- Fee-for-service and Behavioral HealthChoices programs can both bill for telehealth.
- Limitations for certain services from being rendered through telemedicine have been suspended temporarily.
- Other health professionals whose practitioner type was not expressly allowed by law to render telehealth services may now deliver behavioral health services through this mode provided that it does not exceed their scope of practice.
- Telehealth interactions may serve as a substitute for required in-person contacts in certain programs.
- New providers still awaiting approval to practice via telehealth may immediately deliver the same pending the said approval.
- The SAMHSA has temporarily suspended the requirement of an in-person examination before rendering medication-assisted treatment of opioid use disorder using buprenorphine. However, it must first be determined by a primary care physician or other authorized healthcare professionals under the supervision of a program physician or by the latter himself that the patient can be adequately examined through telehealth means.
- For teledentistry, telephone-only services may also be used aside from audio-video conferencing when the latter cannot be accessed. The need for the presence of a dentist or other dental professional at the originating site is temporarily waived. These public health emergency guidelines apply to all dentists regardless of specialty and all dental services rendered by Federally Qualified Health Centers or Rural Health Centers. The rules, however, do not apply to dental hygienists, dental staff, and Public Health Dental Hygiene Practitioners.
- The HIPAA standards are relaxed during public health emergencies, and penalties are waived as long as telemedicine delivery through platforms that do not comply with the set standards is done in good faith. However, the requirement that such a platform must be non-public facing and that the patient must be informed of the privacy risks must still stand! Some of the allowed communication tools and apps are as follows:
- Apple FaceTime
- Facebook Messenger
- Google Hangouts
- Other non-public facing audio or video communication tools
Although there have been several suspensions and expansions of law during the state of a public health emergency, observance of the privacy and confidentiality of the patient’s health information must still be followed.
10 Top-rated Online Doctors and Telemedicine Providers in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania currently has a population of more than 12 million, according to the US Census Bureau. A growing population also means an increasing need for health care services. Providers from different specialties have expanded their practice into telehealth to serve patients, old and new, better. Through telemedicine, Pennsylvanians now have easier access to the different types of telehealth care services rendered online and other platforms. Below is a list of the best of these telemedicine providers or online doctors in the state of Pennsylvania:
- HIPAA Compliant
- Board Certified Dermatologists, Aestheticians, Physician Assistant
Almost all skin, hair, and nail conditions can be evaluated, diagnosed, and treated by the highly skilled and experienced dermatologists at Ringpfeil. Some of the conditions they address are:
- Brown Spots
- Dermatosis Papulose Nigra
- Hair Loss
- Nail Fungus
- Seborrheic Keratoses
- Skin Cancer
- Underarm Sweat
They also offer Ethnic Dermatology, wherein they have come up with tailored services suited for different skin types, specifically that for darker skin. It is because darker skin is more sensitive and prone to skin inflammation, acne breakouts, and discoloration. Their Board-certified dermatological specialists have researched and developed a special solution for treating acne, scar, keloids, and moles in dark skin.
You can book your telehealth appointment online to talk with one of their providers via video conferencing. They will present you with several treatment options, which can either be medications or non-invasive procedures. They have a clinic located at 1516 Locust Street, Philadelphia, where you can have the recommended procedures done. You can book them during your telehealth visit or online through their website.
They have garnered the Top Doctors award six years in a row granted by Philadelphia Magazine. Ringpfeil prides itself as a women-led and LGBTQ-inclusive care facility that offers telemedicine services. They keep patients and clients abreast of the latest updates and services they offer through their Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and Instagram accounts.
- HIPAA Compliant
- Board Certified Specialists
The equipment and technology used by providers at UPMC in Central Pennsylvania are state-of-the-art to ensure that patients receive the highest quality of telehealth care in a secure online platform.
They have specialists in almost all scope of practice who can provide a wide array of different telemedicine services. Some of these services are covered by the following special fields:
- Addiction Medicine
- Bone and Joint Center
- Cardiovascular Disease
- Colon and Rectal concerns
- Family Medicine
- Gynecologic Oncology
- Heat Failure Program
- Hospice and Palliative Medicine
- Infectious Disease
- Internal Medicine
- Maternal and Fetal Medicine
- Nutrition Services
- Pediatric Cardiology
- Tobacco Cessation
The above list does not reflect all the telemedicine services offered at UPMC as there are many other specialties they can cover. You can avail of these services right at your physician’s office or other facilities without the need to travel to another location.
