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Patients & Caregivers

Telehealth FAQ

Here, you’ll find answers to frequently asked questions about your virtual visit, including an overview of the process, how to prepare for your visit, cost and insurance, and technical requirements.

What is a telehealth visit?

Telehealth visits are virtual visits that allow you to meet with a provider through an online video chat from home using a smartphone, tablet or computer. Your provider can do almost everything via Zoom, including reviewing symptoms, managing medications, ordering and reviewing test results and answering your questions.

What are the benefits of telehealth visits?

Telehealth visits are a convenient option that reduces your travel time and eliminates the stress and expense of parking in Seattle. You can connect with your provider wherever you are, and your family members can also join the visit from anywhere.

How does it work?

After you contact SCCA and determine if telehealth is right for you, you will receive a confirmation email or a message in your MyChart portal. For MyChart patients, you can view your upcoming appointments at any time by logging into the portal.  When it’s time for your appointment, simply login to MyChart and click the “Begin Visit” button.  This will launch Zoom in a new window and you’ll be placed in your provider’s virtual waiting room.  When they are ready for you, the provider will bring you into their virtual room and begin the visit.

If you do not have MyChart, your Zoom link will be emailed to you at the time of scheduling and again a day before your visit.  At the time of your scheduled visit, just click on the link to open the video chat with your provider. 

Is it secure and private?

Yes. We use an enhanced version of Zoom that has extra security measures. All calls are HIPAA-compliant, encrypted and set up so no uninvited guests can join.

What if I need help?

You can call our 24/7 Patient Support line at (206) 520-5151.

Where can I get step-by-step instructions?

You can find step-by-step instructions here

Can I invite a spouse/caretaker/loved one to my appointment if they are in another location?

Yes! We love using video visits to keep patients and families connected. You can either ask the scheduler to send the link via email or forward the link to them once you have received it. At the beginning of your visit, let the provider know you have someone else calling in so they can let them in from the virtual waiting room.

What if I get disconnected during the visit?

At the beginning of the visit, your provider will ask for a number to call you back if the connection is lost. Or you can click the visit link again to return to the virtual visit room.

What equipment do I need?

You can use a smartphone, tablet or computer with webcam and Internet access. Most devices work with Zoom; see if your device is compatible.

Download Zoom System Requirements

If you don’t have a personal device to use for telehealth or don’t have reliable Internet access, SCCA may be able to help. Nothing should stand in the way of you receiving the care you need. Please contact our team at telehealth@seattlecca.org.

Will interpreters be available for telehealth?

Yes, interpreter services are available in 35 languages for telehealth visits! The interpreter joins the visit and can see and hear you and your provider. To schedule, just let your team coordinator or patient care coordinator know that you need interpreter services.

Will I get a bill for my visit?

As part of the COVID-19 emergency declarations, insurance providers were required to cover telemedicine, but the services that will be covered by states and Medicare in the future are still being determined. For now, you can expect that telehealth visits will be billed the same as in-person visits. For example, if you see your provider in person or virtually, your insurance will be billed for the visit. When you see a social worker at SCCA in person, you don’t receive a bill; the same will be true if you see your social worker virtually.  

Everyone’s insurance is different, so ask your insurance company about your specific plan and telehealth visit coverage. If you still have questions, call our Patient Financial Services team at (206) 606-6226 or toll-free at (800) 304-1763.

Will I still be billed if there are technical difficulties during my telehealth visit?

If you encounter technical difficulties that prevent your visit from proceeding, you will not be billed. If your visit is converted to a phone visit due to technical difficulties, you will be billed for a phone visit instead.

I can’t find the Zoom link for my telehealth visit. How can I get it?

If you use MyChart, the link for your video visit will be available through MyChart at the time of your appointment. Simply log on to MyChart at the time of your appointment and there will be a “Begin Visit” button.  This button is available one hour before your scheduled visit time.

If you do not have a MyChart account, your care team will send the link to you in an email. Please save these emails when you receive them. If you need an email resent to you, you can contact your care team or scheduler.