UW Health Telehealth Frequently Asked Questions
UW Health in Madison, Wisconsin is committed to advancing the health and well-being of the people of Wisconsin and beyond. Telehealth services allow for appropriate and timely medical care from specialist at UW Health. Patients who receive telehealth interventions receive comprehensive management resulting in rapid stabilization and improved patient outcomes.
What is Telehealth?
Telehealth is the remote delivery of personal and non-personal health services. Examples of services include the use of digital technologies to deliver medical care, health education, and public health services, bridging together multiple users in separate locations.
Telecommunications, health information exchange known as Care Link at UW Health, videoconferencing and digital ImageShare technologies are used to deliver telehealth services at UW Health.
The term telemedicine is used to describe the clinical services made possible with the use of telehealth technologies. Medical information can be transferred via phone, secure internet connections, and private network transfers with the purpose of consulting with a patient or other health care partners, and in some situations remote medical procedures or examinations can be completed.
How do patients benefit from Telemedicine?
Telemedicine means receiving the best possible care without traveling long distances to see a specialist. Distance should never prevent patients from getting the best possible health care.
- Less time away from home
- Less time away from work and school
- Fewer travel expenses (gasoline, meals or overnight stays)
- Receiving care at a place that is comfortable and familiar such as your community clinic
- Tests and lab work can be done locally helping your local healthcare facilities
- Allows for immediate collaboration with primary physician and specialist during consults
- Saves lives through remote consultations, whether urgent or diagnostic
Is patient and personal information secure?
Yes, patient and personal information is secure. UW Health physicians and employees have moral and legal obligations to respect the confidentiality of patients, employees and co-workers.
Details regarding a patient’s condition and treatment may not be disclosed at any time except to those entitled to receive the information. Medical records will not be shown or released to anyone not connected to the care team without a patient’s written permission.
All Patient Health Information (i.e., electronic health record, video images, patient images and audio) exchanged between a base location and UW Health is transmitted over private lines or encrypted for secure transfer across the Internet.
Will insurance cover telehealth services?
Insurance policies for telehealth are continuously being updated and modified. There is no single, widely-accepted standard for private payers. Some insurance companies value the benefits of telehealth and will reimburse a wide variety of services. Others have yet to develop comprehensive reimbursement policies so payment for telehealth may require prior approval. Different states have various standards by which their Medicaid and Medicare programs will reimburse for telehealth expenses.