Telehealth and telemedicine present substantial benefits to providers and consumers alike. The Washington government allows its residents access to specialists that the patient’s local community does not have. These specialists make patient records readily available, and offer an affordable mode of healthcare services.
In Washington, healthcare services are delivered in real-time interactive audio and video and other enabling technology. The exchange occurs at a site different than the provider’s for consultation, diagnosis, and treatment. Store-and-forward and remote patient monitoring modalities are also accepted and practiced in the state.
Technology is ever-evolving and changing. That is why the Washington Medical Commission has deemed it necessary to phrase its rules and regulations in a general manner so that they will remain applicable despite the passing of time.
Audio-only telemedicine is the real-time communication between the patient and the provider through audio-only technology. Although audio-only modality is a recognized form of telemedicine in Washington state, it is not one of the modalities reimbursed by Medicaid yet. However, it is set to be reimbursable in the year 2023 under House Bill 1196 with the condition that the provider and the patient must have an established relationship at the time of the encounter.
For an established relationship to exist, an in-person consultation must have been conducted within the past year with the same provider, any provider who works in the same clinic where the patient has been seen in-person, or by the provider whom the referring provider who has consulted with the patient in-person has referred the patient to.
The Washington State Health Care Authority has mandated telemedicine providers to offer language assistance services and that the same must be free of charge. In addition, it must be timely, accurate, uphold the patient’s privacy, and maintain the independence of the patient whose primary language is not English.
The state of Washington maintains an updated provider directory that lists the telemedicine services and their detailed description.
Explore telemedicine and the best online doctors in Washington using these convenient page-jumps!
- Unmatched Feature of Telemedicine in Washington
- Washington State Telemedicine Laws and Policies
- Interstate Medical Licensure Compact
- State Reimbursement Policy
- Public Health Emergency (PHE)
- 10 Top-rated Online Doctors and Telemedicine Providers in Washington
- Telemedicine Resources in Washington
Unmatched Feature of Telemedicine in Washington
Through Senate Bill 6061, the state of Washington has required all healthcare professionals to undergo telemedicine training as a requirement before offering telemedicine services. Physicians and osteopathic physicians are exempted from compliance with this law.
The training ensures that healthcare providers expanding their practice into telemedicine know the basics such as the definition of terms, latest telemedicine state and federal laws, patient’s informed consent, and practitioner’s extent of liability and best practices.
Healthcare professionals can either complete the training through their institution’s developed training or the public training approved by the Washington Telehealth Collaborative or the Behavioral Health Institute.
At the end of the training, the practitioner’s knowledge will be tested through a question-and-answer methodology. The practitioner’s completion of the said training must be evidenced by a signed attestation which he or she must retain.
This is the state government’s way of ensuring that healthcare practitioners who have expanded their practice into telemedicine can deliver clinical services through different modalities.
Washington State Telemedicine Laws and Policies
Who can practice telemedicine in Washington?
The general rule that the patient’s location determines where the telemedicine service is rendered is followed in Washington. Therefore, physicians and other healthcare practitioners must be holders of a medical license issued by the Washington Medical Commission to be allowed to extend their practice into telemedicine and render healthcare services to patients located within state boundaries.
There are exceptions to this general rule. For example, patients who are temporarily outside the state for business or personal trips and those who require follow-up check-up may continue to see their Washington-licensed healthcare provider.
Interstate Medical Licensure Compact
Washington State has been an active member of the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact (IMLC) since 2017 with the passing of House Bill 1337, which created the Compact in the state. In addition, it serves as a State of Principal License (SPL), which processes applications and likewise issues licenses.
Because of this Compact membership, healthcare professionals who are holders of a medical license in Washington are allowed to practice in other member states through a streamlined licensing process. To qualify, physicians must have the following background:
- A graduate of an accredited med school or from one of the schools included in the International Medical Education Directory;
- A holder of an ABMS or AOABOS board certification;
- Full and unrestricted medical license;
- A resident of, the employer is located in, taxed by, or practices Medicine 25% of the time in a State of Principal License;
- No history of crime, disciplinary action, investigation, or controlled substance actions.
Interested applicants no longer need to submit individually to all states where they intend to expand their medical practice. Only one application is required to be submitted with the Compact, which will serve as the basis for the member states to issue separate licenses.
