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Telenutrition Services


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TELEHEALTH & TELENUTRITION

INFORMATIONAL UPDATE


What is Telehealth?

Telehealth, Telemedicine and Telenutrition are components of ‘e-health.’ This is a burgeoning area of practice and an exciting new way to communicate with your doctor and other healthcare professionals. A long-distance healthcare service option that provides face-to-face office visits from a remote setting. It uses electronic information and other telecommunication technologies in a way that supports healthcare delivery. Email, fax lines, the Internet and video-conferencing communications are examples of ways this is implemented.


What services can I receive by Telehealth?

Many services you would receive right in the office are included with Telehealth, such as office visits, health assessments, consultations, training or therapy, disease prevention, and nutrition interventions/plans of care.


What is Telenutrition?

Telenutrition is specific to Registered Dietitian Nutritionists and Licensed Dietitians. It is the practice by RDNs of implementing Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT) guidelines and the Nutrition Care Process (NCP) with patients at a remote location. Initial assessments, nutrition diagnoses, interventions, and monitoring and evaluation plans of care are common services provided.


How much does Telehealth cost?

Fees for Telehealth services are generally the same as they would be for an in-office visit. Medicare covers many different types of Telehealth visits, while private insurance companies are each different at this time.


What is needed for Telehealth to work?

Real-time communication is essential. This consists of a practitioner and a patient being present and able to communicate at the same time from different locations. It is usually facilitated by video-conferencing and consists of two separate sites. The ‘originating’ site is where the patient is located. The ‘distant’ site is where the healthcare professional is working. A broadband internet connection is usually needed to ensure uninterrupted care.


Where is Telehealth going?

Each year we learn more about Telehealth and how it adds to our healthcare system. While it was originally designed to serve patients in rural communities who had limited access to healthcare providers and specialists, studies have shown Telehealth is quite valuable and effective for patients living in all areas and even to those with access to dozens of different providers. It is a cost-effective way to deliver critical healthcare services to patients and helps assure continuity of care no matter where we are.