In the State of Tennessee, the terms telehealth, telemedicine, and provider-based telemedicine are used interchangeably. These terms have been defined as telecommunication technology such as audio, video, and other electronic media being used by healthcare providers and patients for consultation, diagnosis, and treatment. The feature to consider is if it is replicating a traditional encounter between a physician and a patient in-office, then it is considered telemedicine.
Synchronous, asynchronous or store-and-forward, and remote patient monitoring are the only types of telehealth modalities recognized in Tennessee. Audio-only telephone conversation, electronic mail, instant messaging exchange, and facsimile transmission are not considered telehealth in the state’s definition of the term.
Under the Tennessee Chronic Pain Guidelines, treatment, care, and chronic pain management via telemedicine are explicitly prohibited. No telemedicine provider may accommodate or render any form of healthcare service for this medical condition, including medication prescription.
Every physician assistant and advanced practice registered nurse may provide medical services through telemedicine, but a supervisory relationship must exist between them and a licensed physician. The licensed physician must conduct a remote site visit at least once every thirty days. The visit must be in-person and not through videoconferencing software such as Skype.
Practitioners who work in Veteran’s (VA) hospitals are not subject to the telemedicine rules set by the Tennessee Board of Medical Examiners. This is because they are under the jurisdiction of federal authority and that they barely or never practice via telemedicine. They are, however, still expected to observe the same standard of care as other healthcare providers.
Explore telemedicine in Tennessee! Use these quick links:
- Tennessee State Telemedicine Laws and Policies
- Standard of Care
- Informed Consent
- Behavioral Health Services
- State Reimbursement Policy
- Who can avail of these reimbursements?
- Public Health Emergency (PHE)
- 10 Top-rated Online Doctors and Telemedicine Providers in Tennessee
- Telemedicine Resources in Tennessee
Tennessee State Telemedicine Laws and Policies
Who can practice telemedicine in Tennessee?
The rule is the location of the patient determines where the practice of medicine happens. Generally, healthcare service providers who are holders of an unencumbered license issued by the concerned medical board or agency of Tennessee can practice telemedicine in the state.
Other individuals who can practice telemedicine in the state are graduates to meet the licensure required hours and students as part of their educational requirement. However, they can only render telehealth services strictly for the said purposes and must be under the direct supervision of a licensed healthcare service provider at all times. It must be noted that they should be graduates and students in the state of Tennessee.
A restricted or special license to practice telemedicine in Tennessee used to be issued to out-of-state providers and some state practitioners. Such license was limited for that purpose only and cannot render medical services in-person within state boundaries. However, the issuance of such telemedicine licenses has been stopped by state boards except for the Tennessee Osteopathic Board. Holders who do not qualify for full licensure may retain their telemedicine license subject to the following conditions:
- Renew their telemedicine license biennially
- Maintain an ABMS specialty board-certification
- Practice only within the scope of their specialization and offer only medical interpretation services
- Shall not issue medications as the license does not grant the prescriptive holder authority
Healthcare service providers licensed under other state jurisdictions may also be allowed to render telehealth services to individuals located in Tennessee if they would also qualify as healthcare providers in this state. This means that they meet the other requirements laid down by the licensing boards only that they do not have an actual license. However, the lone instance that they can practice telehealth in the Volunteer State is to render their services through a free clinic and voluntarily.
Other instances when out-of-state providers may render telehealth services in Tennessee is when their medical opinion is sought by Tennessee licensed physicians, through uncompensated professional dialogue, or by consultation to local research hospitals regarding the diagnosis or treatment of a rare disease. US Military physicians are likewise permitted to do so as long as it complies with their duties.
All out-of-state providers offering telemedicine services to patients in the state must comply with the Medical Practice Act, set rules and regulations, and subject themselves to the state board’s disciplinary actions.
Interstate Medical Licensure Compact
On February 9, 2017, Tennessee officially became a member of the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact (IMLC) through the passing of state legislation authorizing the same. Since then, it has been an active member serving as a State of Principal License that processes applications and issues licenses to applicants from other member states.
