The coronavirus epidemic has affected patient-physician relationships in many cases. That is also true for individuals who have rheumatoid arthritis, one of the many chronic inflammatory disorders. Concerns regarding contracting the virus have caused people to hesitate more to book direct, physical appointments with doctors. Consequently, more and more doctors have sought innovative ways of connecting with patients in ways that do not sacrifice quality care. Telemedicine and telehealth are two of those ways that doctors look for more in this epidemic period.
Is Telemedicine Accessible To RA Patients?
For a long time, it has been utilized in rural environments where individuals lack access to quality medical specialists. Anyhow, before the epidemic, factors such as the following hampered the telemedicine adoption process.
- Concerns about confidentiality
- Licensing requirements
- The unwillingness of insurance carriers to cover visits through telemedicine
- Administrative costs
Rheumatologists have earlier been hesitant to use telemedicine as an alternative to in-person services as it would prevent the physical inspection of joints. That is a big part of examining individuals who have health issues such as RA. Albeit you seek the best doctor for rheumatoid arthritis and could find them, they might still hesitate to virtually see you for that reason.
Anyhow, more rheumatology specialists are providing services through telemedicine technology thanks to a few factors. Here are some of those factors.
- The epidemic, and the need it has created for more remote care than before.
- Federal officials have made the effort to eliminate a few of the things that prevented access to this piece of technology. That is especially true around reimbursement and licensing issues.
A recent survey of grown-ups with rheumatic conditions discovered that 44% of them had taken part in virtual rheumatology clinic appointments during this epidemic period. Interestingly, half of the grown-ups had rheumatoid arthritis.
When To Go For A Traditional Visit Over A Telehealth One
It would be vital to see a rheumatologist in person if there is a need for a musculoskeletal examination. That exam is usually required to either diagnose a health condition or observe changes in an existing issue gradually during a long period.
Patients cannot easily replace some measures of disease activity remotely, particularly the ones that depend on physical examination findings like inflamed joint count. That is according to what the American College of Rheumatology said in its latest position paper about telemedicine.