What the Compact does not do is regulate the actual medical practice of the members. The state issued the license to the healthcare practitioner that governs and has jurisdiction over all aspects of the practice.
Physical Therapy Compact
Increasing access to physical therapy services by reducing barriers to cross-state practice is the primary goal of the Physical Therapy Compact. Both physical therapists and physical therapist assistants are eligible to apply under the Compact as long as they meet the following criteria:
- Permanent resident of a PT Compact member state that is actively issuing compact privileges;
- Holder of a valid PT or PTA license in his or her home state;
- Absence of any encumbrance on his or her licenses;
- Not subject to disciplinary action within the immediately preceding two years;
- Has complied with all jurisprudence requirements in the state where they intend to extend their practice in;
The Compact is regulated by member states and representatives from the American Physical Therapy Association and the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy. There are rules to be followed and responsibilities to fulfill that comes with the privilege of being a member of the Compact and allowed to practice in other member states, such as maintaining an encumbered license in a home state residence, pay fees, notify and report with the Commission any changes in their information.
The PT Compact’s website also provides various resources and tools that will guide PTs and PTAs in the practice of physical therapy under the Compact.
Standard of Care
The Medical Quality Assurance Commission developed certain guidelines concerning healthcare professional practice through telemedicine. The standard of care includes the clinical, technical, confidentiality, and ethical aspect of the practice. This includes the following aspects:
- Practitioner-Patient Relationship
- Informed Consent
- Patient Evaluation
- Allowable Treatment Parameters
- Medical Records
Failure to meet or Commission any violations on the required standard of care will subject the erring provider to disciplinary action.
The telemedicine provider must first take the patient’s relevant medical history and properly evaluate the patient through available means. This is important to determine whether a telemedicine encounter would be appropriate for the patient’s medical care. Simply providing a questionnaire for the patient to complete is not sufficient and does not pass the standard of care required by the Commission.
All information obtained from the patient, the services received during the encounter, and other relevant data must be accurately kept in the patient’s medical record.
The telemedicine provider must always act within and following his or her scope of practice. The provider must not exceed the authority granted by his or her license as in actual physical and face-to-face practice. The provider must also note that there are services that cannot be delivered through simple telemedicine. For example, drug monitoring cannot be conducted remotely and must be done in a face-to-face setup unless part of a qualified telemedicine visit.
Supervision by a licensed healthcare professional over a medical assistant who is with the patient at the time of the telemedicine visit may be done via interactive and video telemedicine technology.
The informed consent needed for telemedicine services is the same as the consent required of practitioners to obtain in an in-office setting. However, given the different and special setup in telemedicine, the written informed consent must also include the following:
- Identity and location of the patient;
- Identity of the provider;
- Credentials of the practitioner;
- The modality that will be utilized for the online encounter;
- Complete understanding of the parties of the telecommunication technology and medical devices that will be used for the telemedicine encounter;
- The capabilities and limitations of the equipment;
- Mutual agreement between the provider and patient that telemedicine delivery of healthcare services to be availed of would be appropriate for the subject medical case;
When billing telemedicine service delivered via audio-only technology, the billing provider must first obtain consent for such billing from the patient before the service is rendered. Failure to comply with this guideline subjects the provider to disciplinary action.
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is the standard observed by the Washington government and medical boards regarding the privacy, confidentiality, and security of the patient’s health information. All interactions, equipment, and technology utilized to deliver healthcare services via telemedicine shall be HIPAA-compliant.
E-prescriptions are strongly encouraged by the Medical Quality Assurance Commission to be used by healthcare practitioners. Because errors are less likely committed, dispensing of medications can be easily tracked, and the records are intact. The decision of whether to issue prescriptions is left to the sole discretion of the prescribing provider after proper evaluation of the appropriateness, safety, and other indications of the medication.
Before the prescription of any controlled substances as determined by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the online prescriber must consider the necessity and medical appropriateness of the medication in the patient’s case.
When it comes to the issuance of authorization for the medical use of marijuana, either an in-person or remote physical exam can be conducted as the situation would permit and subject to several conditions.
If an in-person physical examination was conducted for the initial granting of the authorization, the succeeding physical examination can be conducted remotely or through telemedicine should there be physical or emotional barriers. This fact must be duly noted in the patient’s medical record for future reference.