They have what they call the Telestroke Network, which operates 24/7 and is accessible to community hospitals. Acute stroke experts can give life-saving medical advice by evaluating patients remotely, providing diagnoses, and giving recommendations on how to go about the treatment. Your physician or a nurse will be with you during the virtual consultation and will be the one providing on-site care.
If you want to receive diagnosis fast and expert care within a similar timeframe, UPMC can deliver that type of service. They also have an educational and resources section on their website from which patients can learn more about a certain condition.
- HIPAA Compliant
- Board-Certified Physicians, Registered Dietitians, and Nurse Practitioners
Rittenhouse tags itself as exclusively for women, by women. They offer both in-office and telemedicine services for adolescents who are more than 16 years old and female adults. Their services cover different specialties in gynecology, nutrition, primary care, psychology, and skincare.
If you want the symptoms or medical issues you are experiencing to be evaluated, get preventive tips, have treatment options laid down before you, or manage chronic conditions, then you should book an appointment with their specialists. Some of the services they offer are:
- Birth control counseling
- Emotional Well-Being Services
- Menopausal symptom-management
- Special Dietary Needs
- Traveler’s Health
- Treatment for skin conditions like eczema, dermatitis, infections, warts, moles, and skin tags
- Treatment of urinary tract infections
- Treatment of vaginal infections
They utilize the Healow app in rendering real-time telemedicine visits and secure communication through their patient portal. If your case would require immediate medical attention or when a sensitive topic is concerned, you should directly opt for a telemedicine visit. Use of the patient portal is advisable only in non-time-sensitive questions or follow-ups.
To be sure what type of service your medical issue would require or whether it can be addressed via telemedicine or in-person, you should call their office for confirmation.
You can also access different blog articles, newsletters, media kits, and nutritional supplement information. Rittenhouse was featured in different media like the ACP Internist, Philadelphia Business Journal, Medical Economics, and Mainline MediaNews.
- HIPAA Compliant
- Board Certified Pediatricians, Pediatric Physician Assistant, Pediatric Nurse Practitioners
The health care providers at PM Pediatricians have undergone rigorous training in different subspecialties. You can be sure that the health of your child is in good hands when you avail of their services. For urgent medical concerns for your child zero to 26 years of age, book a telemedicine appointment with PM Pediatrics:
- Ear pain
- Insect bite
- Muscle strain
- Poison Ivy
- Respiratory infections
- Seasonal Allergies
- Skin Infection
- Skin Rashes
- Sinus congestion
- Sore throat
Since the subject of the consultation is your child, his or her presence is a must during the scheduled consultation. The online pediatricians will have to virtually examine your child to diagnose his or her condition and provide appropriate treatment properly. After evaluation and diagnosis, the assigned physician to your case will provide you with a treatment plan. If medications are needed, they will send them electronically to your chosen pharmacy, where the same will be fulfilled to be picked up or delivered, if applicable.
You can avail of all these services on their website or right through their app, available on both Google Play and App Store. One account would suffice for all family members. All medical information will be stored in this account for easier access and review by a parent or guardian responsible for the account.
- HIPAA Compliant
- Board Certified Physicians
- Insurance: Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), PACE/PACENET, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, Children (WIC)
Non-smokable cannabis has been approved and made legal by the state of Pennsylvania, subject to medical limitations. First, register with Pennsylvania’s Medical Marijuana Registry. It is after a successful registration where NuggMD comes in. Upon proper evaluation and assessment of one of their licensed physicians, they will provide you with a certification which states, among other things, that you have one of these qualifying conditions enumerated under state law:
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
- Anxiety Disorders
- Brain Injury
- Chronic, Severe, or Intractable Pain
- Crohn’s Disease
- Central Nervous System Tissue Damage
- Hepatitis C
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Sickle Cell Anemia
- Spastic Movement Disorders
- Spinal Cord Disease
- Ulcerative Colitis
Upon issuing the certification, the doctor will then submit the same as part of your application for a Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Card on the state’s registry. To be granted one, you must be a resident of this state. The privilege of being a cardholder has corresponding responsibilities attached to it. You can only purchase from licensed dispensaries capsules, liquid, flower, topicals, and tinctures. Other forms like edibles are prohibited.
