Should I see a doctor in-person or online?
It depends. Telehealth platforms like Sesame make it easier than ever to see a doctor online from the comfort of your home through virtual visits. These are real-time video chats with doctors and providers that are used to address symptoms, discuss prescriptions, and screen for health care conditions. Telehealth (also known as telemedicine) is a convenient way to see a health care provider without requiring the commute and waiting rooms of office visits.
In-person visits, however, are vital health services. Certain conditions and specialty care services cannot be diagnosed or performed via a telehealth visit. Lab testing, for instance, often requires an in-person appointment at a doctor's office. Similarly, some physical exams, chronic condition consultations, and urgent care needs require in-person care. Some patients feel more comfortable receiving their care through in-person doctor visits, and many telehealth services require in-person visits before a condition can be definitively diagnosed.
Health care marketplaces like Sesame offer both in-person and virtual care options. If you're unsure whether or not you need to see a provider face-to-face, we recommend that you book a video doctor visit to discuss your concerns and talk through any symptoms you may be experiencing. If an in-person doctor appointment is required, you can easily book a visit through Sesame's scheduling platform.
How does booking care on Sesame work?
Sesame makes it easier than ever to find and pay doctors online directly - allowing you to book an in-person or telehealth appointment in less than two minutes. To get care today, follow these easy steps:
- Search for telehealth or in-person appointments by specialty, condition, or provider
- Choose a provider at a price and time that work for you.
- Pay for your appointment online, up front.
- Before your appointment begins, complete a brief medical history form.
- If you’re seeing a doctor online, click the link sent to your email to join a secure online telehealth appointment. If you’re seeing a doctor in person, go to their office at the time of your appointment.
- If you are prescribed medication and choose medication delivery, it is usually delivered to your home within 2-3 business days. Otherwise, you can select a local pharmacy often with same-day pick-up. Providers on Sesame can prescribe anything deemed medically appropriate, except for the limited set of controlled substances (as defined under the Controlled Substances Act).
What is telehealth?
Telemedicine (also sometimes called "telehealth") is a form of virtual care that healthcare professionals offer patients looking for efficient, flexible care. With telemedicine, you can speak with a doctor about your symptoms and work to develop a treatment plan that's right for you - without the hassle of having to drive to different doctors' offices or navigate confusing insurance copays. If you've already seen a doctor and need a second opinion or more clarity on your condition, you can schedule a quick and easy telemedicine appointment to get your questions answered on your own time.
What is a telehealth appointment?
Telehealth appointments also called telemedicine are medical visits that take place over face-to-face real-time video with fully licensed medical professionals including doctors or nurse practitioners.
What types of telehealth care can I book through Sesame?
It is up to the provider to determine what services they offer through a virtual appointment. Examples of care you can find on marketplaces like Sesame include:
- Primary care
- Urgent care (for conditions such as rashes, sore throat, migraines, UTIs, and more)
- Sexual health consultations
- Mental health consultations
- Chronic condition management
- Dermatology consultations
- Prescription refills
- Pediatric care
If you are experiencing a medical emergency, do not use telehealth. Instead, call 9-1-1 or go to your nearest emergency room immediately.
What are some benefits of telehealth and video visits?
Over the past few years, telehealth has transformed the healthcare landscape giving patients better access to quality doctors and providers. Still, some may be unfamiliar with telehealth and its benefits.
In the simplest terms, telehealth is a means of managing your health with the use of digital platforms, video, and virtual consults with doctors and providers. This includes:
Virtual appointments: the ability to see your doctor virtually with video consultations. This is perfect for both new patients and those with ongoing appointments that don’t require an in-person visit. Despite what you may have heard, many conditions can actually be treated over video, including toothaches, moles, warts, UTIs, other vaginal infections, and more.
Correspondence between doctors: By promoting faster, more efficient means of communication, telehealth allows for doctors to better coordinate and address patient needs.
Virtual health records: Apps, sometimes called personal health record systems (PHRs) allow for the viewing of health care records from a web-enabled device.
Remote Monitoring: Apps that upload medical information, such as lung function, blood pressure, and blood glucose readings, so that your doctor can monitor you virtually.
Why would I use telehealth instead of an in-person visit?
Telehealth is primarily used to increase access to quality health care for individuals around the world. Many people have a hard time finding a quality clinic, or do not have the time to sit in waiting rooms before an appointment. Currently, the coronavirus pandemic has made people nervous about office visits. Telehealth can help calm these anxieties by letting you receive your routine check-up or discuss non-urgent symptoms without having to leave home.
How do I book an online doctor appointment?
To book an online doctor visit through Sesame, visit Sesamecare.com. Use our search bar to look up the issue you may need addressed (such as "Prescription Refill", "Sore Throat", or "Urgent Care"). From there, you can browse relevant providers and our transparent prices to find the clinician or doctor that you want to see - at the price you want to pay. You can look at that provider's availability to schedule a virtual visit that works for your schedule. Finally, pay for your appointment upfront and wait for the booking confirmation email to get the link to your appointment.
How do I access my telehealth appointment?
After you book a video appointment, you will receive both an initial confirmation and a reminder via email and text.
There are three ways in which a video visit can be accessed:
- Select "Join virtual appointment" from the booking confirmation email.