Federal and state laws must be strictly observed in all instances and at all times. Prescribing providers must leave the choice of the pharmacy to the patient and shall not recommend any specific pharmacies.
Teledentistry serves as a valid substitute for an in-office hands-on encounter when the service rendered is medically necessary, within the scope of the provider’s practice, and under the teledentistry guidelines provided by the Department of Health.
Dentists and authorized dental providers may engage in the practice of teledentistry. They may also delegate teledentistry tasks to dental hygienists and expanded functions to dental assistants under general supervision. However, tasks requiring close supervision cannot be rendered through telemedicine means.
Synchronous and asynchronous modalities are recognized methods of rendering dental services. In addition, store-and-forward may be utilized by sending the patient’s information to a distant provider for review and future intervention when necessary.
State Reimbursement Policy
The state of Washington’s Medicaid program is also known as Washington Apple Health. The reimbursement rates for telemedicine services by health plans, either by the Apple Health, Medicaid managed care plans, or private plans, are the same as the services rendered in-person.
The only time that the telemedicine compensation can differ from that of the rate of in-person services is when eleven or more providers consisting of hospitals, hospital systems, provider groups, and telemedicine companies negotiate for such difference.
Telemedicine services delivered through live video and store-and-forward modalities may be subjected to the same terms and conditions as when they are rendered in person. This includes coinsurance, copayment, deductible, prior authorization, and utilization review.
The following are the approved originating sites eligible for reimbursement, without any difference between rural and urban settings:
- Certified Behavioral Health Agencies
- Chemical Dependency Settings
- Community Mental Health Centers
- Dental Offices
- Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC)
- Health Professional’s Office
- Hospitals, whether Inpatient or Outpatient
- Patient’s Home or Location
- Renal Dialysis Centers excluding Independent Renal Dialysis Center
- Rural Health Clinics (RHC)
- Schools and Daycares
- Skilled Nursing Facility
State laws provide for reimbursement of live video, store-and-forward, and remote patient monitoring modalities only. The following services are not covered and hence, not reimbursable:
- Home health monitoring under the Applied Behavioral Analysis Program
- Installation of telecommunication devices or systems to be used for the telemedicine service, including their maintenance
- Rental or purchase of telemedicine equipment
- Repairs for any devices used for the telemedicine encounter
- Transmissions made through e-mail, telephone, and facsimile machines
The Washington State Telehealth Collaborative was organized to review reimbursement policies, submit reports and recommendations, study payment parity and other benefits of other modalities of telemedicine such as store-and-forward and audio-only. This project is in coordination and collaboration with the Office of the Insurance Commissioner and health care authority.
What services are reimbursed in the state of Washington?
By Apple Health (WA Medicaid):
- Live Video
- Remote Patient Monitoring
X Stand-alone or combination of E-mail, Text Message, or Facsimile
The guidelines for reimbursement of healthcare services rendered through live video conferencing vary according to the type of service and provider.
For school-based services, the licensed provider must be enrolled with the school’s ProviderOne account to receive reimbursement. Services rendered by non-licensed staff are billed under the licensed supervising provider.
For applied behavior analysis (ABA), program supervision is eligible for reimbursement if the child is present during the encounter. The child is referred to here is one who is 20 years old and below. On the other hand, the child’s presence is not required for family training services to be reimbursed. The provider must make sure that the quality of these services would not be compromised because of the chosen modality of delivery.
There are also fee-for-service programs that are eligible for reimbursement. These are:
- Family Planning Only Program (formerly known as Take Charge)
- First Steps
- Pregnancy-related Program
- School-Based Health Care Service Program
Facility and transmission fees for live video conferencing are also reimbursed for specific originating sites only. The list includes critical access hospitals, FQHC, health professional’s office, hospital outpatient, and rural health clinics. On the other hand, originating sites explicitly not covered are inpatient hospitals, patient’s homes or locations, and skilled nursing facilities.
Store-and-Forward utilized asynchronous modes of transmission of patient medical information from the originating to the distant site. The output of which is a medical diagnosis and treatment plan for the patient.