The Compact benefits both member states and physicians licensed under their authority by streamlining the licensure process. The high demand for specialists and other healthcare services by the residents of member states are met by the inflow of qualified medical professionals who applied through the Compact.
On the physicians’ end, they no longer have to submit applications with different requirements before multiple state boards and licensing agencies. Interested applicants for multi-state practice only need to submit one application before the Compact, meet the minimum eligibility requirements agreed upon by all the member states, and be issued a Letter of Qualification by their State of Principal License.
It must be noted that the individual states will still be reviewing the application and issuing their respective licenses. Those granted the privilege to practice in other states shall be subjected to each state’s jurisdiction and disciplinary boards. The state of Tennessee strictly adheres to the Compact’s regulations.
Nurse Licensure Compact
The National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) is the organization responsible for bringing all nursing regulatory bodies together to come up with unified policies, regulations, and licensure compacts.
Under the Nurse Licensure Compact, nurses licensed by other NLC states can practice in other member states without applying for additional licenses. The Compact is only applicable to registered nurses (RN) and licensed practical nurses (LPN) and explicitly excludes advanced practice registered nurses (APRN) from availing of its benefits.
The state of Tennessee is one of the states that has fully enacted and implemented the Compact under its jurisdiction. To be eligible for a compact or multi-state license, one must declare Tennessee or other compact states as their primary state of residence. The license issued by the nurse’s home state carries with it the corresponding privilege to practice in other compact states. Hence, there is no need to apply to other nursing boards or licensing agencies.
For residents of non-compact states, they can ask for an endorsement from a compact state but can only be granted a single-state license at a time. However, they can be holders of different and many single-state licenses.
Physical Therapy Compact
Physical therapists and physical therapist assistants from states who are members of the Physical Therapy Compact can purchase what they call a Compact Privilege to immediately practice and work in other member states upon complying with eligibility requirements.
The purchasing and renewal of the privilege is made possible and easy through the online system implemented by the Commission comprised of state delegates, a representative from the American Physical Therapy Association, and another representative from the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy. There are handouts and other resources made available for PTs and PT assistants to reference the exercise of the privilege granted to them. Patients can verify the status of their physical therapists or PT assistants on Compact’s website.
Tennessee has been an active member state since 2016. It has been actively issuing and accepting Compact Privileges for those interested and qualified to expand their practice beyond state boundaries.
Standard of Care
A physician-patient relationship can be established through telemedicine interactions. The presence of a facilitator is not a requirement except when the patient is below 18 years of age. It is also not prohibited and must be taken on a case-to-case basis.
The documentation required of physicians in in-person visits must likewise be observed when rendering healthcare services via telemedicine. The following information must be disclosed before the rendering of any form of telehealth service and indicated in the patient’s medical record:
- Name and location of the patient verified by a government-issued identification card or a facilitator if present
- Patient’s medical history and records, including laboratory and test results as well as medications prescribed
- Name, location, and credentials of the telemedicine provider
- Explanation of the telehealth process
- The fact that the healthcare service was availed of via telehealth means
- Information about the visit
- Consultative notes
- Transcript of the exchange between the provider and the patient
- Names of other participants in the televisit and their corresponding roles or participation
- Review of systems and privacy policies
- Technology to be utilized for the encounter
- Objections raised
- Other relevant information that was a factor in the medical decision made by the healthcare practitioner
All of these pieces of information must be made available to the patient upon their request.
If the healthcare provider determines that they would not give an accurate diagnosis or form an opinion based on the information gathered during the telemedicine encounter, they must inform the patient or facilitator. The next course of action would either be to request additional data, suggest a direct referral for a physical examination to be conducted, or have the patient evaluated by their primary care provider or any available local physician.
Patients must be allowed to ask for an in-person face-to-face evaluation from the beginning and the freedom to terminate the service at any time if it has already commenced. Healthcare providers cannot withdraw their service, nor can they refuse to continue care just because the patient did not opt for a telehealth encounter.
For a provider-patient relationship to be established in telemedicine encounters, mutual consent and communication must be communicated between the parties involved. The patient’s consent may be expressed or implied depending on the circumstances. The physician must likewise affirm to diagnose, treat, or at the very least participate in the patient’s existing diagnosis or treatment for the duties and obligations associated with the relationship to arise.
