Can’t make it to our office? No problem!
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are all having to be a lot more conscious about our interactions with others—when we go out, why we go out, and deciding what counts as an “essential” trip, among other things we aren’t used to thinking about.
So if you develop a concerning foot and ankle problem during this time, what should your next step be? You shouldn’t have to keep suffering, but you also want to protect your health and the health of those you live with.
Fortunately, we have a way for you to stay on top of managing your foot and ankle care when you are physically unable to come to our office: telemedicine services.
No matter if you’re limited by illness or quarantine, lack of transportation, scheduling conflicts, or any other reason, a telemedicine appointment is how you can still receive expert insight and analysis from a foot and ankle specialist.
What Is Telemedicine? Will It Work For Me?
Telemedicine is when a doctor uses technology (electronic communication devices and software) to provide clinical services to you. This can eliminate the need for an in-person visit.
Obviously, we can’t give you an injection or provide any other physical treatments or procedures over the phone. But telemedicine is still a great option for many other kinds of appointments, including:
- Visual inspections. Dr. Foster can visually inspect your foot or ankle over video, giving you a diagnosis and/or recommendations on the next steps.
- Check-up appointments. Your doctor can examine how a wound is healing or talk with you about how your rehab is going (after a previous treatment).
- Reviewing results. If you’ve recently had scans or lab work done, we can review the results over video, and even share the screen so you can see for yourself.
- Questions and advice. Have a question about your health care and want answers from a real medical professional? Telemedicine is by far the easiest way to do it.
Our telemedicine appointments are ideal for those who have to stay home, working parents, and individuals who don’t have transportation to get to our office, among others.
What Do I Need for My Lee's Summit Appointment?
Before scheduling your telemedicine appointment, please ensure that you have or will have:
- A device capable of making and receiving video calls, such as a smartphone, tablet, or laptop computer with a webcam/microphone
- A stable, reliable internet connection
- A supported web browser—Chrome, Firefox, or Safari. (Almost all devices have at least one of these preinstalled.)
- A private, quiet, and well-lit location to take the call
We also encourage you to have a trusted family member or friend present with you who can provide assistance or help you take notes as needed.
What Can You Expect?
We are using a service called Doxy.me to facilitate our telemedicine appointments. We like it because it’s simple, secure, HIPAA-compliant, and does not require you to download any special software or sign up for any accounts.
Here’s what you can expect:
- Request a telemedicine appointment from us. Once we’ve scheduled a time, we’ll send you a link to our online waiting room.
- When it’s time for your appointment, go ahead and click that link. (Make sure you are using one of the approved browsers—Chrome, Firefox, or Safari.)
- When prompted, enter your name and click “check-in
We’ll see when you’ve entered the waiting room and will start the call when Dr. Joel Foster is ready for you.
Is Telemedicine Covered by Insurance?
While telemedicine services have been increasingly covered by insurance companies and Medicare in response to the coronavirus pandemic, the answer depends on your specific provider and plan.
Not sure whether your insurance plan covers telemedicine appointments? Just call our office and a staff member will be happy to assist you.
What if I Still Need to Make an In-Person Visit?
As we said above, some problems just can’t be solved over video. If you are in need of care and need to come in for a direct treatment or procedure, we are still open and seeing patients.
In order to minimize the risk to our patients and their families, we are taking the following extra precautions:
- Spacing out appointments throughout the day to avoid having multiple people in the office or waiting room at any given time, and providing ample time to sanitize exam rooms between patients thoroughly.
- Have patients wait in their cars instead of the waiting room. Call when you arrive, and we will come to get you when we’re ready to take you back to the exam room. If you need to fill out new patient paperwork, we will bring it out to you.
- Limiting visitors/support persons. We are asking that most adult patients come alone unless they require assistance from a support person. Children should be accompanied by only one parent or guardian.
This is all, of course, on top of rigorously following all CDC guidelines regarding health, sanitization, social distancing, and personal protective equipment.
How Do I Request a Telemedicine Appointment in Lee's Summit?
If you’re ready to request your telemedicine appointment, please complete the form on this page.
A member of our office will follow up with you during our regular office hours to schedule your appointment, make sure you have everything you need, and answer any questions you may have.
Also, please fill out this Telemedicine Consent Form ahead of time as well.
If you’d prefer, you can also reach out to us directly by phone at (816) 246-4222.
We look forward to serving you—wherever you happen to be.