All of the following conditions must be met before WA Medicaid considers the SAF modality reimbursable:
- The patient’s written informed consent about the use of store-and-forward technology is obtained;
- An associated visit is possible either through in-person or asynchronous telemedicine;
- The said visit includes the transmission of still images, audio clips, video clips, laboratory results, electrocardiograms, electroencephalograms, x-rays, MRIs, or texts;
- All information is transmitted with technology and through means that are HIPAA compliant;
- The rendering provider sends a documented care plan to the referring provider;
For behavioral health administrative services and managed care organizations, an associated visit is required. The said associated office visit can be conducted through live video conferencing. Apple Health also reimburses teledermatology and teledentistry services rendered via store-and-forward subject to their practice’s guidelines.
If the provider determines that an in-person or telemedicine consultation with a specialist is necessary within sixty days after the SAF consultation, it shall not be paid for.
It must be noted that transmission fees on the originating site’s side are not eligible for reimbursement.
Remote Patient Monitoring
Remote patient monitoring is to transmit collected clinical data such as blood glucose, blood pressure, pulse, pulse oximetry, respiration, and weight at the originating site to a home health provider at the distant site through electronic processing technologies.
RPM applies to patients who have been diagnosed with a chronic condition, have an unstable condition, or at risk for hospitalization. Only one telemedicine interaction is eligible for reimbursement per client per day.
For remote patient monitoring services to be reimbursed, they must involve any of the following:
- Assessment and monitoring of clinical data;
- Assessment of the patient’s reaction to the changes made in the treatment plan;
- Medication management education patterned on the patient’s needs;
- Intervention and education that would be useful for the patient and his or her caregiver;
The list is non-exclusive, and other services deemed appropriate may be considered.
By Private Payer or other healthcare service plan providers:
Live video and store-and-forward modalities are reimbursable by private health insurers if the following circumstances are present:
- There is a medical necessity for the provision of the healthcare service;
- The health plan of the covered patient provides for reimbursement for the same subject service when rendered in person;
- The healthcare service availed of by the patient is an identified essential health benefit under state laws;
- The delivery of the healthcare service through telemedicine means is safe and effective in accordance with the accepted standard of care and best practices;
- The standards outlined in the HIPAA, along with other state and federal laws when it comes to information privacy and confidentiality is strictly complied with;
Generally, plan benefits and services covered can be communicated to the members through an electronic format. However, when the member involved is a person with disabilities, said information should be provided in another format to avoid undue financial and administrative burden or fundamental alterations.
Under service parity laws, the only requirement is that the service must be an essential health benefit under the Affordable Care Act. The safety and effectiveness of the modality used must be determined. Although Apple Health explicitly provides reimbursement for healthcare services delivered via the store-and-forward modality, a managed health care system and private insurance providers are only mandated to reimburse for SAF services stated in the negotiated agreement with the healthcare provider. The scope and extent of the coverage may be limited.
The state of Washington has recently passed a payment parity law that is currently being enforced. This means that healthcare services rendered via telemedicine modes are reimbursed or compensated in the same amount as when the same service is rendered in person.
Who can avail of these reimbursements?
There is no exclusive list of telemedicine providers eligible to avail of the reimbursements provided by the state’s policies. The only requirements are that the provider must be a holder of a Washington-issued medical license to practice and that the telemedicine service rendered by such licensee is a covered service as determined by the insured member’s plan. Below is a list of healthcare professionals who are given authority, under state law, to practice through telehealth and telemedicine means:
- Agency-Affiliated Counselors
- Allopathic Physicians
- Allopathic Physician Assistants
- Athletic Trainers
- Behavior Analysts
- Certified Counselors
- Dietitians and Nutritionists
- Genetic Counselors
- Hearing Aid Specialists
- Marriage and Family Therapists
- Medical Assistants
- Mental Health Counselors
- Naturopathic Physicians
- Occupational Therapists
- Occupational Therapist Assistants
- Osteopathic Physicians
- Pharmacists’ Interns
- Physical Therapists
- Physical Therapist Assistant
- Respiratory Therapists
- Sex Offender Treatment Providers
- Social Workers
- Speech-Language Pathologists
- Substance Use Disorder Professionals
These healthcare professionals can render all types of medical services delivered via telemedicine as long as the quality and standard of care are not compromised due to the chosen modality.
