VPMG now offers telehealth services

With the shelter-in-place order in California and in many other states, telehealth services are preferred to in-person appointments for many routine care visits.

What is the role of telemedicine in the current COVID-19 pandemic?

Telemedicine allows patients to receive medical care from the comfort and safety of their home without the risk of exposure to others. Care is limited not just to COVID-19 concerns and questions, but also routine medical care without having to leave your home. Insurance companies have drastically expanded coverage of telemedicine services.

VPMG's Telemedicine Option

VPMG uses Amazon Chime to provide telemedicine services. Things to know about Amazon Chime:

  • Amazon Chime is free to you. You do NOT need to register, login, have an Amazon account, or provide any personal information
  • You can use Amazon Chime on a laptop, computer, smartphone, or tablet. It works on PC, Mac, Android, and iPhone/iPad
  • If you choose to use a laptop / computer, you do NOT need to download any special software. Chime can be accessed from either Chrome or Safari web browsers. If you do not use one of those browsers, there is an app you can download
  • You will be given a unique meeting ID that allows you to join the session

Please click on the applicable link below for detailed instructions:
Smartphone / Tablet Instructions    Computer / Laptop Instructions

Insurance Coverage

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has expanded the use of telemedicine given the current pandemic. With the new CMS guidelines, VPMG can provide telemedicine services to both established Medicare patients and to Medicare patients who have never seen us before. This is true regardless of the state of residence, though our priority is to provide care to those in our community and in California. Most other insurance companies have also expanded telemedicine services, including Anthem Blue Cross of California, Blue Shield of California, Imperial Health, United Healthcare, Aetna, CIGNA, and Santé. Out of pocket costs and deductibles may vary depending on plan. Please call our office for additional information.

What kind of services can be handled via telemedicine?

With special training such as the kind Dr. Shah has undertaken, physicians can use telemedicine to take care of a variety of issues such as:

  • Relatively minor conditions:
    • Cough or cold
    • Allergies
    • Rashes
    • Sinus issues
    • UTIs
    • And many others
  • Monitoring and medication adjustment for chronic medical conditions such as:
    • Diabetes
    • High blood pressure
    • Heart failure
    • High cholesterol
    • COPD / asthma
    • Medication monitoring and refill
    • And many others

What are the advantages of telemedicine through VPMG versus through my insurance company?

Telemedicine services through the insurance company are usually offered by a 3rd party service such as Teladoc. This service usually has minimal out of pocket costs, but the disadvantage is that you are connected to the next available provider without having much choice. With VPMG, you always see the same physician, Dr. Shah, a board-certified internist in the top 3% who prides himself on providing high-quality care with compassion and concern. Additionally, if you are located in the Central Valley, his office is able to connect you with the appropriate resources and specialists if necessary.

What are limitations to telemedicine?

Telemedicine cannot assist with treating acute, severe medical conditions. If you are experiencing a severe acute illness, please call 911 or go to the emergency room. Diagnosing complicated new medical conditions such as new falls, new chest pain, etc. may be limited since the doctor cannot listen to your heart or lungs. If you have a question about whether your question can be addressed via telemedicine, please call our office.

How do I make a telemedicine appointment?

Please call our office at (559) 500-2100 for more information and to make an appointment.

Call to make an appointment