Telehealth FAQs

What is telehealth?

Telehealth is the use of video, or sometimes phone conversations, to extend care when you and the provider aren’t in the same place at the same time. If you have a smartphone or a computer and internet access, you already have everything you need (see below for details). Recent federal and state policy changes now allow you to receive care using existing technology. 

  • Talk to your provider live over the phone or video chat
  • Send and receive messages from your provider using the patient portal for secure messaging and document sharing
  • Use technology so your provider can check on you at home. For example, you might use a blood pressure cuff or food-tracking app to help your provider stay informed of your progress

Why should I try telehealth now?

Virtual care is not intended to replace a visit to a provider for all health care needs going forward. This service is intended to support your or your child’s care and may be used as supplemental care when we feel it’s safe to begin seeing patients regularly.

What types of care can I get using telehealth?

You might be surprised by the variety of care available through telehealth. SIU Medicine providers treat a variety of concerns or complaints through telehealth. Your provider will decide whether telehealth is appropriate for your health needs. If you need care, it’s worth checking to see what your telehealth options are. Some common types of appointments we offer include:

  • General health care, like wellness visits
  • Follow-up appointments
  • Prescriptions for medicine
  • Dermatology (skin care)
  • Nutrition counseling
  • Mental health counseling
  • Urgent care conditions, such as sinusitis, rashes, pink eye, abdominal or back pain, urinary tract infections, common rashes, seasonal allergies, diarrhea, vomiting, etc.

What can’t our health care providers treat virtually?

More serious conditions that require an in-person visit to the provider cannot be treated through virtual urgent care, including chest pain or palpitations, stroke-like symptoms, such as sudden-onset weakness, numbness or tingling, or blood in your stool.

How much do virtual visits cost?

Telehealth visits are billed the same as in-person visits. If you are a Medicare patient, you will be responsible for the same co-insurance and deductible for this telehealth visit that you would have paid if you had been seen for this visit in the office. If you have questions about how much you may owe, please contact your insurance provider.

What should you expect during a telehealth visit?

If you or your child needs care for a non-emergency condition, we’ll work with you to schedule a video or phone visit with an SIU provider at a time that works for you. Rest assured, your private health information is safe with us.

We treat adults as well as children from birth to 17. For a child’s visit, the parent or legal guardian must schedule the visit on behalf of the child. In most cases, our providers can only treat your child if the parent or legal guardian is present during the visit.

With virtual care, you or your child can do the following:

  • receive an examination, diagnosis and treatment from an SIU Medicine provider
  • be treated for a variety of medical concerns such as mental health, cough, sore throat, flu-like symptoms, rash, allergies and pink eye
  • receive an after-visit summary containing a care plan and any follow-up instructions, including referrals for a specialist visit or diagnostic imaging or bloodwork
  • have prescriptions recommended by your virtual care provider sent to the pharmacy of your choice

How long do telehealth appointments last?

Visits are usually 30 minutes and could be longer if needed.