Public Health Emergency (PHE)
During the existence of the public health emergency, the state of Washington government and medical boards, and other agencies have deemed it necessary to issue temporary guidelines to be followed in the practice of medicine and rendering of healthcare services through different platforms, including telemedicine. Below is a compilation of these regulations for everyone’s guidance for the duration of the Covid-19 pandemic:
- The credentialing privileges of medical volunteers have been broadened. As long as they are in good standing in the state where they are licensed, they no longer have to obtain a Washington license and practice to the same extent as state license holders. The state has conditionally waived state licensing for emergency volunteers. There are two ways by which interested volunteers may be recognized. One is through registration using the Emergency Volunteer Health Practitioners Application, and another way is through the expedited licensing procedure with the Interstate Medical License Compact.
- Physician-patient relationships may be established through telehealth and telemedicine means.
- Insurance providers are prohibited from enforcing the following for the duration of the public health emergency to encourage Washington residents to avail of telemedicine services:
- Imposing a lower reimbursement rate for telemedicine services as compared to their in-person counterpart;
- Denial of any telemedicine claim because of its explicit statement in the contract;
- Providing additional requirements before releasing payments that are contrary to the state’s emergency orders and the Office of the Insurance Commissioner’s technical advisories;
10 Top-rated Online Doctors and Telemedicine Providers in Washington
Access to healthcare services is an essential part of an individual’s life. In a state with a population of almost 8 million, scheduling an in-office appointment may take days, weeks, or even months. Delivery of healthcare services through telemedicine modalities has allowed residents of Washington to instantly gain access and consult with a medical professional about health concerns that don’t need physical intervention. If you are in Washington and seek to talk with an online doctor, you can check out the following telemedicine providers in the state that can surely provide you with the best and quality service:
- HIPAA Compliant
- Board Certified Dermatologists, Podiatrists, and other Specialists
ZoomCare offers virtual care through VideoCare™ or ChatCare™ with one of their providers. In addition, video consultations are available for specific medical concerns that belong to any of the following fields of specialization:
- Dermatology: acne, dermatitis, eczema, fungal infections, hair loss, nail problems, psoriasis, rosacea
- Internal Medicine: asthma, diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure
- Mental Health: ADHD, anxiety, bipolar disorders, depression, insomnia, OCD, PTSD, schizophrenia, and stress
- Orthopedics: fracture, broken bones, therapy
- Podiatry: ankle pain, arch pain, arthritis, heel pain, foot injuries
- Women’s Health: birth control, contraception, endometriosis, PCOS, urinary tract infections, yeast infections
Patients can chat with providers to discuss their symptoms or send photos to receive a diagnosis and corresponding treatment. ChatCare™ is best for simple rashes, irritations of the skin or eye, and other similar issues. Patients can also utilize this option to request prescription refills or ask questions that were not addressed during the video visit.
Follow-up with your in-person visit provider can also happen via ChatCare™ without any additional fee within seven days after the day of the visit.
If the provider requires you to be tested or have follow-ups during your virtual visit, you don’t have to worry about where to book them, as they have ZoomCare clinics all over the state. The online provider will refer you to the nearest one, and the visit will be at no additional cost.
They not only issue prescriptions but can also have them arranged to be shipped directly to your home.
- Salmon Creek
- Vancouver Waterfront
- Mill Plain & 164th
- The Mill – Garrison Rd
- Grand Central
- HIPAA Compliant
- Board Certified Pediatric Specialists
Virtual visits with Seattle Children’s Hospital are scheduled through the patient’s MyChart account. Patients may opt to log in through the website or download the app from the App Store or Google Play. For the actual video visit, Zoom is the video conferencing software utilized. Video visits are secured, and no third parties can join the visit without the provider’s permission.
This type of visit is perfect for asking about current health concerns, follow-up questions, and getting proper medical advice on what steps to take for your child’s healthcare. With the Seattle Children’s Hospital directory of pediatric specialists, you can be sure that almost all medical issues concerning your child can be expertly addressed.
Some of the common illnesses they accommodate through virtual visits are:
- Abdominal Pain
- Animal or Human Bite
- Bed Bug Bite
- Colds in Infants
- Dry Skin
- Ear Problems
- Food Allergy
- Head Lice
- Jellyfish Sting
- Jock Itch
Questions on antibiotics, bottle-feeding, breastfeeding, circumcision problems, foreskin care, cough remedies, crying baby, myths, and just about anything health-related can be given answers to and clarified by your online provider.
