[This article was written by Kellie Valenti, MBA-H, FACHE, president of St. Peter’s Health Partners Medical Associates.]
The COVID-19 pandemic is drastically changing health care. Efforts to limit the spread of the virus through social distancing – as well as anxiety about entering health care facilities with COVID-positive patients – have kept many individuals from seeking necessary care for their ongoing medical needs, including routine medical care.
By not seeking out routine care, many individuals are neglecting potentially preventable conditions and diseases that, if left uncontrolled, could have devastating consequences. The need to ensure good health, however, has never been more important.
In response to those concerns and needs, St. Peter’s Health Partners is expanding its Virtual Health services to better connect patients with their health care providers during the COVID-19 outbreak and beyond.
St. Peter’s Virtual Health, open to both established and new patients, uses secure telehealth technology to safely connect providers with patients using audio and video from the comfort of the patient’s own home.
Patients have the option of choosing between two platforms:
- Open to the public
- Urgent care
- Available on demand
- Out-of-pocket cost of $25 or $50
- Established patients
- New patients welcome
- Scheduled general medical care
- Scheduled specialty visits
- Scheduled annual visits
- Billed to insurance
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in most cases, there will be no fee for the VirtualCare sessions. In instances where there is a fee, the patient’s insurance will be billed as it would for a traditional office visit.
VirtualVisit and VirtualCare are accessible through a smart phone, tablet, or computer with audio and video capabilities and a stable data connection.
Remember: If you or a loved one is experiencing serious health issues, particularly heart attack and stroke symptoms, you should be calling 911 and seeking emergency care. In those instances where an in-person visit is critical – whether in the emergency department or your caregiver’s office – you can rest assured the doctors, nurses, laboratory technicians and other health care professionals throughout St. Peter’s Health Partners continue to follow the most up-to-date infection control procedures to ensure the safety of patients and staff.
To access St. Peter’s Virtual Health, please visit: https://www.sphp.com/virtualhealth/
St. Peter’s Health Partners Medical Associates, with more than 780 physicians and advanced practitioners in more than 90 locations, is affiliated with St. Peter’s Health Partners – the region’s largest and most comprehensive not-for-profit network of high-quality, advanced medical care, primary care, rehabilitation, and senior services.