• Frequently Asked Questions

    The Center for Telehealth provides answers for frequently asked questions about telemedicine, telehealth, e-consults and the various services available.
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    Telemedicine is the use of medical information exchanged from one site to another via electronic communications to improve a patient’s clinical health status. Telemedicine includes a growing variety of applications and services.  (American Telemedicine Association). 
    Telehealth is usually considered a synonym to telemedicine.  Some consider telehealth to be a broader term that includes remote healthcare that is not always a clinical service (ie. including education and training) 

    Cincinnati Children’s provides eVisits, eConsults, diagnostic services, case conferences, and video telemedicine clinics. We currently offer services in many of our subspecialties, including:

    The Center for Telehealth is continuously growing and expanding our program’s reach. Contact us if you would like more information or are interested in any of our service

      An eConsult is an electronic consultation performed by a Cincinnati Children’s physician.  A Cincinnati Children’s doctor will review medical records, testing, and imaging and provide a consultation report to your local physician from a distance.  Read more about Cincinnati Children's eConsult program here.

      • The provider/parent submits an online request for an eConsult
      • A coordinator then contacts them to review relevant questions, necessary medical records to submit, important waivers, and process
      • Parent/Local Provider work together to submit information about child’s medical history and questions for Cincinnati Children’s physician(s) team to consider
      • A consultation report will be provided to local physician in 3-5 business days from submit of all necessary records  
      An eVisit is an electronic communication between a Cincinnati Children's doctor and an established patient/parent for follow-up care. This is done when a child has been seen at Cincinnati Children’s and the parent/physician need to communicate about a specific follow-up issue.  A physician will tell you at your visit if a follow-up by eVisit is available.

      • Parent/Patient logs on to MyChart system and requests an eVisit
      • Completes the questionnaire linked to patient’s doctor and reason for initial visit (sometimes submitting pictures)
      • The Cincinnati Children’s doctor reviews the information provided and sends a message back to patient/parent if any other follow-up is needed
      • This is a secure and HIPAA compliant way for patients and providers to communicate
      • This is not appropriate in many situations in pediatrics.  This is why we have a limited number of indications (or visit types) where eVisits are available.  

      A telemedicine clinic is where a patient and a provider interact in real-time.  This is a video-based clinic.  A Cincinnati Children’s physician is able to see and evaluate patients from Cincinnati at locations across the globe using video technology (the hub site).  Those patients are most often located at another health care facility at a different location (called a spoke site).  This type of service allows children to access specialists at a distance and can often be effective in diagnosing and treating as well as providing follow-up for specific medical conditions.

      • Patient and physician can see and hear each other in real-time
      • Often there is a person with the patient who has been trained to assist with the examination
      • Sometimes devices like small cameras or stethoscopes are used to send information to the doctor
      • A patient/parent can always request an in person visit if they are not comfortable with a telemedicine clinic visit

      A case conference is a term used to describe an educational event where multiple physicians from different specialties get together to review patient cases, discuss diagnosis and treatment options, and learn from one another.  This can be done in person, or using telehealth to connect doctors from different specialties from all around the globe. 

      • Cincinnati Children’s uses a system that allows information about cases/patients that will be presented to be loaded prior to the conference
      • Physicians can log-in and review content prior to the conference
      • During the conference multiple doctors from different areas of medicine are present and they can see records, images, and see and hear each other to discuss cases and learn from one another
      The cost of services varies.    Insurance reimbursement also varies depending on your insurance carrier, the service you are receiving, and what state you live in. 

      • In many states, Medicaid or private insurance will cover telemedicine clinic video visits.  However, that is not the case in all states
      • eConsults are not covered by insurance currently, and the cost must be covered by family seeking the service 
      • eVisits may be covered in some instances, especially if follow-up related to previous procedure.  If a physician requests you participate in an eVisit, you should ask if the cost of the visit is covered by your insurance company

      The equipment needed for telehealth depends on the service that you are seeking. 

      • For eConsults and eVisits a simple computer with internet connection is all that is needed
      • For telemedicine clinics, the amount of video equipment and other types of devices depends on the type of service being provided.  Often a telemedicine cart is used with a computer, multiple screens, a codex, and several devices
      • For case conferences we use a software system that allows for conference to be done and be HIPAA compliant.  Users are provided links and appropriate passwords for that software.  A stronger internet connection may be needed, especially if videos are being shared 

      For patients

      eVisits:  If you are eligible to request an eVisit you will be told this by your physician at your appointment.  These are ONLY follow-up visits for patients previously seen at Cincinnati Children's. They are done using MyChart system

      eConsults:  If you are interested in obtaining a consult from a Cincinnati Children's physician provided to a treating physician near you, please click here to link to our eConsult service page

      Telemedicine Clinic:  These video consultations are not offered directly to patients. They are provided at various spoke locations (usually other health care facilities) and patients are referred by local physicians. 

      For physicians

      eConsults:  If you are interested in obtaining a consult from a Cincinnati Children's physician as it relates to one of your patients, please click here to link to our eConsult service page and consult with your patient about their interest in an eConsult

      Telemedicine Clinic:  If you are interested in being a spoke site for one of our consulting services please contact telehealth@cchmc.org to discuss current opportunities for us to work with you to meet the needs of your patient population

      Case Conferences:  These are contractual arrangements with sites that have sufficient patient volume to support a multidisciplinary case conference several times annually.  Often, onsite training and education are included in collaboration with the goal of improving care and changing pediatric outcomes