Treating Hypothyroidism via Telemedicine
The Diagnosis and Treatment of Hypothyroidism via Telemedicine
If you have hypothyroidism, or suspect that you may have a thyroid problem, Dr. Melnick is able to successfully diagnose and treat you remotely from his Manhattan office via telemedicine consultations. Dr. Melnick frequently treats patients from out of town, out of state, and even out of the country with telemedicine.
Hypothyroidism is a condition that is perfectly suited to telemedicine because a patient’s symptoms are the key to its successful diagnosis and treatment. The critical factor is the experience and knowledge of the physician, who must be aware of the 200+ symptoms associated with hypothyroidism and must know how to ask the right questions of the patient to make a correct diagnosis. Similarly, in treating hypothyroidism, the dose of thyroid medication is based upon improvement in a patient’s symptoms rather than blood test results. Hypothyroidism is a condition best diagnosed and treated by an experienced physician who takes the time to listen to their patient’s symptoms!
While telemedicine has only recently, by necessity, become a popular option for diagnosis and treatment in many areas of medicine, Dr. Melnick had long ago recognized its unique suitability for the management of hypothyroidism. He has remotely helped many people rid themselves of the debilitating physical and mental symptoms caused by an underactive thyroid gland.
Dr. Melnick’s Approach to the Diagnosis & Treatment of Hypothyroidism via Telemedicine
Most doctors evaluate hypothyroidism by blood work only, and spend little or no time speaking to their patients about their clinical symptoms. Dr. Melnick has learned in his 40+ years in medical practice that the patient’s symptoms are more accurate in the diagnosis of hypothyroidism and more effective in managing treatment than are blood tests. Blood tests can miss the correct diagnosis up to 40% of the time. As a result, 40% of patients do not receive the right treatment to experience relief from their symptoms.
Using Dr. Melnick’s clinical approach to hypothyroidism, a telemedicine platform transforms an appointment into a virtual house call. The doctor/patient dialogue is conducted in exactly the same manner as it would be face to face in his office. Using video conferencing, Dr. Melnick speaks to patients in depth about their symptoms and their responses to their current dose of thyroid medication. The patient can join the call from their home or office, saving them time, transportation costs, and stress.
In addition to a person’s symptoms, there are physical signs of hypothyroidism that can be observed directly during the telemedicine consultation. For instance, premature graying of the hair, vitiligo, white patches of skin that doesn’t have pigment, and the loss of the outer third of the eyebrows are all reliable signs that a person has hypothyroidism. Certain patterns of swelling of the facial features and patterns of hair loss also strongly suggest the presence of hypothyroidism. The video component telemedicine platforms allows patients to be examined as thoroughly as if they were physically present in the doctor’s office.
Diagnostic Testing with Telemedicine Treatment
Although Dr. Melnick believes that symptoms are the key to the diagnosis and treatment of Hypothyroidism, there are also cases when blood tests may be needed. He does not believe that Tsh levels in blood are a reliable indicator of Hypothyroidism, as many people with normal or low TSH levels actually do have low thyroid function. The thyroid tests that Dr. Melnick orders are comprehensive and seldom ordered by many endocrinologists, yet give vital information about the origin of a patient’s hypothyroidism and indicate the best type of thyroid medication for the patient.
When required, testing is easy to complete even with telehealth patients. Dr Melnick’s office staff emails his patients laboratory requisitions to have their blood drawn and tested at local laboratories, such as Quest Labs. Thyroid sonogram testing is another important diagnostic tool because the presence of thyroid nodules are a strong indicator of hypothyroidism, and can also help to detect Thyroid cancer in its earliest stages. Requisitions are sent to patients to have their thyroid sonograms done at a convenient radiologist’s office. All test results are sent to Dr. Melnick’s office for his review, and then are discussed with patients.
Benefits of Telemedicine Treatment
Telemedicine enables Dr. Melnick’s patients to have consultations and follow up appointments in a timely and convenient manner. Dr. Melnick uses Doctor.com’s telemedicine service for virtual appointments. This is a secure, HIPAA-compliant service that was built specifically for telemedicine services.
Because Dr. Melnick is able to follow the same processes as he would with patients who are physically present in his office, telemedicine diagnosis and treatment is just as effective. Telemedicine makes Dr. Melnick available to many patients who are unable to travel to New York City to consult with him in person. Telemedicine also gives patients the follow up care needed to feel well enough to lead happy and productive lives.
How to Make an Appointment
Patients who want a telemedicine appointment may simply contact Dr. Melnick’s office by phone (212) 369-8700 or use our appointment request form. His staff will schedule your appointment and provide the necessary details for your video consultation.
His staff will email intake forms to fill out and return prior to your initial consultation, which asks questions about your medical history, current symptoms, and past and current treatment, as well as any recent test results. On the day of your virtual appointment, Dr. Melnick will have this information ready to review with you. If any blood tests or other testing is needed prior to or after the telemedicine appointment, Dr. Melnick’s office is happy to email you laboratory requisitions for testing to be done at a local clinical laboratory.
Dr. Melnick’s office uses an online prescription platform to prescribe medications for his patients. Whenever refills are needed, please email the office at this email address only: AFSIVFNURSE@GMAIL.COM
EMERGENCY EMAIL: HUGHMELNICKMD@GMAIL.COM
Are There Any Special Requirements for Telemedicine Appointments?
Another benefit of telemedicine is that it requires little preparation to set up. Patients do need to have a web-enabled camera to allow for a face-to-face encounter. Most smartphones and laptops are now equipped with cameras that will work well enough for a virtual appointment.
It is recommended that you join the virtual meeting from a location with good internet service. If your internet connection will not support video conferencing or would prefer to consult with Dr. Melnick by traditional phone call, please advise the staff so that arrangements can be made.
Insurance and Costs
Your telemedicine visits may be covered by insurance. Find our list of current providers here.
Telemedicine costs for uninsured patients:
- Initial consultation……$400
- Follow up visit……$225
Please fill out our Telemedicine Consent Form.