Frequently asked questions
What are the limits of what your telehealth service can deliver to patients - does it provide preventive care; can it help patients with chronic or critical illnesses?
A: Telehealth provides immediate access to doctors and counselors for non-emergency acute illnesses or injuries that might otherwise be treated by a primary care physician or urgent care facility, if those services were available to the member.
A: Our Telehealth service is not insurance and does not provide preventive care, emergency care, chronic care or critical care management. Telehealth providers are trained to direct members to other healthcare services if necessary, to ensure the appropriate care is provided.
Can you provide examples of the types of ailments that can be treated by your telehealth service?
A. In 2018, over 500,000 consultations were conducted by our telehealth service – the following are examples of the types of conditions that were treated:
- Acute Sinusitis; Acute Bronchitis; Upper Respiratory Infection, and Acute Pharyngitis.
- Urinary Tract Infection, Hemorrhoids
- Allergies, Asthma, Cold/Flu, Fever, Sore Throat, Nausea, and Headaches
- Constipation and Diarrhea
- Rashes, Infections, Skin Inflammations, and Small Wounds
- Sports Injuries, Joint Aches/Pains
- Pink Eye and Minor Pediatric Ailments
A. Examples of prescriptions that were ordered:
A. Examples of counseling services included:
- Stress, anxiety, and depression
- Family, Marital, Parenting and Divorce Issues
- Death, Critical Illness, and Grief
- Substance and other forms of abuse
What are the eligibility criteria that you will use to determine who should receive the telehealth service?
A. We partner with healthcare providers and community organizations that are assisting underserved communities, the working poor and uninsured. We leverage their screening processes to identify eligible members for our program and to minimize the intrusion on their clients.
A. If a partner does not have a screening process that can validate the need for our telehealth service, Giving Health will use the following criteria to assign memberships:
- No health insurance and eligible for Federal or State programs due to financial need.
- Annual household income is not more than 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Line (FPL).
- On a case by case basis we will consider individuals with incomes greater than 200 percent of the FPL but not more than 400 percent of FPL. This standard is consistent with other Federal and State healthcare programs.
How are prescription medications handled if a patient can't afford their medications?
A. Generic drugs are used in place of brand drugs when available to reduce costs. Our service is partnered with Rx Valet, which offers discounts on many prescription medications.
A. Prescriptions are not paid for by our program. The prescription will be sent to the member’s preferred pharmacy. The member is responsible for paying for their medication at the point of sale.
What percentage of my donation goes to overhead costs?
A. Our operating and admin costs are very low. Only 11 percent of each donation will used to pay for administration and overhead.
How hard is it to access doctors or counselors - are they really available 24hours a day 7 days a week?
A. Yes, our doctors and counselors are available 7 days a week 24 hours a day!
A. Our telehealth service guarantees a telephonic or video response from a doctor within 2 hours of a request for a medical consultation. The average response time for telephonic consultations can be as little as 10 mins.
A. There are no limits on the duration of a medical consultation or how often members can use the service.
A. There are times during the year, like flu season, when the volume of calls may delay physician response times
A. The counseling service operates differently than the medical component of our service.
Counseling services are only available via telephone.
A call line is staffed 24hrs a day, 7 days a week that is prepared to address immediate/urgent counseling needs.
At the end of the initial call, the patient will be referred to a telephonic counselor who will call within 24-48 hrs to establish a recurring counseling schedule with the member.
Counseling is scheduled in 30 minute sessions.
How does your telehealth service affect the relationship with a patient's primary care physician - how do you ensure continuity of care?
A. Telehealth is specifically designed to supplement not replace the patient’s primary care physician.
A. The Telehealth consultation notes are uploaded at the end of the visit by the doctor to the member’s portal. The patient can then download and print or email the notes to the PCP if they choose.
How does your telehealth service coordinate with other health insurance?
A. Telehealth is not insurance. It does not coordinate with other forms of insurance and does not affect eligibility or subsidies associated with State or Federal healthcare programs.
A. For members who are patients of a clinic, consultation notes can be forwarded for uploading in the patient's electronic medical record which can then be shared with any of the patient's care providers.
What are the licensing and certification requirements for doctors and counselors who deliver telehealth services?
A. Physicians and counselors must meet the licensing and certification requirements of the State where they practice. Additionally, they’ve undergone a rigorous assessment process that includes background checks and a multi-stage interview process.
A. Physicians have an average of 9 years of experience in emergency medicine, internal medicine, family medicine, or pediatrics, and have successfully demonstrated their medical treatment proficiency through participation in exercise scenarios that address common and rare/out of the ordinary situations.
A. Counselors have at least 5 years of experience in Marriage and Family Counseling or Social Work and have earned Master’s Degrees in their chosen field of work.
How does your telehealth service address quality assurance?
A. All consultations are recorded and are accessible for review. Approximately 10 percent of all consultations are reviewed by a medical team for QA purposes, which is double the industry standard.
How do you track the results of a consultation?
A. Members are asked to answer several survey questions before and after their medical consultation. Their answers offer useful data that helps us to:
- Track the types of ailments that are being treated;
- Where the member would have gone if the telehealth service was not available;
- The associated cost savings of using our telehealth service; and,
- If the member was satisfied with their consultation.
A. In 2018, 98 percent of survey respondents indicated they were satisfied with their telehealth experience and 95 percent said their ailment was successfully addressed during their first call. Additionally, 44 percent avoided a visit to the emergency room or urgent care facility because they had access to telehealth.
What exactly do you need from your partners to ensure telehealth program success?
A. Our partners play a vital role as they will often be the first to introduce our service to prospective new members and screen them for eligibility for our telehealth service.
- Partners have pre-existing relationships with their clients that are built on trust. We find that prospective new members are far more willing to give our service a try if they are first introduced to our service by the partner.
A. We work closely with our partners to identify options for new member registration and account activation with an eye towards minimizing the demand and disruption to our partner and the new member. We have several options available to get members up and running with their new telehealth service:
- Community health worker program conducts registration and account activation in a new member’s home
- Virtual enrollment and activation through an interactive recorded webinar
- Group enrollment at a community center or other central gathering location
- At the partners place of engagement with the new member
- Through a customer service line
Is the contribution tax deductible?
A. Giving Health is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit that has been certified by the IRS. Your donation is eligible to be used as a tax deduction; however, we do not provide tax advice and encourage you to check with a tax professional to confirm if you can deduct your donation on your federal and state tax returns.