It must be obtained before the delivery of any healthcare services via telemedicine. It may be taken verbally, but the same must be properly documented and included in the patient’s medical record.
If the telemedicine provider wants to request assistance from other healthcare providers, they must first ask permission from the patient. The only time that the patient’s consent is not needed before delivering any medical service is when it is an emergency.
To ensure the privacy, security, and confidentiality of the patients’ health information, all telehealth encounters must be conducted over a telecommunication system compliant with the standards outlined in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
The telemedicine provider’s privacy policies must not be provided to the patient but must be reviewed before any form of healthcare service is rendered.
Telemedicine license holders cannot issue any type of prescription. Only physicians who are holders of a full and unrestricted license may prescribe medications, including controlled substances, to their patients.
Before any telemedicine provider issues a prescription for medications, they must first comply with the following procedures:
- Thoroughly review the patient’s relevant medical history
- Conduct a physical examination by electronic means, if possible
- Diagnose the patient based on the information gathered and laboratory tests in a manner compatible with good medical care
- Formulate an appropriate therapeutic plan
- Discuss the treatment approach with the patient as well as the associated benefits and risks
The online prescriber must also ensure that the patient has been apprised of any needed follow-up care and its availability. All of this information and actions must be appropriately documented and maintained in the patient’s medical records.
The prescriber, if consistent with sound medical practice, may skip these procedures in the issuance of prescriptions for the following:
- Short-term continuation of medications for new patients even before their first appointment with the prescriber
- Established patients who do not need to be physically examined anew
- Patients of another physician after verification of the appropriateness of the medication
Behavioral Health Services
Behavioral health professionals must comply with the same licensure requirements as with in-person services if they intend to provide clinical care to patients with mental illnesses or substance abuse issues through telehealth means.
Although videoconferencing is the preferred mode for delivering behavioral health services, audio-only conversations may be permitted for behavioral health services if and only if interactive audio-video telecommunications technology and store-and-forward modalities are not available.
The use of audiovisual telecommunications technology in delivering dental health care services or the transmission of a patient’s electronic health records through a secure platform for consultation and evaluation purposes is called teledentistry.
There must be protocols established by Tennessee-licensed dentists who engage in teledentistry which must be consistent with their practice in-office and the regulations set by the Board of Dentistry. It shall include procedures on how to go about delivering dental services through the available telehealth modalities and proper methods on how to keep patients fully informed about the services they are availing.
State Reimbursement Policy
Before proceeding with Tennessee’s reimbursement policies, it is important to know the different telehealth modalities as defined under state laws.
- Synchronous telehealth involves the use of real-time two-way interactive video teleconferencing technology capable of both sight and sound communication.
- Store-and-forward or asynchronous telehealth has been defined as transmitting pre-recorded data such as audio, digital images, video, and other files from a referring physician to a consulting practitioner or specialist. The primary purpose is to analyze the transmitted information with the expectation of an expert opinion and a report from the specialist. Under this modality, the patient has no participation and is not required to be present for this non-interactive telecommunication.
- Remote patient monitoring also includes collecting health data from the patient’s location to a provider in a distant location for the assessment using digital technologies.
All telehealth encounters shall be covered and reimbursed in the same manner and to the same extent that they would be reimbursed if rendered in person. A healthcare service cannot be denied coverage simply because it was delivered via telehealth means. The geographic location or its designation by federal, state, or local authorities shall not be a factor in determining whether to reimburse the healthcare service availed of or not.
The provisions in the Insurance Code covering telehealth are superior to all other policies or contracts between providers and insured members. However, if some stipulations or matters cannot be settled by referring to the Code, the terms and conditions agreed upon by both parties in the health insurance contract will prevail.
State reimbursement policies declare that only medically necessary telehealth services availed of by the insured member are covered. These are services rendered by a prudent healthcare provider that meets the following criteria:
- Clinically appropriate
- Meets the generally accepted standards of medical practice
- The treatment approach is considered effective for the subject medical case
- It is not more costly than other available services that would be able to produce the same results or effects
However, health insurance corporations are not prohibited from providing coverage for services other than those considered medically necessary by explicitly stating them in the policy.
