During this period of national emergency, at Coastal Ear, Nose, and Throat we are striving to keep everyone safe while continuing to provide the care you need. You will be able to have a visit with our physicians from the safety and comfort of your home using a HIPAA compliant video conferencing platform/telephone.
Non-face to face patient-initiated communication through an online patient portal. You may contact us for an E-Visit using our Patient Portal. Submit a “Ask a Physician” question and our team will get back to you as soon as possible. This will only be offered to established patients only.
This is a phone conversation with one of our clinical team members. Patients must call into the schedule a “Virtual Check-In”. All patients must give verbal consent to initiate a “Virtual Check-In”. Medicare coinsurance and deductible will apply.
Curbside Audiology Services
We can provide curbside services for:
- Hearing Aid Cleaning
- Hearing Aid Retubing
- Dead or Weak Hearing Aids
If you bought your hearing aid at Coastal ENT, this is a free charge. If you know someone in need who is not a Coastal patient, please have them call our office so we can help them. We encourage them to return to their normal audiology provider when the crisis is over.
TeleHealth for Hearing Aids
Coastal Hearing and Balance Center are now offering TeleHealth services for adjustments of hearing aids.
Depending on what brand of hearing aid you use, we can adjust your hearing aids from the safety and comfort of your home!
To schedule any sort of appointment, please contact our office at 732-280-7855 and we'd be happy to help you!
What are the benefits of telemedicine?
While there will always be the need for health care professionals to see patients in person, it’s increasingly evident that doesn’t have to happen for every appointment. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused an explosion in telemedicine, and its many benefits have been coming to light.
Here are just a few of the benefits of telemedicine at Coastal Earn, Nose & Throat:
- No need to take time off work — Think of all the time you’ve had to miss work to visit your health care provider. Worse yet, you have to waste vacation time.
- No transportation time or associated costs — When you have to travel to see your doctor, you’re paying for gas, public transportation, parking, possibly even a hotel room.
- Eliminate childcare or eldercare issues — If you have the responsibility of caring for children or an older adult, working out the details of someone covering for you can be a challenge. Bringing them along isn’t usually an option, either.
- Easier access — It can be difficult to schedule a regular checkup with your doctor, often having to book these appointments months out. Telemedicine allows more efficiency for doctors, so they can see more patients in a timely fashion. Plus, rural patients don’t have the barriers of travel to meet with their doctor. In some systems, where a patient doesn’t have to talk with a specific doctor, the pool of available doctors can come from across the country, leading to almost instant access.
- Access to specialists — In many locations, there aren’t any specialists in the area, so patients have to drive long distances for each visit. Telemedicine makes it possible for you and your primary care physician to leverage the expertise of specialists who don’t need to be nearby. This can enable the best care, not simply the closest.
- Less chance of catching a new illness — Crowded waiting rooms are prime spots to catch the latest cold or flu. That’s why telemedicine has exploded during this pandemic. When you’re seeing your doctor from your laptop, phone, or desktop from your home, there’s no chance of catching something from the person sitting next to you in the waiting room.
- Better management of chronic conditions — Checking in on patients with chronic conditions simply works better through telemedicine. The time, hassle, and expense of regularly getting to the actual doctor’s office is saved, making everyone happier and making management of the patient’s case more effective.
- Better efficiency — No more long waits in a waiting room. Telemedicine can make appointments more efficient. And it eliminates no-shows where a patient can’t physically make it to the doctor’s office.
- Better health — The ability to see your doctor as needed, rather than having to try and wade through the appointment system, allows you to practice better management of your health.
- Improves patient satisfaction — With more and more telemedicine being delivered, there are more studies of patient satisfaction. Satisfaction rates tend to run from 90 percent up to near 100 percent in various studies from patients who have used telemedicine.
Why would someone choose telemedicine over a standard doctor visit?
All of the above-mentioned benefits are reasons why someone would opt for a telemedicine visit over an actual office visit. In more serious cases, an office visit will be a must. But most health care visits are routine. Checking in with a patient with a chronic condition is much more efficient for both patient and doctor through telemedicine. Follow-up appointments after an earlier in-office treatment are also much smarter when done through telemedicine. Issues that don’t merit any sort of emergency attention can all work through telemedicine. Plus, if the doctor doesn’t like what he or she sees on the video screen, the patient can then be asked to come in.
Will my health insurance pay for telemedicine?
The exploding use and availability of telemedicine are forcing insurance companies to cover these visits. But different states and insurance companies have different policies. New Jersey adopted a telemedicine parity law in October 2019. This new legislation required that private insurance companies pay for telemedicine services at similar rates to in-person medical care.
Are telehealth and telemedicine the same thing?
This is sort of much ado about nothing, but there are subtle differences. Telemedicine is the practice of medicine using technology to deliver care at a distance. It basically is an office visit delivered online through technology. Telehealth refers more broadly, using technology to also include non-clinical services.
Does a patient have to meet with a provider in-person before a visit can be conducted video?
No. As has been seen with the COVID-19 pandemic, many states have ordered health systems and insurers to move all non-emergency healthcare visits to telemedicine. Often the starting point would be an office visit, but this is not required.
Is the quality of telemedicine the same as an in-person visit?
Obviously, a doctor cannot listen to your breathing on a telemedicine video chat, but if you’ve carefully kept track of your symptoms and your condition, the care is typically just as good. Studies show that patients agree. As an example, a study from a Massachusetts General Hospital found that two-thirds of patients rated the quality of the telemedicine visits as just as good as in-person visits, and 21 percent said the visits were even better. It has been found that patients develop a better patient-doctor bond through telemedicine. This could be because patients are usually more relaxed and candid, which are both helpful for more accurate diagnoses and care.
Access is important. The ability to ask more questions of the doctor is important. When a doctor can be so much more efficient working with patients through telemedicine, it can free the person up to be a little more available to the patient. Plus, most office visits don’t really need an office to provide the answers the patient needs.
As this pandemic has shown, telemedicine isn’t going anywhere. It has quite quickly come of age during this oddest of years.