The maximum expiration period of an MMC is one year, but it can be shortened upon the discretion and recommendation of the physician.
- HIPAA Compliant
- Board Certified Physicians
They utilize Athena Health as their telemedicine platform, which promises the protection of all patient health information, based on the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) rules.
A total of four participants can join in the session. This means that the patient can invite a family member, caretaker, or interpreter whom they think would play a vital role in the consultation and treatment process, or they could join in for support. On the physician’s end, he or she can also require the participation of medical staff or specialists to address the needs of the patient better.
Once you are recognized as a patient or a potential patient, you will be given access to the portal where you can have access to your medical records and update them, communicate with the medical staff, or have your prescriptions renewed for refills. However, some services like diagnosis, treatment, and request for pain medication shall all be done in the presence of a physician, whether via telemedicine or in-person.
Although they issue prescriptions, there are circumstances when an electronic prescription is not allowed or when in-person consultation is required before a medication can be prescribed. The patient must pick them up at the doctor’s office.
They currently don’t accept insurance or Medicaid plans in Pennsylvania and are still working on it. If you are not sure, try checking the coverage or contacting your insurance plan provider.
- HIPAA Compliant
- Board-Certified Physicians, Sleep Specialist, and Genetic Counselors
Penn Medicine offers specialized telehealth services to all residents of Pennsylvania. Currently, they have three major programs:
- Sleep Telemedicine: This service is under the Penn Sleep Center. Not everyone is eligible under this program, as only those who have chronic insomnia are qualified to receive cognitive behavioral therapy. Telemedicine visits serve as follow-up only as an in-office initial evaluation must be conducted first. This NIH-approved method does not involve the use of sleeping pills.
- Telegenetics Program: Under this program, you will be able to receive genetic counseling, test result interpretation, and remote screening from a genetic counselor. All of these can be done through video conferencing to the telephone. The availability of this service to rural areas, in turn, reduces cancer mortality because of timely interventions.
- Veterans Telehealth: Under this service, it is not only veterans who are eligible. Their family, including their parents, spouse, children, siblings, and even caretakers, can be covered.
Other services offered through telemedicine are as follows:
- Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine
- GI Surgery Post-Operative
- Neurosurgery Post-Operative
- Parkinson’s and Movement Disorders
- Transplant Living Donor Evaluations
- Transplant Support Groups
Seek a second opinion, join support groups, and contact your provider to confirm if your condition qualifies for a virtual visit and that there is no need for an in-person consultation. They also have health centers, hospitals, and outpatient labs to be directly referred to when the need arises.
- HIPAA Compliant
- Board Certified Doctors and Medical Professionals
Safe Care Express Urgent Care is located in Reading, Pennsylvania. What they offer at Safe Care is limited to virtual consultations, diagnostic evaluations, medication management, and follow-up visit for common medical conditions such as:
- Adult Asthma
- Back Strains
- Common Cold
- Female Urinary Tract Infections
- Minor Burns
- Minor Lacerations
- Painful Urinations
- Pink Eye
- Sinus Infections
- Seasonal Allergies
- Upper Respiratory Illness
- Yeast Infections
They got your whole family covered when it comes to rendering telehealth services, whether it’s an illness, an injury, sexual health, child care, well, aftercare, and family health. The doctor will offer a treatment plan and can send an e-prescription directly to your chosen pharmacy, if necessary.
If your medical case falls under a specific scope of practice and would need the expertise of a specialist, the doctor who is seeing you via telemedicine can easily refer you to the former in their facility. All the information, medical advice, and other services you need are accessible in just one online platform.
They encourage patients to take education courses to help them gain knowledge of their health status and get tips on maintaining a healthy lifestyle, from proper nutrition to exercise. They also have an urgent care clinic where they offer other services such as flu vaccines, tests for sexually transmitted diseases, and other tests that can help in efficiently diagnosing and treating medical conditions of their telemedicine patients.
