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For Patients

Find telehealth information and resources for patients

For Patients

What is Telehealth?

Telehealth is receiving a medical visit through videoconferencing or sometimes just a phone call with the healthcare provider in a different location from the patient. You may be familiar with videoconferencing with your family or friends through apps like FaceTime or Skype.

If you are experiencing any serious or potentially life-threatening symptoms, please call 911 and do not use a telehealth visit. Some of these symptoms include:

  • Chest pain or other signs of a heart attack
  • One-sided weakness, facial drooping, or other signs of stroke
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Seizures

What Do I Need to Receive Telehealth Services?

For most telehealth visits, all you’ll need to get started is a smartphone, a computer, or a tablet with an internet connection.

Woman taking blood pressure while talking to doctor on computer
Female doctor in white coat smiling

How Do I Find a Telehealth Provider?

The PBTRC has compiled a list of individual providers, groups and organizations that provide telehealth services in Hawaiʻi. 

Please check with your primary care provider or health insurance plan to find additional providers and/or organizations that provide telehealth services.

How Much Does It Cost?

Services by telehealth usually don’t cost more than in-person services. If you are unsure, you can call your insurance company and ask them.

During the COVID-19 crisis most insurance companies will not make you pay a co-pay, deductible, or charge co-insurance for the telehealth visit.

Woman wrapped in blanket on couch next to a table covered in medicine and looking in to a computer screen

Patient Education: Resources

Video: Tips for Patients to Keep Their Telehealth Visits Private

The Center of Excellence for Protected Health Information (CoE-PHI) provides a video with three (3) helpful tips for patients to remember when conducting a behavioral or mental telehealth visit.

What to Ask if You Are Concerned That You Have COVID-19

This is a checklist of questions your telehealth provider may ask you when you are concerned about COVID-19 symptoms.

Discounts for Qualifying Low-income Households

Learn about a variety of discounts for telephone and internet service wireless providers.

Wondering how to get started with telehealth?

Check out information on the HRSA website to better understand your options for virtual health care visits.

Frequently Asked Questions

The videoconferencing applications can work on personal computers, tablets (e.g. iPads), and smartphones. You will need an internet or cellular data connection to do the videoconferencing.

Sometimes, visits can be done by telephone and this is determined by the type of service you require, and/or on the type of health insurance that you have.

Some medical providers use special applications that go through your online medical record system. Others will send you information to connect with them online for your visit. You can also go to services “on demand” and log onto an online service that will connect you to a healthcare provider when one is available.

For some families and communities that do not have devices, internet or cellular data services to connect at home for telehealth, there may be places in the community set up to allow you to receive telehealth services. Please continue to check our telehealth providers page for announcements about these community sites.

Telehealth videoconferencing uses secure applications to protect your health information during the visit. During the COVID-19 pandemic, an app like FaceTime or Skype might be used if the secure application is not available.

Telehealth visits (or services) usually don’t cost more than in-person visits/services. If you are unsure, you can contact your insurance company for more information.

During the COVID-19 pandemic most insurance companies will not make you pay a co-pay, deductible, or charge co-insurance for the telehealth visit.

During this COVID-19 pandemic, many doctors and other healthcare providers are using telehealth to continue medical visits for their patients. Please check our list of telehealth providers to see if your health care provider offers this service. You can also call your health care provider’s office to ask if they are offering/using telehealth.

If your doctor or other healthcare provider does not offer telehealth services or you need urgent care, you may be able to see another doctor or other healthcare provider on-line during this COVID-19 pandemic.

Telehealth can be used for many different types of healthcare services:

  • primary care
  • urgent care
  • prenatal care
  • counseling
  • diabetes management
  • home health care and many other services.

During this COVID-19 pandemic, telehealth can be used to screen patients to see if more medical services are needed. This helps keep sick patients out of crowded waiting rooms.

Telehealth can also be used in many specialties like neurology, cardiology, and genetics.