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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Doctors at Beth Israel Medical Center are taking an innovative approach to containing the flu epidemic.
Patients feeling under the weather can get full medical advice and care through Teladoc, an Internet and telephone service that links people to primary care doctors.
Dr. Elizabeth Enschede with Beth Israel Medical Group said the flu teleconferencing is the next best thing to a house call.
“When you’re feeling ill and you feel terrible, for one you don’t really want to get out of bed and a lot of times people have a hard time doing that, so ideally we would have people contained to their homes and that’s how you contain an outbreak like this,” she told WCBS 880′s Marla Diamond.
“It’s an online service that provides access for people who are members to call in and get access to a primary care physician and speak about their urgent care problem instead of having to go and visit an emergency room,” Enschede said.
The service carries a $38 consultation fee and insurance is not required. Enschede said the service is useful for people who would otherwise go to the ER for care.
“They can’t get a visit with their primary care doctor or a lot of times they’re actually not in any kind of primary care net,” she told Diamond.
Enschede said she can do almost all patient care over the phone or online. She said the only thing she can’t do through teleconferencing is give patients a flu shot.
Would you use this service to avoid going to the doctor’s office or ER? Sound off in the comments section below…