Telehealth — The Modern Way to Make House Calls
People with peripheral arterial disease (Peripheral Artery Disease, a potentially life threatening disease where plaque, like calcium, builds up along blood vessel walls, narrowing the arteries and reducing blood flow to the legs and feet.) symptoms need to stay on top of appointments — even during a pandemic. While doctors and patients used telehealth appointments as a way to meet for years, COVID-19 accelerated its increased use. There are a variety of ways that telehealth can benefit PAD patients now and well into the future.
The Benefits of Telehealth
With the recent removal of regulatory hurdles, telehealth appointments are now more easily available. By talking with your physician on a phone, tablet or laptop, potential benefits include:
- More time with your doctor. In many ways, telehealth is the modern form of doctors making house calls. Easy access to your physician helps improve connections and build relationships. Patients gain one-on-one time without the hassle and unpredictability of keeping in-person appointments.
- Increased connectivity. Telehealth facilitates organization and communication. Patients receive calls before and after procedures to ensure they’re taking their medication and to follow up about symptoms. Both the doctor and the patient save time and money while increasing satisfaction because of the streamlined process.
- Easier second opinions. Are you uncertain about a doctor’s diagnosis — especially if they’re advising you to get an To surgically remove all or part of a limb (leg, foot or toe)? With telehealth, patients can access world-leading second opinions without the worry of travel and expense.
Telehealth Helps Patients with PAD
Not all healthcare professionals are PAD specialists. “There is never a reason to deny yourself exposure to increased levels of expertise,” says Dr. Craig Walker, interventional cardiologist and founder of the Cardiovascular Institute of the South. “That doesn’t ever negatively impact your diagnosis and it may indeed save your limb.”
“I really honestly believe no patient — short of someone who has very active infection and need for urgent, on-the-spot amputation like a crush injury or something like that — should have a major amputation without at least a major vascular assessment,” he continues.
PAD specialists can assess your symptoms via telehealth as thoroughly as in-person visits. Telehealth is applicable for seeing wounds on a leg or foot and evaluating:
- Wounds that aren’t healing
- Signs of infection
- Color of limbs
However, before making a telehealth appointment, remember that insurance coverage does vary state by state and regulations can change. Check with your provider and insurance plan to verify your coverage.
For more information
Telehealth is going to become more common in the years ahead. Don’t hesitate to take advantage of this innovative method to talk with your doctor about your PAD symptoms.
CSI’s Find a Doctor can help connect you with experts across the country who offer unique insights and second opinions through telehealth appointments.