Telemedicine at MidMichigan Health Park - Houghton Lake
Virtual Appointments Make Long Travel Unnecessary
A telemedicine program enables our patients to virtually meet with specialists at MidMichigan Health locations or other organizations including Michigan Medicine, without leaving the area. The visits are available using a new technology called telemedicine. This program helps you avoid the stress and cost of travel or ambulance transfers and get the specialized input needed for quicker planning and treatment.
What is Telemedicine
Telemedicine is any kind of technology that enables you to receive medical care or expertise from a remote location. We use audio and video equipment and a secure Internet connection to enable a medical provider in another location to examine you, ask you questions, consult with your local care team and provide you expert advice. You will be able to see and hear the expert in real time and interact with them much as you would during an in-person appointment.
How does it Work?
If your provider feels that you would benefit from having a telemedicine visit, they will discuss the process and benefits of telemedicine with you before scheduling a telemedicine appointment.
When it is time for your visit, a trained member of our clinical staff will act as the telemedicine presenter. They will operate the audiovisual equipment, take your vital signs or perform other physical examinations as requested by the remote provider, and ensure that all parties can see, hear and understand each other during the visit. We use a secure connection to protect your privacy during the telemedicine visit. If the specialist recommends any additional testing or interventions for you, our team will work with your provider to place the appropriate orders.
You are welcome to have a visitor or family member participate in your visit.
After the Telemedicine Visit
Your care team and the specialists will share their conclusions and recommendations with you during or immediately following your telemedicine visit. A report of your visit will also be documented in your medical record at MidMichigan. This information will be available to your local care team for reference during follow-up care.
Costs and Insurance
You may receive a separate bill for this service from the specialist in addition to your bill from MidMichigan. Medicare and Medicaid typically cover telemedicine visits for patients at rural facilities. Some other insurances may also cover this service. You may want to contact your insurance company to determine your actual coverage regardless of location. However, keep in mind that even if this service is not covered, it can help you to avoid other costs such as travel or ambulance transfer, and it can also ensure you get the timely care you need to prevent a more serious condition or a worsening of your condition.
A Virtual Appointment
MidMichigan Health specialists throughout the region, such as Pulmonologist and Sleep Specialist Elie Obeid, M.D., of Mt. Pleasant are utilizing the telemedicine technology.
Appointments are much like any other office visit. The patient will check in, complete forms if necessary and go into an exam room where they have a real-time conversation with the doctor. While the doctor is not physically in the room with the patient, they can see each other's faces on their monitors.
An assistant is in the exam room with the patient to report vital signs and act as the doctor’s hands when necessary. After the appointment, the patient may be referred to a MidMichigan Health Sleep Lab for further testing.
Dr. Obeid, who is with MidMichigan Medical Center - Gratiot, specializes in pulmonology, critical care medicine and sleep disorders. MidMichigan’s Sleep Labs are specialized medical facilities staffed by professionals experienced in diagnosing and treating sleep disorders. The Sleep Labs blend the use of state-of-the-art technology and equipment with a caring atmosphere. If you show any symptoms of a sleep disorder, you should first see your primary care physician, who may refer you to a sleep lab for testing.