Telehealth at the USC Roski Eye Institute

Telehealth
Pictured Left: Dr. Annie Nguyen consults with a patient via webcam. Pictured Right: A patient talks to Dr. Nguyen via webcam.

The USC Roski Eye Institute is committed to providing the most innovative care for our patients during the current COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. To that end, we are now implementing telehealth protocols to provide eye care remotely when deemed appropriate and necessary.

What is telehealth?

The American Academy of Ophthalmology describes telehealth as “health care delivery over distance or time using electronic communication technologies and serves to enhance health care access, quality and patient satisfaction.”

How does telehealth for eye care work?

Once an appointment has been made with your eye care provider, you will receive an email with detailed instructions about how to access USC TeleCARE. Further instructions for setting up USC TeleCARE on your computer or mobile device can also be found online.

Once you log into the USC TeleCARE virtual waiting room, a member of our eye care team will ensure that your connection is working properly and have you answer a few questions regarding your medical history before you interface with your doctor.

Do I need special equipment for my telehealth visit?

USC TeleCARE can be accessed using any desktop, laptop, tablet, or mobile device with a camera or microphone. For patients without access to such a device, a telephone visit with your doctor can also be accommodated for certain conditions. Your doctor may ask you to access one of the following resources to assist in your virtual eye evaluation:

What happens if I get disconnected during my visit?

For patients who experience technical difficulties during their telehealth visit, you may be asked to continue your interaction with your doctor via telephone (your doctor will call you at the phone number listed in your medical record) or be asked to use one of two back-up applications:

If you are required to use Zoom, your doctor will provide you with the necessary meeting ID number to continue your telehealth visit.

If you are required to use Doximity, your doctor will send you a text message with a link that you can use from your phone to connect directly with your doctor via video.

Both of these alternatives are secure, HIPAA-compliant platforms to ensure that your interaction with your doctor remains private.

Can I get glasses or contact lens prescriptions during my telehealth visit?

Unfortunately, we are unable to check patients for a new prescription for glasses or contact lenses without being seen in person. If you have an existing prescription for glasses or contact lenses and need a duplicate copy, then that can be mailed to you at the discretion of your provider.

Will my insurance cover a telehealth visit?

Most major insurance plans, including Medicare, will cover the cost of a telehealth visit. Depending on the specific requirements of your insurance plan, you may require a prior authorization or be subject to a co-payment or deductible.

How can I make a telehealth appointment?

For patients needing to reschedule their in-person appointment, you will be offered the opportunity to convert your appointment to a telehealth visit if your condition can reasonably be addressed virtually by your provider. For patients with new eye issues or concerns, please contact us to determine if it would be best to evaluated virtually or in-person.

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