The following are considered qualified sites where parties may be located during the telehealth encounter:
- Detention Centers
- Emergency Departments
- Federally Qualified Health Center
- Licensed Facilities
- Patient’s Home
- Physician’s Office
- Rural Health Clinic
- School Clinics
- Other locations deemed acceptable by the health insurance provider
- Other remote locations preferred by the patient
What services are reimbursed in the state of Tennessee?
By TennCare Medicaid:
- Live Video
X Remote Patient Monitoring
X Stand-alone Audio-only Telephone Calls, E-mail, Text Message or Facsimile
TennCare is the Medicaid program of the state of Tennessee. Qualified beneficiaries include low-income families and pregnant women, the elderly, children who have disabilities, and parents or caretakers of a minor child.
Before the passing of the current law, only live video for crisis-related services was considered reimbursable. This includes assessment for emergency admission in an in-patient psychiatric facility. There are additions to the list of covered services, and it has already recognized store-and-forward for reimbursement.
Managed care organizations or entities are responsible for delivering the services and benefits under TennCare to residents of Tennessee. Since different MCOs have differing telehealth policies, coverage and reimbursement for healthcare services available via live video and store-and-forward modalities may also vary from MCO to MCO.
The only time that an audio-only telephone call may be considered reimbursable is when it is utilized to deliver behavioral health services in the absence of available interactive audio-video telecommunications or store-and-forward technology.
Originating site fee charged by the facility where the patient was located at the time of the videoconference consultation is also reimbursable for an established amount.
By Private Payer or other healthcare service plan providers:
Private healthcare insurance providers must follow the standards observed by TennCare in furnishing policies and contracts to its members. The only difference is that they are given more freedom to change, adjust, or add provisions in their agreement as long as they are not contrary to existing policies. They should also not violate any federal or state laws.
Under service parity laws, insurance companies must cover telehealth services if such services are likewise covered in-person. Similarly, they are not obliged to reimburse healthcare services delivered via telehealth if the same type of services is not covered even when rendered in person. Currently, there is no existing law tackling payment parity in the state of Tennessee.
Healthcare service plan providers may choose to consider store-and-forward and remote patient monitoring as covered and reimbursable services. The applicable rates would depend on the negotiation and agreement of the insurer, the provider, and the insured.
The originating site fee or facility fee billed by the facility hosting the patient for the telehealth service shall be included in the reimbursement to be made by the private payer.
Who can avail of these reimbursements?
All healthcare practitioners rendering telemedicine services as long as recognized under state policies as covered can be reimbursed for the same.
Public Health Emergency (PHE)
The current pandemic has left the state of Tennessee no choice but to make new issuances and necessary adjustments to its current telemedicine policies. The health sector and its residents, in general, have been greatly affected by the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. To help cope with the healthcare demands in the state while ensuring the safety of everyone, the local government, medical boards, and health insurance regulatory agency had deemed it necessary to implement the following temporary guidelines:
- Out-of-state licensed healthcare professionals are allowed to provide telemedicine services to patients located in Tennessee as long as they keep it within their scope of practice
- Holders of a master’s degree or doctoral degree in the field of behavioral or mental health are permitted to render telemedicine services to already diagnosed patients even without a license as long as a licensed professional supervises them at all times.
- All types of virtual visits conducted through e-visits, telehealth, telephone, and virtual check-ins are all covered and reimbursable by Medicaid and private health insurance providers.
- Concerning establishing a provider-patient relationship, requirements are relaxed to allow residents and providers to maximize the use of telehealth modalities during the pandemic.
- Restrictions imposed on pain management clinics and chronic nonmalignant pain treatment are suspended for the meantime.
- Prescribers and pharmacists may provide a 90-day supply of prescriptive drugs even without complying with the authorization required.
- Cost-sharing such as co-pay, co-insurance, and deductibles are likewise waived by all major insurance companies, including Aetna, Amerigroup, BCBS TN, BlueCare, Cigna, Medica, Medicare, UHC Community Plan, and UHC, subject to their respective policies and CDC guidelines.
