The ins and outs of a telehealth visit

The ins and outs of a telehealth visit

As we all know, the COVID-19 pandemic is causing a number of changes to our everyday lives. We are using technology to work from home and stay connected with loved ones. We can also use technology to connect with our doctors through telehealth. Though telehealth has been around for many years, the current pandemic is highlighting the benefits of this service, as well as broadening awareness.


So, what exactly is telehealth? Essentially, telehealth is the delivery of health-related services and information remotely. Most commonly, it is a two-way visit where patients and providers see and hear one another throughout the visit. It is very similar to a regular office visit, except the doctor and patient use a mobile device or computer, allowing the patient and provider to be in separate locations.


As part of efforts to practice social distancing and decrease the risk of disease transmission, many health care organizations have been limiting the number of people in their facilities. In order to be able to serve patients, while taking responsible precautions, many organizations have turned to telehealth.


Many doctor’s offices are reaching out to patients with scheduled appointments to discuss the possibility of switching to a telehealth visit. If you call your doctor’s office about a new issue or to request an appointment, you may find that they’ll offer a telehealth visit as well.


Mount Nittany Health recently introduced telehealth visits for patients of Mount Nittany Physician Group. The services greatly improves access and convenience of care, allowing an additional option for patients to access the excellent care they’ve come to expect from the Physician Group. The new technology allows patients to visit with their doctor where it’s most convenient for them.


At the time of your appointment, simply login to the patient portal or app determined at the time of scheduling. You can use any device with audio and video capabilities — like your smartphone, tablet or computer. You will also need high-speed internet connection.


You will need to select your appointment to start the visit. You may need to review basic demographic information, acknowledge and agree to consent forms, and/or allow permission to use your microphone and camera.


You will then be able to see and hear your provider. Just like a regular, in-office visit, your provider will ask you a series of questions about your health and determine or update your care plan. So much of an office visit is really a conversation and the audio and video of a telehealth visit allow for this same personal interaction. When the visit is over, you may need to hang up and exit.


There may be follow-up steps after your telehealth visit is complete, in the same way you could need follow-up after an in-office visit. Your provider may prescribe or refill medications or may write orders for labs or imaging. You may need to come in to be seen for a more involved assessment. You may also be able to schedule another telehealth visit for your next routine follow-up appointment.


For patients, the cost of a telehealth visit is the same as an in-office visit with the same provider. Co-pays are added to the office statement mailed to you after the visit. Telehealth appointments are also billed the same way an in-office visit is billed. You will want to check with your specific health insurance plan for more information.


Technology has become a part of everyday life and you can leverage it for an easy, convenient way to connect with your provider — a way that doesn’t require you to drive somewhere else or take as much time off of work. You can receive the same great care from the comfort of your home.


To learn more about telehealth at Mount Nittany Health, please visit


To learn more about how Mount Nittany Health is caring for our community during COVID-19, visit





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