All information on telemedicine services they offer is also available in languages like Arabic, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Somali, Spanish, and Vietnamese. Interpreters during the actual telehealth appointment will also be provided if requested by the patient.
Location/City Served: Seattle
- HIPAA Compliant
- Board-Certified Physicians, Pediatricians, Specialists, and Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner
Depending on the health concern, virtual visits can be scheduled with the patient’s primary care physician or a specialist. Simply type in your provider’s name or search for a specialist in their directory to book an appointment. Providence allows patients to choose between an online video appointment or a phone appointment. They accommodate children too.
Patients can also see any available provider immediately for minor non-emergency conditions such as:
- Pink Eye
- Poison Ivy
- Sinus Infections
- Sore Throat
- Strep Throat
- Upset Stomach
By registering and providing the symptoms they are experiencing and detailed descriptions followed by a video consultation with a Providence provider, patients can be diagnosed and given a personalized care plan. Prescriptions, if any, are sent to the patient’s chosen or local pharmacy.
These services can be accessed through the Providence App, downloaded from the App Store and Google Play. Patient information, appointment reminders, laboratory results, medical history, and medications are also securely stored on the app. It also comes with a map to locate nearby Providence clinics just in case patients will be referred for an in-person visit.
- Kettle Falls
- HIPAA Compliant
- Board Certified Pain Management Doctors
To maintain the accuracy of their diagnosis, new patients must be seen in-person by their providers. Telemedicine services offered at Seattle Pain Relief are exclusive only for established patients. Virtual visits can be an audio evaluation, patient portal visit, short virtual check-in, or video evaluation.
The main service they offer is acute and chronic pain management which includes regular communication with a pain specialist, evaluation, medication management, physical examination, and referral for interventional pain treatments if necessary. Some of the other medical conditions they treat are:
- Achilles Tendinitis
- Acute Headaches
- Back Pain
- Bulging Disc
- Cancer Pain
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
- Degenerative Disc Disease
- Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy
- Hammer Toe
- Phantom Limb Pain
- Piriformis Syndrome
- Rotator Cuff Tear
- Sacroiliac Joint Pain
- Spinal Stenosis
- Testicular Pain
- Trigeminal Neuralgia
Patients are presented with several pain treatment options such as oral NSAIDs, opioid medications, muscle relaxants, nerve block procedures, durable medical equipment (DME), and lifestyle changes. They also offer trigger point injections and spinal cord stimulation as treatment in their clinics. These procedures are clinically proven, effective, minimally invasive, and safe.
They also cater to automobile accidents and workers’ compensation injuries.
Locations/Cities Served: Federal Way, Seattle
- HIPAA Compliant
- Board Certified Physicians
The Community Health Plan of Washington (CHPW) offers Virtual Care, either through phone or video consultation, to all its members. Appointments can either be scheduled or in an “as soon as possible” booking.
Members can use CHPW Virtual Care for these non-emergency illnesses:
- Bladder Infections
- Pink Eye
- Sinus Problems
- Sore Throat
- Upset Stomach
If you are uncertain of your condition being appropriately treated via Virtual Care, you can check using their Nurse Advice Line to help you decide whether to proceed with being seen virtually or if you need urgent care and to visit the hospital. It must be noted that CHPW providers do not make referrals to other providers or specialists. The most they can do involving other providers is to fax them your consultation notes.
Member patients enjoy the benefits and privilege of talking with a CHPW provider without a time limit until their health concerns are properly addressed and given corresponding treatment. Apple Health covers this, and members don’t need to pay a fee. There are also no copays to settle. Cancellation and rescheduling of appointments have no additional charge as well.
Prescriptions can be transmitted electronically or by phone to your chosen pharmacy. You are also given the option to have them delivered to you by mail. All these services can be accessed through the CHPW Virtual Care App available in both the App Store and Google Play.
Location/City Served: Seattle
- HIPAA Compliant
- Board Certified Physicians
UW Medicine offers two ways for patients to see a doctor remotely – either through telemedicine visits or text-based care.