The inclusion by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee of virtual visits in its covered services during the public health emergency has been made permanent with in-network providers.
10 Top-rated Online Doctors and Telemedicine Providers in Tennessee
Tennessee has a population of almost seven million, with only 10,524 active healthcare professionals. Residents of Tennessee have difficulty booking appointments at the doctor’s office because of the disparity. This is where telemedicine comes in to save the day. It has made healthcare accessible, convenient, and fast for patients, and it has allowed physicians to attend to more patients as effectively as in-person services.
There are thousands of Tennessee-licensed telemedicine doctors you can find on the web. The number of options is making it difficult to decide on who and what providers to trust. To ease your worries below is a compilation of Tennessee’s best online telemedicine providers who offer quality and top-rated healthcare and overall service:
- HIPAA Compliant
- Board Certified Family Medicine Doctors, Internists, Emergency Medicine Doctors, Orthopedist, Physician Assistants
Satellite Med is an awardee of the Herald-Citizen Best Medical Clinic. Their board-certified physicians who specialize in several fields offer outstanding healthcare services to residents of Tennessee. If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, one of their telemedicine doctors can diagnose your medical condition and give you a corresponding treatment plan:
- Abdominal Concerns: constipation, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting
- Common Flu/Strep Concerns: dizziness, ear pain, fever, headache, nasal congestion, difficulty swallowing, sore throat
- Dental Concerns: bad breath, toothache
- Ocular Concerns: eye pain, foreign body, redness, vision problems
- Orthopedic Concerns: body pain, foot swelling, numbness, or tingling in hands
- Pulmonary Concerns: cough, non-emergent shortness of breath, wheezing
- Skin Concerns: acne, poison ivy, ringworm
- Urinary Concerns: pelvic pain, sexual health concerns, urinary problems
Prescriptions are transmitted electronically to the patient’s chosen pharmacy. They prescribe antibiotics to treat bacterial infections only. It is up to the discretion of the physician what medications to prescribe based on your medical case. Most of the time, they include over-the-counter drugs in the treatment plan.
If the online provider refers you to an in-person visit, the payment you made online will be applied to the in-person visit instead. A diagnosis will be the basis of the complete delivery of service.
Satellite Med’s telemedicine program is powered by Intellectual Care.
- HIPAA Compliant
- Board Certified Specialists and Primary Care Providers
There are two types of live video visits available at the Jackson Clinic: on-demand or convenient care and scheduled video visits. Both new and established patients must have a Follow My Health account to schedule a telehealth video visit.
Jackson physicians accommodate only non-emergency medical conditions. such as the following, via telehealth:
- Arthritis or Joint Pain
- Cold Sores
- Gout Flare Up
- Insect Bites
- Mild Allergic Reaction
- Pink Eye
- Poison Ivy
- Seasonal Allergies
- Sinus Infection
- Sore Throat
- Urinary Tract Infection
- Yeast Infection
After the remote consultation and the provider still cannot give an accurate diagnosis based on all available information, a traditional visit will be arranged for the patient instead. They have a network of 140 medical providers specializing in a wide range of otolaryngology, endocrinology, internal medicine, pediatrics, behavioral health, wound care management, oncology, hematology, dermatology, and cardiology, to name a few. With these types of experts available for consultation, patients can be sure they will receive quality healthcare service.
They also issue prescriptions, if medically necessary, that can be transmitted electronically to the patient’s chosen pharmacy.
- HIPAA Compliant
- Board Certified Specialists
Vanderbilt Health extends its telehealth services, not just to patients but also to other providers via video consults with medical experts. This service is categorized into two:
- Emergency and non-emergency hospital services:
- Infectious disease consults
- Neurology consults
- Pediatric ECHO, EKG, and EEG interpretation
- Psychiatry and addiction
- Retinopathy of prematurity
- Sleep apnea
- Outpatient and ambulatory clinics and programs:
- Autism Clinic for Children Under 3
- Behavioral Health
- Center for Child Development
- Diabetes and Endocrinology
- Hereditary Cancer Clinic
- Kidney Transplant
- Pediatric Diabetes, Hearing Program, Ophthalmology, Rheumatology
- Thoracic Surgery
- Weight Loss
- Women’s Health
Hospitals, clinics, and schools can avail of this video consult service for the above-mentioned specialized fields. This way, general providers would be able to seek the opinion of an expert or specialist about matters related to the patient’s medical care.
