Find Out Which Virtual Care Option Is Right for You

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Good Samaritan Medical Center - SCL Health

Posted on

Sep 21, 2021

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Colorado - Boulder County

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Due to COVID-19, the delivery of healthcare changed dramatically in 2020. In the span of a few months, in-person doctor visits were quickly replaced with a variety of virtual healthcare options ranging from e-visits and telephone check-ups to video visits and remote conferencing with a healthcare provider.
While in-person care is making a comeback, many of the virtual care options developed during the pandemic remain as an easy-to-access solution. Yet, not all virtual care is the same, and knowing the differences is essential to have a positive virtual care experience.
Video Visits
One of the first virtual care options to become widely available during the pandemic and one of the most popular options today is scheduled and on-demand video visits.
Using a smartphone, tablet or computer equipped with a camera and microphone, patients can talk with a doctor via a secure connection to get a diagnosis, care instructions or a prescription. Most video visits can be scheduled directly with a patients existing doctor, but some health care systems including SCL Health, allow patients the option to be seen with the next available provider to allow for on-demand care when and where they need it.
When to Use Video Visits
Scheduled video visits are a great option if you:

Need to see a primary care provider for a non-urgent medical issue that does not require a hands-on exam
Want to see a specific doctor or your current provider virtually
Want to use insurance benefits, if part of your plan coverage

On-demand or next available video visits are a great option if you:

Need to see a primary care doctor for a non-urgent medical issue that does not require a hands-on exam
Need to be seen outside of normal business hours
Don't need to be seen by a specific provider or your existing doctor
Dont want to wait long to be seen
Want to use insurance benefits, if part of your plan coverage

Things to Watch For with Video Visits
Not all video visits are the same. Some companies use video conferencing software that might not be as secure, and many on-demand video visit providers can direct patients to doctors and nurses who may be hundreds or thousands of miles away.
At SCL Health, we use Epic and MyChart functionality to ensure that video visits are secure, tied to a patient's health record, and are compatible with most computers and smart devices. SCL Health providers are also located in the state where they provide care to maintain a local connection between provider and patient.
E-visits
E-visits are one of the newest forms of online care that use an online assessment to treat patients quickly and easily. Instead of having a live conversation with a doctor, e-visits use an advanced questionnaire to diagnose and recommend treatment for a patient. Once the questionnaire is complete, an experienced care provider will review the findings and recommendations to create a treatment plan or write a prescription.
E-visits are quick and easy, usually only taking 10 minutes.
When to Use E-Visits
E-visits are a great option if you:

Have a non-urgent medical issue that does not require a doctor visit but could be treated with medication
Need care outside of normal business hours
Need to get a diagnosis quickly and dont have time for a formal appointment
Dont have the audio or video equipment needed for a video visit

Things to Watch For with E-Visits
While e-visits are a great new form of quick and easy virtual care, e-visits are rarely covered by insurance. If you are interested in doing an e-visit, you will likely need to pay a flat fee for the visit with a credit card or a health savings account debit card. At SCL Health, e-visits cost $35.
E-visits are also designed to escalate patients to the proper level of care they need based on their responses. If a condition requires in-person diagnosis and treatment, an e-visit will alert a provider to follow-up with a patient as soon as possible. The good news is, if you are not able to complete an e-visit due to care escalation you will not be charged a visit fee.
To learn more about virtual care options or to start an e-visit or video visit with an SCL Health provider, visitsclhealth.org/virtual-care

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