To adapt to our changing environment, in addition to offering orthopedic urgent care in three convenient Spokane area locations, we are also now offering Telemedicine services for both current patients and new patients.
Introduction to Telemedicine
Telemedicine is the delivery of health care services through the use of audio and visual technology, permitting real-time communication between the patient and their provider, for the purpose of diagnosis, consultation, or treatment. It is a useful tool that makes needed healthcare more accessible, cost-effective, and convenient. With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it is safer as well, helping patients stay home instead of putting themselves or others at risk of coming in contact with infectious diseases.
Telemedicine Frequently Asked Questions
Question: What will I need to be able to utilize this service?
Answer: You need to have access to either a computer or smart phone. We recommend having the ability to connect to Wi-Fi for best reception and to eliminate the risk of data overages, though data will work if Wi-Fi is not an option for you. And you will need to be signed up in our system prior to scheduling an appointment.
Q: Can new patients utilize telemedicine services?
A: This is determined on a state-by-state basis. Some states may require a prior in-person visit, but in Washington, this is not a requirement.
Q: Is a referral still necessary?
A: In a lot of cases, a referral is still necessary as we are considered a specialist, but we have means to get these expedited to still ensure a same-day appointment for you.
Q: How can I schedule my Telemedicine visit?
A: Just like with in-person clinic visits, you can give us a call at 888-660-2663 to schedule your appointment. We'll ask you some questions to determine if a telemedicine or in-person visit makes the most sense for you.
Q: Will insurance pay for Telemedicine visits?
A: While we cannot guarantee coverage or benefits, telemedicine is a covered benefit by almost all plans, including Aetna, Kaiser, Premera, Medicare, Medicaid, Cigna, & United Healthcare. This is not an all-inclusive list; if your plan is not listed here, please give us a call at 888-660-2663 and we will help you determine if your plan covers telemedicine.
Q: Will there be a copay?
A: Your telemedicine copay will be same as your in-office copay; however due to the current pandemic, many payers are currently (and temporarily) covering Telemedicine at 100%.
Q: Are there any other extra costs I should be aware of?
A: No! There are no additional fees or costs to utilize our telemedicine services.
Q: Is telemedicine private and secure?
A: Yes, we are utilizing Chiron Health, a HIPAA-compliant telemedicine company, that uses an encrypted platform designed for this purpose.
Q: Is the quality of care the same as an in-person visit?
A: Telemedicine has been found through decades of research and demonstrations to be a safe, cost-effective and convenient way to provide healthcare services. At Northwest Orthopaedic Specialists, we have made it a top priority to ensure that our patients are still receiving the highest level of care from our providers through telemedicine that they've come to expect and value with in-person appointments.
Q: I'm scheduled for my first NWOS Telemedicine Appointment - can you help me get started with the Chiron Health system?
A: We have put this helpful document together to walk you through the steps of getting your account set up and beginning your appointment. You can view it here. For any additional questions, call us at 888-660-2663.
Q: Are Telemedicine appointments the only option right now?
A: While telemedicine appointments are a great option to utilize right now, they are not your only option. All of our locations are still open and accepting orthopedic urgent and emergent cases. Give us a call at 888-660-2663 and we can help you determine what would be the best option for your current situation.
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