Las Vegas resident Chester Bailey had an appointment with his primary care doctor last week but never left his house.
That’s because Bailey — who turns 79 on May 1 — had a telemedicine appointment, his first visit with a doctor via videoconferencing.
When an employee at HealthCare Partners Nevada asked if he’d be OK with a telemedicine appointment, “I was actually shocked,” Bailey said. “I didn’t know they could do that stuff.”
Within the last month or so, more Las Vegas Valley medical offices have started offering telemedicine appointments in response to the COVID-19 outbreak — part of a nationwide trend that has seen an explosion in use of the technology. A big selling point is that many patients are uneasy about going to a doctor’s office because of the risk of getting infected or infecting others.
Some doctors and telemedicine experts say the COVID-19 outbreak is spurring more acceptance of telemedicine — a change that could have a long-lasting impact on the nation’s health care system.