Telehealth vs. Telemedicine Insurance

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We’re all used to thinking of medicine in archaic terms. When you feel sick, the immediate thing that comes to mind is visiting a doctor’s office, where you will wait your turn and get checked when your name is called.

However, times have changed since then.

While personal interactions like visiting doctors’ clinics are still highly valued, that is not the only option anymore. There are multiple ways of delivering healthcare that incorporate the technological strengths that we enjoy today, such as telehealth and telemedicine.

Consequently, there are also many ways of delivering insurance services, which you need to be aware of if you want to maximize your insurance policy.

What is Telehealth?

You might have heard telehealth and telemedicine being used interchangeably by providers, practitioners, and even policymakers. However, there’s actually a clear distinction between the two.

The term “telehealth” denotes a broad approach by the healthcare industry to utilize technology in providing patient care.

Telehealth is often used to refer to efforts that improve the delivery of services to individuals using technology.

The best example of this is telehealth appointments. Practiced widely during the lockdown stages of the Covid-19 pandemic, you may be familiar with telehealth doctor’s appointments where patient and doctor meet through video conferencing instead of having a personal meeting at the doctor’s office.

That practice utilizes technology to increase the efficiency and safety of delivering healthcare services to patients and is an excellent example of telehealth.

Other uses for telehealth include hospital administrative meetings, medical education, provider training, patient monitoring, and more. Whenever technology mediates the delivery of medical services and processes, it can technically be called a practice of “telehealth.”

Therefore, telehealth insurance is simply an extension of your policy to include this type of service delivery.

Some healthcare providers have ratified their insurance policies to include telehealth services in their coverage in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, which made it more necessary for telehealth to be accessible to all.

Telehealth vs. Telemedicine

Telemedicine is a subset of telehealth. In other words, telemedicine is a specific type of telehealth. The distinguishing factor is that telemedicine focuses on service delivery to clients.

You can remember that telehealth includes a wide variety of healthcare practices, including hospital administrative meetings and continued education. These are processes directly related to medicine but do not involve delivering medical services to a patient.

Telemedicine is simply the use of technology to facilitate service delivery.

The earlier example of conducting doctor’s appointments online, while technically a telehealth process, can be more specifically referred to as telemedicine because it focuses on service delivery.

Other examples of telemedicine include psychological counseling sessions done online, monitoring patient conditions remotely, managing chronic diseases through online diagnostic sessions, and more.

Therefore, all of these services can be covered by telemedicine insurance, depending on your specific policy.

Distinguishing Between Telehealth and Telemedicine Insurance

All telemedicine practices can also be called telehealth practices, but not all telehealth practices are telemedicine practices.

Telehealth insurance focuses on the associated costs of a healthcare procedure done online or remotely, even if it doesn’t involve you. On the other hand, telemedicine insurance covers healthcare service delivery that specifically affects you, the patient.

To help you better navigate the differences between these two insurance types and help you figure out how these two policies might apply to you, you can schedule a call with Magnum Insurance.

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