Why You Don’t Trust Telemedicine

My first experience with Telemedicine was a phone call from my bed with a sore throat and flu-like symptoms. I had a Z-Pack waiting for me at my local CVS forty minutes later. Needless to say, I was hooked. Prior to this, it was a schedule shuffling, fee-ridden, inconvenient process any time illness would arrive. Would there ever be a better solution?

Five years ago I would ask ten people if they had heard of “Telemedicine.” Typically one or maybe two out of ten did. Usually they would inquire what it was? To put it simply, Telemedicine is a doctor available by phone or video conference who can prescribe medicine right over the phone without physically seeing the patient. Sound good? Imagine, no waiting for a doctor’s appointment, no travel time, and no co-pay or additional doctor fees. These are some of the benefits that Telemedicine provides.

So why are some people reluctant to use it? There are a few reasons:

1-We’ve been conditioned to believe that we need to see a doctor for every illness and ailment we have.

Is this true? Not exactly. It’s been documented that Telemedicine can successfully diagnose over 75% of illnesses. These are routing illnesses, of course. For any major illness, one will have to see a doctor or go to the emergency room. Fortunately, most of the illnesses we encounter are the routine sore throats, urinary tract infections, and the like.

2-We don’t trust the doctors or believe that they are real.

Is this a concern? Not exactly. Teladoc, a publicly traded company, has Board Certified US doctors that handle all of their patients. The patient is able to have a detailed call or video conference with the doctor in order to work toward a solution or a prescription if necessary.

3-We think the service is expensive.

Is this true? Not exactly. The Teladoc service typically costs up to $40 per call, but through a company like The Access Organization, Teladoc is part of their program and is unlimited for you and your family for $29.95 per month.

4-We don’t trust that our medical records and privacy will be protected.

Is this true? Not the case. Teladoc is secure as well as HIPAA compliant. All electronic medical records are confidential and protected.

Now if I ask ten people if they’ve heard of Telemedicine, about five people are familiar with it. The trust is growing slowly but surely. Old habits die hard. But Telemedicine certainly looks like the way most will be handling their routine illnesses in the days to come.

Vince co-founded a healthcare company called “The Access Organization,” which provides a non-insurance healthcare solution. Through his own company, Vince was able to get the drug Vyvanse for $25.00 per month as opposed to $250.00 per month. He took this drug during the initial three years of developing his company and saved nearly $8,000 in medication costs. Vince also credits the support of the “Medication Advocacy Program” of The Access Organization as a major reason that he was able to bring the company to the finish line and successfully launch it.

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