- If you have an existing account or created one at purchase, log in at sesamecare.com, navigate to 'My appointments,' and select "Join virtual appointment."
- Click the link in the text message sent to you 15 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment time.
We suggest using Google Chrome, Firefox, or Safari to connect to your visit.
Can I get quality treatment during my telehealth appointment?
Yes! Providers on Sesame meet the highest standards of quality. Many medical conditions can be immediately and conveniently diagnosed during a telehealth appointment.
How can I prepare for my telehealth appointment?
After booking your telehealth appointment on Sesame, you will receive a link to test the phone, tablet, or computer where you will speak with your provider. Sesame will send you a unique and secure webpage for you to access your telehealth appointment directly from your web browser. In the rare case that you run into any technical issues, our friendly support team is available to walk you through any challenges.
Should I use my phone, tablet, or computer for my telehealth appointment?
You can use your phone, tablet, or computer for a telehealth appointment on Sesame. Sesame works on the web through your web browser - Google Chrome, Safari, Microsoft Edge or Firefox. It is easy to connect in just a few seconds with a quality Sesame provider who is ready to listen to your medical concerns.
Sesame supports face to face video communications, but turning on your video is not required if this makes you uncomfortable.
Do I need health insurance to book an online doctor appointment?
Nope! Sesame connects patients directly to doctors through our easy-to-use booking platform. That means you can get great care with top-rated health care providers without involving insurance companies. Skip the costly co-pays and premiums when you book an online doctor's appointment through Sesame. Prices on Sesame are transparent, and payment is easy. In many cases, you can pay for your visit with a one-time upfront cash price - usually 60% less than what you'll find through insurance networks. So, not only are you saving money, but you're also getting the best care available from the comfort of your own home.
Can my provider prescribe medication?
Yes, physicians on Sesame can prescribe a wide range of medications, which can be useful for infections, allergies, and other acute ailments.
Please note that they will not prescribe certain drugs, such as narcotics or medications that have been designated controlled substances through telehealth.
Otherwise, many of the prescriptions available in an office setting or urgent care can be prescribed if your clinician deems it appropriate.
Can you refill a prescription without a doctor?
Sometimes! Depending on the prescription medication that you need refilled, you may be able to get a prescription refill without direct consultation with your doctor. Based on the medication you need and the state you live in, you might be able to get your prescription refilled online.
Telehealth has made it easier than ever to get in touch with a health care professional for a prescription refill. Sesame offers convenient and affordable 15-minute video visits with real, quality doctors in Sunnyvale, CA, so you can refill your prescription without the hassle of going to a doctor's office. It's simple: Search for the care you need, compare prices, and book a refill visit on your schedule.
Note: You cannot refill a prescription for a controlled substance without a doctor's consultation. Doctors on Sesame cannot prescribe narcotics or medication classified as controlled substances.
Is there anything doctors on Sesame won’t treat?
Any service listed on Sesame can be treated by doctors on the platform. Any specific exclusions to an appointment can be found in the service description. Telehealth appointments will not result in a prescription for controlled substances. If you are looking for a prescription for controlled substances, you should find a local clinician with whom you can establish an in-person relationship.
What is benzonatate?
Benzonatate is a prescription medication used to relieve coughing. Benzonatate helps numb the throat and lungs, reducing the reflex to cough.
Doctors prescribe benzonatate to alleviate coughs caused by the common cold, asthma, bronchitis, and other respiratory conditions. It is a non-narcotic cough medication, meaning that it is not generally habit-forming. While benzonatate can help quickly suppress your cough, it does not treat the underlying condition causing the cough.
What is benzonatate used to treat?
Benzonatate is used to relieve coughing caused by the common cold or other respiratory conditions like pneumonia or asthma.
How does benzonatate work?
Benzonatate belongs to a family of drugs known as antitussives. More commonly known as cough suppressants, these medications numb the respiratory passages and lungs to reduce the cough reflex. This ultimately reduces your urge to cough.
How long does it take for benzonatate to work?
Benzonatate is a fast-acting cough suppressant. After ingesting the small gel-filled capsule, you will start to feel benzonatate work within 30 minutes. You may start feeling results as early as 15-20 minutes after ingestion. Benzonatate works by numbing the air passages and lungs, which leads to a reduced cough reflex and cough relief. These effects will normally last anywhere between 3-8 hours.
What are the most common side effects of benzonatate?
While there are some common side effects associated with benzonatate, it is important to remember that your doctor prescribed this medication because its effectiveness as a cough suppressor outweighs the adverse effects it may cause.
Common side effects of benzonatate may include:
- Stuffy nose
Rare but serious side effects may include:
- Rash or hives
- Tightening of the throat
- Difficulty breathing
- Numbness of the chest
If these symptoms persist - or if you are experiencing any severe symptoms - contact your doctor immediately.
This is not a complete list of benzonatate side effects. To learn more about adverse reactions you may experience while taking this drug, visit the National Institutes of Health’s DailyMed webpage.
Can I get benzonatate online?
Yes! Talk to a provider on Sesame and get your online doctor prescription or refill ordered right away for fast and convenient pickup from a pharmacy of your choice.
Note that all prescriptions are at the discretion of your clinician.