Patients who avail of the service on their own need to complete a PreVisit procedure before their scheduled appointment. The online provider will be the one to determine whether your medical condition can be properly attended to via telemedicine. All the services they offer can be easily accessed through the My Health at Vanderbilt app, available on the App Store and Google Play. The videoconferencing platform they use for telemedicine visits is Zoom. You can find an instructional video on how to go about your video visit on the telehealth section of their website.
- HIPAA Compliant
- Board Certified Otolaryngologists, Oncologists, Audiologists, Allergists, Nurse Practitioners
Individuals experiencing medical issues with their ear, nose, throat, and hearing can see one of the providers at OAT via telemedicine. This is a vast network of specialists composed of doctors from Allermetrix, Saint Thomas, Williamson Medical Center, and many others in Tennessee.
They cover a wide range of conditions under the following categories:
- Allergies: seasonal allergies, food allergies
- Hearing: tinnitus, hearing loss
- Pediatrics: chronic ear infections, sleep apnea, speech and language disorders, swallowing disorders, tongue-tie, tonsillitis
- Vestibular or Balance: chronic dizziness, disorientation, light-headedness, vertigo
- Nose and Sinus: acute and chronic sinus infections, polyps, recurring colds, rhinitis, smell disorders
- Ear Care: excessive wax, lesions, ear infections, swimmer’s ear
- Throat Care: dysphagia, globus sensation, hoarseness, pharyngitis, speech impediments, throat disorders, voice disorders
- Neck Care: swollen lymph nodes, thyroid nodules
OAT also has a Cancer Treatment Program for individuals who have been diagnosed with head and neck cancers. This includes cancers of the ears, mouth, salivary glands, sinuses, skin, throat, tongue, tonsil, and salivary glands.
Their treatment programs include control therapy, immunotherapy, medications, prevention, hearing aid, swallow therapy, and other interventions that the doctor may decide is medically necessary and appropriate. It must be noted that the subject organs are intricate and sensitive, so telemedicine visits may only serve as a preliminary assessment in some instances, and patients may be referred to an in-person consultation and further testing.
Patients who have second thoughts about seeing a doctor can take the hearing quiz or the sinus surgery quiz found on the website to help them decide.
- HIPAA Compliant
- Board Certified Physicians
Healthcare practitioners Physicians Care can serve as primary care doctors for most patients who are suffering from common and general medical issues such as:
- Acute Back Injury
- Bug Bite
- Female Urinary Tract Infection
- Head Lice
- Joint Pain
- Mild Sunburn
- Nail Infection
- Newly onset cough or cold with fever
- Sinus Infection
My Health Portal allows patients who have signed up to view all their medical information and test results whenever they need to or be notified when an update or information is added to their accounts. Patients can also forward their medical records to other physicians through the portal and directly to the physician’s e-mail inbox.
If your medical concern needs an expert or a specialist’s advice, the online provider will recommend one and help arrange an appointment, or the patient can choose a specialist they want. Physicians Care is affiliated with family and urgent care centers in different locations in Tennessee, so finding the doctor you need won’t be a problem. Booking in-person visits can be done through the Hold My Spot® scheduling tool.
They also have authorized VA Urgent Care Providers, which means that eligible veterans are welcome to visit for urgent care needs without booking an appointment.
- HIPAA Compliant
- Board Certified Physicians
This is an Urgent Care Clinic with Chattanooga, Hixson, and Ooltewah locations that have extended into telemedicine practice to serve all of Tennessee. Video appointments can be made through Solv Health. The app can be downloaded on Google Play for Android users and the App Store for Apple users. It must be noted that they only treat patients who are at least six months old.