Telemedicine visits are with a UW Medicine provider through a secure video conferencing platform which is Zoom. Patients must have it installed on their computer or mobile phone before the scheduled visit. This is only applicable for conditions that do not require a physical examination by a doctor. Some of the health services that are offered through telemedicine visits are:
- Acute Care
- Behavioral Health
- Chronic Conditions
- Follow-up Care
- Medication Management
- New Pregnancy
- Pre-surgical Evaluation
- Primary Care Check-up
- Test Results Review
The text-based care program is part of their on-demand virtual care service. This is made possible through their partnership with 98point6®. It is a secure in-app messaging that allows users to communicate with a board-certified physician. The exchange is accessible to a UW Medicine doctor making the coordination of your care easier. The following common medical conditions can be addressed under this program:
- Acid Reflux
- Muscle Aches
- Sinus Infection
- Sleep Issues
- Sore Throat
- Sprains and Strains
- Urinary Tract Infections
UW Medicine also provides language assistance and interpreter services for patients whose primary language is not English.
Locations/Cities Served: Seattle, Renton
- HIPAA Compliant
- Board Certified Podiatrists, Foot and Ankle Doctor
There are foot and ankle problems that are best checked and treated by specialists. One’s mobility and life, in general, can be greatly affected by a broken bone, a sprain, a painful condition, changes in the appearance of the foot, a wound, an infection, or abnormal growth.
Seattle Foot and Ankle Center can treat all simple and complicated conditions associated with these body parts and other medical conditions such as diabetes and poor circulation that may have caused them. Age is not an issue as they have pediatric and geriatric podiatrists in their directory.
The most common feet conditions patients go to them for are:
- Ankle and foot injuries
- Calcaneal apophysitis
- Corns and Calluses
- Feet and nail fungal infections
- Foreign bodies
- Hallux rigidus
- Heel and Arch Pain
- Ingrown toenails
- Plantar fasciitis
- Structural problems
They also specialize in injuries and sports medicine, foot skin care, and non-surgical care. For severe conditions and when all options have been considered, they also perform biomechanical and surgical services in their clinic. Aftercare of which can be followed up through telemedicine visits.
Each condition is unique to every individual, and the Center’s doctors tailor a treatment plan that they deem most effective for that particular medical case. They also prescribe medications if necessary and would help the overall treatment of the patient.
English, Spanish, and Chinese are the languages spoken by healthcare professionals at Seattle Foot and Ankle Center.
Location/City Served: Seattle
- HIPAA Compliant
- Board-Certified Physicians, Pediatricians, and Specialists
MultiCare is a not-for-profit community-focused healthcare organization that provides medical care to residents of Washington State. They have hospital networks all over the state and have started offering telehealth options to both existing and new patients. Generally, minor health conditions such as those listed below can be treated virtually through MultiCare:
- Birth Control
- Common Skin Infections
- Insect Bites
- Minor Injuries
- Minor Respiratory Symptoms
- Non-Urgent Stomach Pain
- Sinus Pain
- Urinary Tract Infection
- Yeast Infection
The virtual health options laid down by MultiCare include:
- Primary and Specialty Care: This is similar to an in-person visit at your provider’s office. You schedule a virtual care visit with your trusted provider with whom you have shared your medical history.
- Pediatric Care: It is their network hospital, MaryBridge Children’s Hospital, providers that offer kid-focused medical care through telemedicine. Children eighteen years old and below can be accommodated for various pediatric urgent care concerns such as hay fever, diaper rash, head lice, cold symptoms, vomiting, cough, diarrhea, constipation, animal bites, eye conditions, and many others.
- Indigo Online Care: This option is for urgent care of minor illnesses and injuries such as migraines, poison ivy, sexually transmitted diseases and infections, minor bruises, burns, and fractures. Nicotine replacement options are offered at Indigo to help patients stop consuming tobacco. They also have a prescription delivery service for a corresponding fee.
Providers at MultiCare network issue doctor notes for return to school or work.
- Spokane Valley
- HIPAA Compliant
- Board Certified Dermatologists, Dermatology-trained Nurse Practitioner, and Physician Assistant
Skin, hair, and nail conditions can be addressed through telemedicine appointments with Seattle Skin and Laser. They accommodate everyone from infants, children, adolescents, adults, and the elderly.
