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Telehealth Services

North Mississippi Medical Center is expanding its services to include Telehealth Services. NMMC will connect area patients to specialty health care providers through quality two-way audio and video connectionss. Nurses at the telehealth sites use FDA-approved video examination tools for ear, throat and skin examinations as well as FDA-approved tele-stethoscopes for heart and lung examinations. The telehealth consult visit is transmitted via a secure Internet source through special video equipment and computers in the exam room that is connected to the providers’ laptops or tablets.


From the patient’s point of view, the benefits of telehealth include the convenience of receiving specialty care close to home, less travel time and reductions in lost work or school time. NMMC’s Telehealth Services enhance the primary health care provider’s role in patient care by bridging the distance between hometown providers and specialty practices through technology.


These consult services, currently available in several locations throughout northeast Mississippi, connect area residents with specialty consultations by health care providers in Tupelo. Additional telehealth sites will be added in the coming months.

 

The service connects area residents with specialty care, including:

 

  • Will Edmonson, M.D., pulmonologist with NMMC’s Sleep Disorders Center
  • Lee Greer, M.D., geriatrician with IMA-Tupelo’s dementia evaluation clinic
  • Leslie Hale, NP-BC, a board-certified nurse practitioner with the Diabetes Treatment Center at IMA-Tupelo.

 

They will work closely with referring health care providers to connect area residents to specialty care in a setting that is conveniently located near their home and includes input from their regular health care providers. As Telehealth Services grow, additional specialties and specialists will join the program.


Upon referral, telehealth appointments will be scheduled by the referring health care provider’s nurse. The telehealth visits generally will not be scheduled on the same day as the initial office visit, but will take place at a later date using the telehealth equipment housed at one of the telehealth sites. Patients will be informed of any forms specific to their health history to complete before the appointment.


For the telehealth visits, patients will arrive at the designated location and time and will be registered just like they would be for any other visit to a health care provider. The local health care provider’s nurse will accompany the patient to the telehealth exam room and will gather information that will assist the provider during the telehealth visit. When the intake process, which can consist of patient history, blood pressure, temperature, physical exam or other routine clinical nursing assessment activities, is complete, the provider will initiate the telehealth visit. Additional visits will be scheduled as needed.


In almost every case, health insurance coverage includes telehealth. Telehealth has charges from the telehealth facility (where the visit originates) and also from the specialist who participates in the telehealth visit. All other aspects of the billing are just like any other care visit. Telehealth care charges apply to insurance and co-pay and deductible rules like any other medical service. Individuals with questions about billing will be instructed to call the phone number on the billing statement.