Below is an exclusive list of medical conditions they accommodate via telehealth appointments:
- Allergy Symptoms
- Bug Bites
- Canker Sores
- Cold Sores
- Ear infection
- Eye infection
- Female urinary tract infections
- Head Lice
- Infected toenail or fingernail
- Mild Sunburn
- Minor Burns
- Minor Rashes
- Pink Eye
- Poison Ivy
- Swimmers ear
AFC Urgent Care has also provided a list of specific medical conditions and circumstances that they do not accommodate via telemedicine under any circumstances. These are allergic reaction, chest pain, colds, cough, diarrhea, head or neck injury, occupational health, psychiatric conditions, shortness of breath, sore throat, sexually transmitted diseases or infections, suturing, and wound care.
Although they prescribe medications, they do not issue prescriptions or medication renewals for controlled substances, narcotic or addictive substances, birth control, ADD, ADHD, or other mental health medicines. They also do not provide prescriptions good for more than a month.
Laboratory tests, x-rays, and basic operating room are available in their clinics, so appointments can be easily made by the same providers whom patients saw online. They do not make referrals to specialists or other healthcare providers. Readers can also find helpful articles on their website about first aid, measures to be taken on animal bites or allergies, and other health topics.
- HIPAA Compliant
- Board Certified Pediatricians, Physician Assistants, Advanced Practice Registered Nurse
The Children’s Hospital is the first to offer urgent pediatric care in East Tennessee. Their pediatricians cater to newborns, children, adolescents, and everyone below 22 years of age. Under their VirtualCare service, consultations for the following minor illnesses and injuries:
- Pink Eye
- Sinus Infections
- Sore Throat
For prescribed medications, patients can choose the pharmacy to which prescriptions will be sent. However, they recommend pharmacies that operate 24/7 for convenience on both ends.
Parents can request to have their children’s records automatically forwarded to their chosen pediatrician so that they can be updated with any changes in the patient’s medical record. These records, including appointments, medication, laboratory results, can also be accessed through ETCH’s patient portal accounts that have been created for the parents.
To know more about ETCH and have access to resources that would be very helpful in ensuring the children’s health, parents can follow its social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.
- HIPAA Compliant
- Board Certified Neurologists, Somnologist, Physician Assistants
The Neurology Clinic has a Sleep Center Health headed by Dr. Joshua Lennon, and they have been treating sleep issues via telemedicine for several years already through the AASM SleepTM app available in the App Store and Google Play. They diagnose and treat the following sleep disorders:
- Circadian Misalignment
- Nocturnal Epilepsy
- Sleep-disordered Breathing
- Sleep-related Movement Disorders
For the sleep specialists to properly diagnose and assess your sleep issues, For every visit, patients need to take the Epworth Sleepiness Scale and the Berlin Questionnaire for new patients. They also offer in-home sleep studies that involve using a machine that monitors the patient’s breathing rate, heart rate, oxygen level, and snoring volume. All other medical conditions are taking into consideration before any treatment plan is presented to the patient.
Telehealth appointments for neurological services are channeled through doxy.me. It is a platform compliant with federal and worldwide security requirements. The online provider will determine if you need to be seen in person or undergo more tests. Advanced testing through their state-of-the-art facility helps their doctors give an accurate diagnosis. They also offer specialized second opinions for patients who further understand their neurological medical condition or know other treatment options.
Neurology Clinic is a research institute and conducts studies about medical conditions such as memory problems, Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis, and sleep disorders. Patients can be sure that their doctors are updated with modern treatment approaches.
- HIPAA Compliant
- Board Certified Physicians and Specialists
BalladHealth offers Connected Care, which is their comprehensive telehealth service. They cater to patients directly and assist other health facilities and institutions in meeting the demand for quality healthcare services.
Tele-stroke was among the first of their programs. Now, they have expanded their services into:
- Behavioral Health: crisis-management and therapy
- Employee Assistance Program: ADD/ADHD, family and marital counseling, post-traumatic stress disorder
- Hospital-based Care: tele-ICU, tele-stroke
- Neonatology: Their neonatologists and maternal-fetal specialists have extended their title-neonatology services to Bristol Regional Medical Center, Holston Valley Medical Center, and Indian Path Community Hospital, especially to sick and premature newborns.
