The Barnard Medical Center is now offering telemedicine appointments, allowing patients to consult with caregivers online through their computers or phones. Available to residents of California, Colorado, D.C., Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, and Washington. Call our office at 202-527-7500 or create a new patient account to book your first telehealth appointment. Patients must be in a state where the provider is licensed at the time of the appointment regardless of their home state.
Will My Insurance Cover Telemedicine?
Many state legislators recognize the advantages of telemedicine for patients and the health care system as a whole. In fact, 30 states, including Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia, have passed laws requiring private insurance companies to reimburse providers for video visits. Many insurance companies also see the value of telehealth and pay for video visits even when they are not required to by law. Just like a regular office visit, you may be required to pay a co-pay for your video visit. If you have an insurance that does not cover telemedicine, you have the option to pay out of pocket if you would like to use the service.
Medicare is now temporarily covering telehealth due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For patients with Medicaid or a Medicaid HMO, there are limitations based on access and individual plans. Certain kinds of visits are covered by certain carriers under specific circumstances, and these vary. We cannot guarantee coverage of benefits for this service so we encourage you to call your insurance plan directly and verify coverage of benefits.
Privacy and Security
You have every right to be concerned about the privacy and security of your confidential medical information. While today’s digital world offers a lot of convenience, there are risks. Our telemedicine platform (Athena Health) has been designed specifically to protect your patient information and meet the strict standards of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, known as HIPAA for short.
Joining a Virtual Telehealth Visit
Before your visit
Prior to your visit, you’ll receive an appointment confirmation email and a reminder message via email or text message, depending on your preferred method of contact on file with the practice (so long as you have previously consented to such messaging with our office). These messages will include the details of your visit, and the URL appointment link for access to your telehealth session. The initial confirmation email will also include a link to a pre-appointment device check, which gives you the option to test and troubleshoot your device settings any time before your appointment. You can also log into the patient portal and find your telehealth appointment link on the homepage for easy access. Patients should join the visit at least 10 minutes prior to the appointment to check their video and audio setting and complete any necessary paperwork.
In the virtual waiting room
After clicking the link and verifying your connection, you should:
1. Enter your name, to be displayed when your provider joins the call
3. Enter the private virtual waiting room and verify the details of your appointment
4. Preview and manage your device settings (test audio and video, mute your microphone, or choose a front- or back-facing camera on mobile). Make sure that your camera and microphone access are not blocked in your browser settings.
Join the telehealth visit
As soon as your provider joins the room, the visit will begin automatically. Multiple providers may enter and exit the room throughout the visit, as appropriate. The practice staff should inform you when it’s time to leave the session, or let you know to stay present and wait for anther provider to join the session. When the visit is over and you leave the athenaTelehealth session, a “Thank you!” message will appear and inform you that you may close the window.
The athenaTelehealth experience works on desktop and mobile, but only via web browser. You don’t need to download an application to your device. Browser requirements include:
• Google Chrome (latest three versions), for macOS and Windows
• Microsoft Edge (chromium-based, version 79 and later), for Windows
• Safari (version 12+) on macOS
• Firefox (latest three versions), for macOS and Windows
• Google Chrome on android (latest three versions)
• Safari on iOS 12+ (This feature doesn’t support other browsers such as Chrome on iOS)
Q: Do I need to download anything to join my telehealth appointment?
A: No, you don’t need to download anything to join the visit. The URL will come directly to your preferred contact method (email or text, so long as you have previously consented to such messaging with your healthcare provider’s office), will be on the homepage of the patient portal, and can be accessed via web browser (desktop or mobile).
Q: How can I test to make sure my device is compatible?
A: In the confirmation message that contains details about your appointment, you will also be provided a link to a pre-appointment device check, which will allow you to test your device settings and troubleshoot audio or video issues. You can also click your telehealth link any time prior to your appointment to test your device.
Q: How long will I remain in the waiting room?
A: The provider will join the call as soon as they’re able, but the virtual waiting room will expire after 30 minutes. Upon entering, you’ll read a message stating that the call will begin when their provider or a practice staff member joins the call.
Q: Can I have a caretaker or interpreter join me on the call?
A: Yes, up to four total users can participate in the call simultaneously, including users from both the patient and the provider side. If you require an additional participant be present during the visit, such as a caretaker, the link to the visit can be forwarded or shared with another user.
Q: What if I become accidentally disconnected?
A: If you become accidentally disconnected in the middle of the visit, you can access the visit again using the same URL you were initially provided.
For new patients:
We are offering consultation and lifestyle management telehealth appointments for new patients. We are currently only offering this service to patients who live in Arizona, California, Colorado, D.C., Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, and Washington. We are hoping to expand in the future, so please visit our website for updates.
Barnard Medical Center is accepting new patients.
Begin by clicking here to create a portal account. Once you have created an account, a member of our staff will reach out to make your first telehealth appointment.
For more information about becoming a new patient, please visit our Appointments page.
Please be sure to log into your appointment link 5-10 minutes before your scheduled time and complete the device check to ensure a successful appointment. Telehealth appointments are on a strict time limit. Failure to start your appointment on time may result in a shorter visit or possibly needing to reschedule.