What is a medical practitioner's fee for an online or telephone consultation?
A medical practitioner's fee for an online or telephone consultation is eligible for reimbursement with a consumer-directed healthcare account. It is common to use so-called "online doctors" for easy access to prescription medication, and this would not be considered eligible for reimbursement.
Online and telephone consultations for the diagnosis or treatment of a medical condition or disease are an effective way to save money and time for both the patient and the doctor, reducing overall expenses. Online and telephone consultations may be appropriate for a doctor/patient relationship that has already been established and only requires routine checkups. A doctor would make the decision or recommendation that it's acceptable to use online or telephone consultations in order to continue treating a medical condition or disease.
Modern technology has made online and telephone consultations, a type of "telehealth" or "telemedicine" more freely available and has expanded the limits of what constitutes an appropriate level of health consultation when conducted remotely. Examples of modern technology that have influence telehealth include remote ECG readings, which can be taken at home with proper equipment. Other forms of telemedicine include interpretations by remote experts of medical instrument readings and medical imagery such as MRIs and X-rays. These do not necessarily constitute medical practitioner's fees for online or telephone consultations, however (eVisit).
An initial consult may qualify as eligible for reimbursement if the consult is specifically set up to address a medical condition or disease. Otherwise, if the existing medical condition or disease is already known to the patient and is being treated, then follow-up consults conducted remotely via online or telephone may also be considered eligible for reimbursement.