Some of the most common conditions they have treated are:
- Allergic Skin Reactions
- Atopic Dermatitis
- Bacterial Infections
- Contact Eczema
- Excessive Sweating
- Fungal Skin Conditions
- Insect Bites
- Skin Aging
- Viral Skin Conditions
You can confirm with the clinic’s schedulers and nurses whether your skin, hair, or nail concern can be accommodated virtually, can wait for an in-office visit, or should be immediately seen in-person by a dermatologist. The platform they use for video visits is doxy.me, which is secure and compliant with worldwide security requirements, HIPAA being one of them.
After your telederm visit, which usually lasts for fifteen minutes, you will receive a diagnosis, a treatment plan, and a prescription, if applicable, depending on your medical condition. If ever you need to undergo further testing or a biopsy, they will help you schedule one with their clinic nearest you.
As for prescriptions, patients may opt to use Prescriber’s Choice meds or have them faxed to their chosen pharmacy, where they can pick them up.
Locations/Cities Served: Edmonds, Mercer Islands
- HIPAA Compliant
- Board Certified Physicians
The AAAHC or Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care accredited Cedar River Clinics as an abortion provider in Washington.
The following services are available online via telemedicine modalities:
- Birth Control: Providers at Cedar’s can help you choose the best birth control method suitable to your medical history and lifestyle. Your chosen method can be picked up, ordered from a pharmacy, or inserted in their office on your scheduled appointment.
- Hormone Therapy for Transgender or Non-Binary Patients: You can discuss your preference or goal with your online provider so that they can prescribe you medications that will help you achieve them. If needed, they may require you to take laboratory tests to check your overall health.
- Medical Abortion and Abortion Pill: Women who had their last period within ten weeks before the consultation are qualified to be prescribed abortion pills that can be mailed directly at their place or picked up at the nearest clinic in Renton, Tacoma, or Yakima.
- Sexually Transmitted Infections and Diseases: Online screening and corresponding treatments are covered in telemedicine appointments. You may be referred for further testing at one of their clinics.
- Vaginal and Bladder Infections: Screening can be conducted via telemedicine, and treatment along with prescribed medications will be forwarded to your chosen pharmacy.
Their website also provides educational resources such as birth control comparisons, abortion pill instructions, masculinizing, and feminizing.
Confidentiality and security of the patient’s identity and health information are given maximum priority by healthcare providers and staff at Cedar River Clinics.
Telemedicine Resources in Washington
With the amount of information the world wide web offers to readers, it can be easy to obtain misleading, outdated data or that can even be entirely wrong at times. Typing in the keywords for telemedicine in Washington state generates millions of results, but only a few of these are truly informational, educational, and helpful. Below is a compilation of accurate, reliable, and credible government-owned online resources for telemedicine in the state of Washington:
- Washington State Department of Health: Under the telehealth resources section of the WSDH’s website, one can find telehealth guidelines laid down by various medical and examining boards in the state and telemedicine training requirements. Laws, amendments, and current legislations surrounding telehealth and telemedicine are also made available on their website.
- Washington State Telehealth Collaborative: The Telehealth Collaborative serves as a platform for experts, legislators, and Washingtonians to discuss and share their knowledge about telehealth and raise awareness and accessibility of this mode of delivering health care services. Practitioners and consumers can join their meetings once every two months and freely ask questions, comment, or give their suggestions on the topics discussed.
- Washington State Hospital Association: Patients and clinicians can access various telehealth resources from the WSHA’s official website. External links to various trusted sites ranging from healthcare organizations, funding agencies, journals and newsletters, and telehealth tools can be accessed from the section listing them. State policies on telehealth and telemedicine, collaborative reports, and answers to frequently asked questions are also provided for Washingtonians and other residents in the region.
- Northwest Regional Telehealth Resource Center: The state of Washington belongs in the Northwest region and is covered by this project supported by the US Department of Health and Human Services. The NRTRC offers webinars and videos that provide education about telemedicine along with other related health topics. Aside from being informational, one can also request technical assistance or invite a speaker for an event through their website. In addition, one can access free online telehealth training, which is made possible through its partnership with various local state organizations.
- Center for Connected Health Policy – WA: Providers and consumers can access information, highlights, and summaries on Washington state’s Medicaid program, reimbursement policies, private payer laws, professional requirements, compact memberships, as well as links to other telehealth resources. This is a program by the Public Health Institute and is sponsored by the Office for the Advancement of Telehealth, Health Resources and Services Administration of the DHHS.