- Outpatient Care: diabetes, endocrinology, high-level cardiology, cancer services
- Pediatrics: BalladHealth’s pediatricians from Niswonger Children’s Hospital serve many educational institutions in Tennessee by diagnosing and treating children while they are in school.
- Urgent Care: cold, ear infections, eye infections, flu, headaches, sinus infections, UTI
There are currently 300 Ballad Health medical associates that offer telemedicine services under their Connected Care program. Existing patients can directly contact their providers to check if they can receive care through telemedicine. New patients can simply call a patient service representative to schedule an appointment.
The provider’s need for in-person visits will be determined and integrated into the patient’s treatment plan and schedule.
- HIPAA Compliant
- Board Certified Emergency Medicine Doctors, Nurse Practitioners, Physician Assistants, Primary Care Providers
Emergency medicine is the main expertise of physicians at Complete Health Partners. Their primary care and urgent care services are both available via telemedicine visits for the following medical conditions:
- Bladder Infections
- Insect Bites
- Skin Inflammation
- Sore Throats
The list of illnesses they accommodate via telemedicine is exclusive and limited, but they are working on making more healthcare services available through this mode. Aside from virtual follow-up visits and medication management, patients can also book for a telecounseling session.
If the provider determines that the patient needs to be seen in person or undergo laboratory tests, a schedule can be immediately arranged at one of their locations in Nashville, as they also offer on-site tests and x-rays. They also have an extensive referral network of Nashville’s finest specialists, so you can be sure that you will continue to receive quality care throughout. Other services they offer include sports and camp physical examinations, and they also work with businesses in taking care of employees’ health.
Their telemedicine services are available for all residents of Tennessee regardless of whether they are new or established patients at Complete Health Partners. However, patients must be six months old and above to receive urgent care and at least 13 years old for primary care. Patients who see several doctors are advised to use their athenahealth accounts when logging in at the patient portal to gain access to all health information.
Telemedicine Resources in Tennessee
Telemedicine is not a new concept and has long been widely used by those needing medical services across the state. One might think that they have all the information they need from skimming through the results generated by search engines upon entering the keywords “telemedicine in Tennessee.” Readers fail to realize that the information they have gathered may be inaccurate, incomplete, or entirely false. The following websites provide reliable telemedicine resources specific to how it is practiced and observed in the state of Tennessee:
- South Central Telehealth Resource Center: Together with the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) Institute for Digital Health and Innovation, the SCTRC gives providers from Arkansas, Mississippi, and Tennessee access to telehealth training through self-guided learning materials such as telehealth training kits, course modules, podcasts, and videos or instructor-led learning such as webinars, conferences, and virtual events. There are also available resources dedicated to researchers consisting of courses, training modules, webinars, and other media that can assist them in their studies and clinical programs. SCTRC is currently working on providing resources for patients and general telehealth education.
- Center for Connected Health Policy – TN: Aside from basic telehealth information like a definition of terms, professional requirements, licensing, rules on online prescribing, and other concepts on the topic, CCHP also provides highlights on Tennessee’s Medicaid program. Reimbursement policies applicable to both TennCare and private payers are discussed and presented orderly for easy reading of its readers, may they be patients, physicians, or providers. The page contents are regularly updated with the latest changes, revisions, or additions from the state government and regulatory boards.
- Tennessee Board of Medical Examiners: Here, you can find answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) about telemedicine in the state. The questions and the answers are both helpful for both providers and patients. Topics include telemedicine license, area of practice, physician-patient relationship, prescriptions, and other relevant matters.
- ParTNers for Health: This is Tennessee’s health section on its official website. It provides a short educational video about the basics of telehealth. If you are a BlueCross BlueShield or Cigna member, they also explain how to go about your first telehealth visit and the associated costs. External links to their respective sites for more detailed information are also displayed.
- Tennessee Medical Association: One of the resources accessible through the TMA website is the current status of telehealth in the state. Aside from the topic on HIPAA, the main content of their informational section is about billing and coverage by different insurance plan providers such as traditional Medicare, Medicare Advantage Insurance Plans, Commercial Insurance Plans, and TennCare Plans. This resource is especially helpful in times of a public health emergency like Covid-19.