televideoCognitive Psychiatry of Chapel Hill (CPCH) is happy to announce that we are now offering televideo appointments for our patients! Here are some frequently asked questions about televideo services:

What is televideo? Televideo is a technology that allows people to work together remotely using the internet with a live video and audio feed. People can use a computer, a tablet, or a mobile device to conduct televideo meetings. When it comes to healthcare, sometimes you hear the terms telemedicine or telepsychiatry, these terms describe the specific types of services that are being conducted via televideo.

When would I want to schedule a televideo appointment with my doctor?

You can think about a televideo appointment when you cannot get into the office to see your doctor.

Some examples of this might be:

  • transportation problem
  • travelling out of town
  • caring for a sick child or adult at home
  • minor illness that you do not want to spread at the CPCH office
  • severe weather or dangerous driving situations

How would I schedule a televideo appointment with my doctor?

The first step is to call the office at 919-636-5240 and talk to our staff. Tell them about your situation and they will check with your doctor to make sure a televideo appointment is clinically appropriate. If the doctor agrees with the appointment, then you will need to complete a televideo consent form (one-time only). Next, you will get an email invitation to link to the doctor and to download the televideo app (one-time only). Then at the time of appointment, your doctor will call you via televideo.

What televideo service would we use for the appointment?

We are currently using TOUCHCARE (http://www.touchcare.com) for our televideo appointments.

Why doesn’t CPCH use Facetime or Skype for appointments?

We have chosen to use a more secure (higher level of encryption) service that is considered to be compliant with HIPAA regulations. This ensures you have the maximum privacy to discuss your personal health information through an online connection.

How much does a televideo appointment cost?

At CPCH, there is no cost difference between an in-person and in-office appointment. Remember that you are billed for the doctor’s time, regardless of where the service occurs. You can do either a long appointment or a short appointment via televideo if it is deemed clinically appropriate by your doctor.

Will my insurance pay out-of-network benefits for a televideo appointment?

This depends on the insurance provider. If you are unsure, please contact your provider directly and ask them about reimbursement for out-of-network televideo appointments.

In what ways is a televideo appointment different than an in-person appointment?

At CPCH, we believe that an in-office appointment remains superior to a televideo appointment because there is an important part of the doctor-patient relationship that happens when you are face-to-face. If you are meeting via televideo, depending on your connection, there will be some loss of information in terms of body language, direct eye contact, and subtle social cues. Also, if you are doing a televideo appointment you are responsible for your own privacy – you must ensure that you are in a quiet, private place where others cannot hear your conversation. Finally, if there were ever a crisis situation, you would be responsible to take yourself to the closest emergency room without the direct assistance of CPCH staff.