Telehealth Visits at BMH

Telehealth Visits at BMH

In spite of the pandemic, our patients continue to have health needs that require attention. If you need medical care, please do not put off calling us.  We understand the fears and concerns you may have about coming to the hospital for an appointment. Please know that we are taking all necessary precautions if you need to come in.

In fact, for many needs we are now offering phone and video visits from the convenience of your smartphone, tablet, or computer. Your health is important to us and we are here to make sure you receive the highest quality of care.  Please reach out to the office of the clinician that you have the scheduled appointment with if you have any questions.

What Types of Telehealth Services Does BMH Offer?

  • BMH offers two types of virtual visits at this time:
    • Video visits
    • Telephone visits
  • The choice between a video visit and telephone visit depends on your preference, whether you are a new or established patient for the clinician you are seeing, and your medical needs.
  • Your clinician will advise you on the mode to best treat your health condition.

Is Telemedicine Safe and Secure?

Telemedicine has been used for decades. It is a safe and secure way to attend your medical appointments. Telemedicine is subject to the same privacy rules and regulations as in-person healthcare services. BMH’s telemedicine technology is HIPAA compliant.

  • During the COVID-19 emergency, government regulations allow for the use of some videoconferencing platforms that are not-HIPAA compliant. BMH continues to use our standard secure and HIPAA compliant tools to the greatest extent possible. However, to expand our ability to offer telemedicine services to our patients as broadly and as efficiently as possible, we may introduce other platforms. In this case, please be assured that we will do everything we can to protect your privacy and will always comply with the current governmental regulations.

Technology Requirements

  • Internet Connection
    • If you don’t have wifi at your house, consider public wifi locations, such as your local library, where you can access the internet without getting out of your car.
  • Operating System
    • Windows: Windows 10, 8, 7 SP1, Vista SP2, XP SP3 and above
    • Mac: OS X 10.6 and above
    • iOS: 11 or later
    •  Android 5.0 or later
  • Browser
    • Google Chrome 67.0 and above
    • Mozilla Firefox 52.0 and above
    • Safari 12 and above
  • Processor
    • Intel i3 or better
    • AMD A8 or better
  • Memory
    • RAM: Minimum 2GB
    • Memory: No installation or local storage required
  • iPads
    • Ipad Air 2
    • Ipad mini 4
    • Or newer than above
  • iPhone
    • iPhone 6 or newer
  • Android Tablets and Phones
    • Android 5.0 or later with sufficient processing power to transcode video
  • Bandwidth Requirement
    • Minimum 500Kbps
  • Firewall Ports
    • Ports TCP 80, 443
    • Ports TCP/UDP 3478, 5349 (STUN/TURN Servers)
    • Certain firewall configurations may require additional setup (e.g. white-listing IP ranges)

What Do I Need to do BEFORE My Virtual Visit?

  • Recommendations for a streamlined and successful telehealth visit:

    1. Check the technology requirements (above) and make sure your device and default browser will be supported
    2. Test your connection HERE.
    3. Setup in a well lit area (try not to have any windows behind you)
    4. Find a quiet place.
  • Complete your virtual check-in.

    • About 15-30 minutes before your appointment time, a staff member from your clinician’s office will call your phone number on file to complete your virtual check-in.
    • Have your insurance information available for the virtual check in.

Will I Have to Pay for a Virtual Visit?

Please note that during the COVID-19 emergency, some special waivers expanding telehealth coverage have been established. Under usual circumstances, Medicare, VT/NH/MA Medicaid, and most commercial health insurance plans* cover many telehealth services. But there may be limitations related to what kinds of services providers may deliver by telehealth.

  • Special Considerations during the COVID-19 Emergency
    • Medicare, VT/NH/MA Medicaid, and Commercial Insurance:
      • these insurances provide the same coverage as an in-person visit
      • will pay for telephone and telemedicine (video) visits for patients at home as medically necessary and appropriate
      • will not require patient cost-sharing (co-payments, deductibles, or co-insurance) for medically necessary treatment delivered by telehealth related to COVID-19
      • cost-sharing for care not related to COVID-19 may be as usual; though many plans are also waiving cost-sharing at this time for telehealth services
    • *Please note that self-insured (employer-based) commercial insurance plans may not be required to comply with governmental coverage mandates, even during the COVID-19 emergency. It is always best to contact your insurance company to ask about their coverage of telehealth appointments.

Does BMH Use a Particular Video Application for Telehealth Visits?

BMH clinicians conduct video visits using a secure video chat applicationThe preferred video chat application at BMH is Bluestream Health which is the most secure video chat application available at this time.

What Happens Before My Virtual Visit?

  1. About 15-30 minutes before your appointment, a staff member from your clinician’s office will call you to complete your virtual check-in.
  2. After virtual check-in is completed, your clinician will:
    • Call you to start your telephone visit (for telephone visits)
    • Send you a weblink through Bluestream (for video visits) via a text message or email (your preference).
    • You will complete the connection test and click “Allow Access” to camera and microphone.
    • If the connection test fails, follow the steps within the test to correct the issue.

Curious about how a virtual visit happens? Watch this short video of BMH orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Elizabeth McLarney as she conducts a video-based telehealth check-up with a post-op patient:

How do I start a Bluestream Video Visit with my BMH Clinician?

  • Sample of text message:

  • Sample of email message – please check your spam or junk folders as the email comes from

2. Click on the link in the text message or email message.

3. Review the consent message and click “I agree to these terms and conditions”

4. Click “Allow” on the next window to allow access to your microphone and camera:

5. Bluestream will then perform a Connection Test.  Click “Start Test” to begin: