More doctors going digital for patient visits

Patient Safety Monitor Insider

July 1, 2009

A larger number of physicians are offering patients the option to be treated online, reports The Wall Street Journal. A new poll out shows that this year, 39% of physicians say they have interacted with patients online, up from 16% five years ago. Often used for treating mild symptoms, the virtual appointments are useful for those patients who know they are too busy or perhaps live far from the physician's office and know they are not having an emergency. Although insurance coverage varies from provider to provider, some physicians are offering set rates for these online visits. However, certain symptoms, or ailments that are ambiguous, will often result in the physician asking the patient to come in for a regular visit.

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