- HIPAA Compliant
- Board Certified Physicians
American Family Care is a walk-in clinic that has recently expanded its services to telemedicine. If you are residing in Pennsylvania, you can avail of their services wherever you are in the state, but those who live near their clinic locations would get the most benefits even in their telemedicine services.
Some of the conditions they can treat via telemedicine appointments are:
- Seasonal Allergies: chlorine, dust, insect bites, mold, mildew, pollen, pine needles, ragweed, shellfish
- Sinus Infections
- Sore Throat
However, despite the convenience that telemedicine brings, AFC still believes that it cannot replace in-person and face-to-face consultations in medical situations involving pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases and infections, physical examinations, wound care, birth control, children who are four years of age, and below, prescriptions or refills for controlled substances, and those that are referred to specialists.
They also provide news and updates on their website about various topics in the medical field and circumstances that could affect specific individuals like children, women, families, or the population in general.
They have urgent care clinics located in Philadelphia, Wyncote, and Conshohocken, where they offer pediatric care, sports, pre-employment, and school physicals, flu shots, travel vaccines, x-rays, and other laboratory tests. If you are unsure about physically visiting their clinic or getting a telemedicine service for your medical concern, call AFC.
- HIPAA Compliant
- Board Certified Podiatrist, Foot, and Ankle Specialists and Surgeons
The Foot and Ankle Specialists serves Central Pennsylvania, specifically Mechanicsburg. Admittedly, not all medical conditions can be addressed via telemedicine. This includes conditions of the foot and ankle. Some of the services that may be rendered through telemedicine means are the following:
- New patient appointments: If you are a new patient, their specialists will properly examine, evaluate, and diagnose the condition of your foot or ankle.
- Follow-up appointments: Both patient and physician can track the progress of the course of treatment even without seeing each other in person.
- Post-surgical appointments: If one of their doctors conducted the surgery, post-op care could be discussed virtually while your foot is healing.
- Diagnostic imaging, x-rays, MRI review
- Other health care service not requiring direct contact between patient and physician
Medical conditions like arthritis and athlete’s foot can easily be managed through virtual visits. On the other hand, conditions requiring routine care and physical contact like ingrown nails, injuries, rashes, heavy calluses, foot pain, and those requiring medical procedures or surgeries must be seen in person by their specialists properly addressed.
Their office hotline is always open, and their staff is ready to answer all your queries regarding the process and services covered by telemedicine. If you are looking for a reliable source of information about any foot and ankle condition, their website also publishes blogs about how to recognize these conditions, tips, misconceptions, and possible treatments.
Telemedicine Resources in Pennsylvania
Telemedicine can be a fast-changing mode of delivery of health care. Laws can be amended and orders issued outrightly from time to time. If you want to know more or read the full texts of the laws discussed above, make use of other types of information about telemedicine, and get connected to official pages, you may access any of the following sites on the links provided:
- Pennsylvania Medical Society: This site is mainly for physicians and medical students in the state but can also be very helpful to patients. The resources and information they publish on their website are authored by experts in the field and cover various topics revolving around telemedicine. Continuing medical education (CME) on child abuse and opioid can also be available through this site.
- PA Department of Human Services: You can find laws, orders, issuances, news, services, assistance, documents, forms, and contact information about telemedicine on the local DHS website. They have population-specific information available for children, the aged, and those with disabilities. Get to know your telemedicine privacy rights in-depth under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) through this site.
- Mid-Atlantic Telehealth Resource Center: Pennsylvania belongs in the Mid-Atlantic region, which the MATRC covers. Here, you can call for technical assistance, read articles on current medical issues in the local community, be updated on the ongoing public health emergency, and even request a speaker for various forums. They will also answer your inquiries about state policies, reimbursement, billing and coding, school telehealth, and many others. All information provided is state-specific to those belonging within the region. You can also follow their Facebook page or Twitter account to access all MATRC updates easily.
- Center for Connected Health Policy – PA: If you want to know more about Medicaid’s and insurance companies’ reimbursement policies in the state, CCHP provides a detailed and comprehensive discussion on the matter. The site also links other official state government websites to gather the compiled telemedicine information about licensing, consent, online prescription, and other national memberships.