Health Insurance Virtual Doctor Visits

Virtual Doctor Visits

I’m listening to talk radio this morning. I find out that one health insurance company is testing a system where you go online, give your symptoms, and get a response from a medical doctor. You are charged your normal co-pay for this virtual visit.

These virtual visits are meant to enhance medical care. No more taking off work to go sit in a doctor’s office for a couple of hours to see the doctor for 15 minutes. No more pulling the kids out of school for a day to see the doctor. No more phone tag with the doctor’s office with questions.

These virtual medical visits will also make employers, who foot the majority of health insurance cost, happy because it will cut down on lost work time. Schools won’t lose money because of absent students. And the health insurance company collects the co-pay that normally goes to the doctor.

Nothing was mentioned about mental health visits. That is probably because, for the purpose of health insurance, mental health is not considered a medical problem and is therefore a separate category unto itself. But that is a rant for another post.

Now, callers to the radio program brought up the following potential problems with these virtual doctor visits.

  • privacy issues – Your medical record is confidential information. Where is the information from these virtual visits going to end up?
  • incidental findings – How often have you gone to see the doctor for one thing and, during the visit, had the doctor notice something else that should be cause for concern?

What do you think?

Adeline Yen Mah Meme

Book meme

Here is an interesting and fun meme that I found as I was cruising my favorite blogs.

These are the rules:

  1. Look up page 123 in the nearest book to you at the time.
  2. Find the fifth sentence and write it down.
  3. Then write down the three sentences that follow.
  4. Tag other bloggers.

I wasn’t specifically “tagged” by Two Write Hands to participate. I wasn’t specifically excluded either though!

The book nearest to me, that is not a textbook or a manual, is Falling Leaves by Adeline Yen Mah (no relation to me, as far as I know). I don’t remember when I got it, but I had to wipe a thick layer of dust off of the cover, and the bookmark is at page 114. Damned ADHD.

“I think that is admirable, sir. I wish we had religious tolerance in China. Unfortunately, we only have barbaric intolerance. I hate to inconvenience the kitchen staff but it is against my religion to eat certain foods.”

Scintillating, isn’t it? I’ll have to start reading the book again to find out what that’s all about.

What do you read (or halfway read)? Consider yourself tagged.