You awake to a stuffy head, pressure behind your cheekbones and that annoying post-nasal drip.
Or, after doing yard work or taking a hike through the woods, you notice a patch of raised bumps and blisters on your arm.
Important deadlines are looming at work and your kids have to go to basketball practice. Plus, the last thing you want to do is to sit in a waiting room full of people who are coughing, sneezing and contagious.
Good news. Thanks to AnMed Health’s E-Visits, a consultation with a health care provider for minor health concerns no longer requires a trip to the doctor’s office or urgent care.
Using the free MyChart tool, AnMed Health’s secure patient portal, adults (age 18 and older) can answer an online questionnaire and get a diagnosis and treatment plan for common health concerns within a few hours. E-Visits do not require a patient to have a primary care physician affiliated with AnMed Health to use the service. If they don’t have a MyChart account, the E-Visit site will help them set one up. E-Visits meet all Health Insurance Portability and Accountability (HIPAA) privacy and security requirements.
E-Visits cost $20 and are payable by credit card or a health savings account debit card. AnMed Health does not file E-Visits to insurance. If E-Visits cannot treat a patient, there is no charge.
“We started offering E-Visits for patient convenience. We want to give them access to the right care using the right modality,” said Julie Pruitt, director of primary care for AnMed Health Physician Network services. “It’s so easy to log on, answer a few questions and then get back to what you were doing. And, it keeps you out of the doctor’s office. It makes your employer happy because you didn’t miss any work, but you still get treatment.”
Currently, 13 conditions are eligible for E-Visits: back pain, cough, diarrhea, headache, insect stings, heartburn, poison ivy, red eye, sinus problems, sunburn, swimmer’s ear, urinary problems, and vaginal discharge and irritation. Patients may include photos if needed.
“Not all conditions are appropriate for E-Visits,” Pruitt said.
Once submitted, a nurse practitioner reviews the patient’s questionnaire and then generates a diagnosis and treatment plan, according to Pruitt.
Sometimes, the nurse practitioner messages the patient back for additional information. After a treatment plan is developed, they send any necessary prescriptions to the patient’s pharmacy electronically. E-Visit users receive a response within four hours (though usually they hear back much quicker) during business hours, which are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week, including holidays. E-Visits submitted after 7 p.m. will be responded to the next morning.
AnMed Health’s E-Visits offer advantages over telemedicine programs offered by some health insurance companies, Pruitt said. First, AnMed Health’s E-Visits are less expensive. But more importantly, everything connected to the visit goes into the patient’s medical chart and is available for any follow-up appointments.
For more information about AnMed Health’s E-Visits program, go AnMedHealth.org/E-Visits.