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Bingham’s telehealth lets patients see doctors without leaving home

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BLACKFOOT, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - COVID-19 has changed our lives, and in some ways, for the better.  

All kinds of businesses have learned to get the job done online, saving on office space, commuter travel expenses like gas and parking and time.  

Medicine has changed too, with patients seeing their doctors through telemedicine instead of in-person visits.  

There are pros and cons to telehealth, but one thing is agreed upon by most we talked to in the medical field. Telehealth is here to stay.

Dr. Nathan Snedden in an MD of interventional spine and pain management. His office started using telemedicine about four months ago when COVID-19 hit. It's not for every doctor's visit, but it's excellent for follow up visits and certain kinds of ailments.

Administrators at Bingham Memorial Hospital have telemedicine available for every speciality. In the last four months, the hospital has booked 5,800 appointments skipping the office visit has lowered exposure to infection from other sick people in the waiting room.

Dr. Snedden says insurance used to refuse to  cover telemedicine appointments, but that's changing now because of COVID-19. Most appointments last about 15 minutes, and it is proving to be a lifesaver for rural areas hours away from a specialist.

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