The COVID-19 pandemic is a worldwide emergency. Thyroid patients (an estimated 20 million Americans!) continue to ask, "With all this stuff going on, should I keep my routine appointments or cancel them?"
Public health experts recommend that if you have a medical appointment, call ahead to protect yourself and others from spreading this novel coronavirus. In light of this, many are turning to telemedicine as their first choice for care.
Ahead, what you should know about telemedicine to maintain your routine thyroid care during this pandemic.
What is telemedicine?
Telemedicine takes the place of an in-person doctor visit for routine medical needs. Patients can interact with trusted medical professionals online via smartphone or computer to receive remote diagnosis and treatment without leaving their homes' comfort.
This kind of remote care is ideal for those who have a condition that requires treatment with routine medication, like birth control, acid reflux, or thyroid meds, or those who need chronic care management to stay on track with lifestyle modifications.
Benefits of telemedicine versus traditional visits
In December 2019, Paloma Health performed a nationwide survey to understand thyroid care in the United States better. Sixty-six percent of participants said they need to take two or more hours of their day to see their doctor. Remote visits eliminate this time waste. You can set up a consultation from home, which means you don't need to take time off from your commitments, find childcare, or put yourself at risk of coming into contact with other patients.
Telemedicine is an excellent option for those who have a condition that requires regular blood tests or routine medication, like thyroid medication. Those with a thyroid condition should retest their thyroid hormone levels every six months. If you have a recent change in dose or medication, it's advisable to retest your thyroid after eight weeks and work with your doctor to adjust your dosage until your levels are stable.
Many telemedicine companies, like Paloma Health, work with insurance companies to keep your costs down and quality of care high. In the instance that a company does not work with your particular insurance plan, you may find that an at-home thyroid blood test or virtual visit might still be priced lower than your typical insurance copay for an in-person lab or doctor visit. Of course, at-home care costs vary depending on what services you need and your specific coverage plan.
Some online medical practices offer access to a care team to ensure an enjoyable experience from end-to-end. Care advisors can provide one-on-one support to help you submit any required information or documents, answer questions about your specific situation, or follow-up about your treatment.
Resources for at-home thyroid care
To slow the spread of COVID-19, public health experts encourage social distancing to keep sick people from contact with healthy people. You can still get your needed hypothyroid care while you stay home to protect yourself and others.
Test your thyroid from home
If you can't or don't want to go into the doctor's office for your routine thyroid blood testing, you can do it from your home's safety with our at-home thyroid test kit. This at-home test kit offers simple sample collection, free shipping, and physician-reviewed results and digital insights sent to you within days.
Consult via video with thyroid doctors
In response to the coronavirus crisis, many doctors and HMOs ramped up their ability to provide consultations by telephone or video chat, and states are changing their laws to help patients and doctors.
Since our beginning, Paloma Health has provided convenient, remote care. You can schedule a live video appointment with a Paloma Health board-certified thyroid doctor to help reduce the spread of coronavirus.
Fill critical prescriptions
Continue to ensure that you have enough thyroid (and other) medications to last a month or more in case you become limited by quarantine or product shortages. Paloma Health doctors can send prescriptions directly to your preferred local pharmacy via telehealth.
Free services like SingleCare or GoodRx help you to find the best self-pay price for your medication in your area or by mail order. And you can get your meds delivered directly to you with companies like Honeybee Health or PillPack if you can't or don't want to go to a retail pharmacy.
Quality at-home care is more critical now than ever. We encourage you to consider remote care to protect your health and the health of others!