Telemedicine visits have been covered by most national insurance plans since 2016. In the last 5 years, a few companies have formed to offer patients a way to “visit” a medical provider from their home using a computer or smart device. However, only a small percentage of local physician practices added the option for their own patients. That has changed in 2020!
Acceptance of telemedicine and implementation of the needed technology has increased dramatically during the COVID crisis, especially with small practices. A survey conducted by Sleep Review magazine in April showed that more that 50% of sleep medicine practices could now offer telemedicine, 46% of practices utilized telemedicine for follow-up visits, and 29% even used telemedicine for new patients. (1)
Telemedicine has its challenges, and is more appropriate in some cases than others. For example, pediatricians can’t check for an ear infection and cardiologists can’t perform an EKG. But evaluating sleep disorders, reviewing results, and managing treatment, is ideal for telemedicine. Sleep disorders were in the top 10 conditions most commonly diagnosed during a telemedicine visit in a review of all office visit notes by Epic Health Research. (2)
Millennium Sleep Lab is a sleep practice that now offers telemedicine. Patients can speak to one of our sleep specialists to review symptoms and order a home sleep test, which can also be done from the comfort and safety of home.