Telehealth At PrairieCare
Thank you for your interest in telehealth at PrairieCare!
Below are some frequently asked questions about how telemedicine is provided via videoconferencing in our facilities. If you have additional questions or are preparing for your first telemedicine appointment, please review the Patient Telemedicine Guide For Microsoft Teams which includes step by step instructions and answers to many commonly asked questions.
Are you new to PrairieCare and interested in telemedicine?
Call us to get started 612-274-7516.
COVID-19 SPECIAL NOTICE:
PrairieCare is actively converting our in-person clinic appointments to telemedicine. If you have an already scheduled appointment, someone from our reception staff will be reaching out to you 24 hours prior to your appointment to assure you are set up for telemedicine. Please note, we are operating with a reduced staff and wait times on the phone are longer than typical, but we are doing the best we can to serve our patients. Please see more about COVID-19 here.
What is telehealth/telemedicine?
According to the American Telemedicine Association (ATA), telehealth includes patient consultations via video conferencing (commonly referred to as telemedicine), transmission of still images, e-health including patient portals, remote monitoring of vital signs, consumer-focused wireless applications and nursing call centers, among others. Telemedicine via video conferencing has been used in psychiatry for many years and has proven to be both a safe and effective way to provide care. PrairieCare is proud to offer telemedicine to its clients.
What underlying system supports telehealth at PrairieCare?
PrairieCare utilizes Microsoft Teams, a convenient, safe platform that offers assessment and or treatment via online video conferencing.
How do I access telemedicine sessions with my clinician?
All patients accessing telehealth must be pre-approved by their clinician before telemedicine occurs. There are many benefits to/for both providers and patients, in particular for those patients or clinicians traveling far distances to offer or receive care and for those who may have difficulty traveling for various reasons. Clients interested in telemedicine should discuss the option directly with their clinician.
What are the technical requirements for telehealth at PrarieCare?
You will need a reliable internet connection, a webcam and speakers/headphones (these come with most laptops). Also, you will want to verify your bandwidth at http://www.bandwidthplace.com/. If your download or upload speed is lower than 1 Mbps, the video will work, but it will not be optimal and you could experience some difficulty.
How can I assure my privacy?
PrairieCare Microsoft Teams is encrypted and HIPAA-compliant. We recommend using a privately owned laptop or desktop computer and a wired internet connection. You will be responsible for making sure that you are in a private and soundproof space for your session.
Do I have to download anything?
You will need to download the Microsoft Teams web app. When clicking on the hyperlink sent to you via email for your session, you will be taken through the set up process. As this takes time, please login at least 15 minutes early for your first telehealth session, to be sure you are ready for your appointment.
Will my insurance pay for telehealth sessions?
Effective January 1st, 2016 all private health plans issued in Minnesota, before or after January, 2017, are required to cover telehealth services at the same level as in person services and previous patient location restrictions have been removed. If uncertain, clients are encouraged to contact their insurance company to ask about coverage.
How can I make sure I have a successful online session?
Login early, and create a quiet/private space to prepare for your appointment. If you find PrairieCare’s environment helpful, try to mirror this environment. Also, assure you meet the technical requirements listed above.
*Resources: Best Practices in Videoconferencing-Based Telemental Health by the American Psychiatric Association and the American Telemedicine Association (April 2018)