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What is Telehealth?

Telehealth provides you with a way to have an appointment with your healthcare provider by using the latest in video technology.  This means you will be able to “visit” your provider without having to leave your community. By going to your local hospital or clinic, you can visit with your provider using two-way video technology.

Telehealth allows you to remain in your community and to meet with your provider while receiving the support of your family and friends. Telehealth also eliminates the time and expense of having to take time off from work to travel long distances to receive healthcare.

Telehealth is useful for many healthcare appointments, but you may not be able to use it for all your visits. Talk to your provider to see which of your appointments can be provided through telehealth. These appointments may include:

  • Burn Consultations
  • Cardiology
  • Dermatology
  • Diabetic / Dietary
  • Genetics Counseling
  • Endocrinology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Mental Health
  • Oncology
  • Pediatric
  • Speech Therapy

What happens during a Telehealth visit?

A telehealth visit is very similar to a regular visit with your provider. The only difference is that your provider sees and talks to you through a live television screen. A nurse will explain what will happen during the in-person visit, and you will be asked to sign a consent form that gives permission to do your telehealth consult. Your appointment takes place in a private room and a nurse will stay with you. If you would like to have a friend or family member present, they are welcome to join you.

An electronic stethoscope is used to transmit your heart and lung sounds to the provider, and sometimes a special hand-held zoom camera is also used to get up-close views. Your provider is also in a private room. This keeps your information and conversation confidential.

How to Schedule an Appointment with your Provider

Contact your local or regional hospital or clinic and ask for the REACH Telehealth Site Coordinator. The site coordinator will work with you to schedule your appointment.

Does Medicare or Medicaid pay for telehealth services?

Medicare does cover telehealth visits in many circumstances, including remote radiology, pathology and some cardiology. Some services may not be covered. Refer to for the latest information on Medicare coverage for telehealth services.

In Montana, Medicaid will cover all live video services, as long as the healthcare provider is enrolled in Medicaid. Montana’s Medicaid program does not cover remote monitoring services or medical services via email, fax, or phone.

Do private insurance plans usually cover telehealth services?

The State of Montana requires that private insurers cover telehealth services the same as they cover in-person services.