Intermountain Healthcare has launched a new telehealth service that connects patients in Idaho and Utah with the health system’s providers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, through video and audio conferencing on the web.
The new technology, Connect Care, is an app that can be used on mobile devices. According to William Daines, M.D., Intermountain Connect Care’s medical director, through this service, providers can diagnose and treat a variety of conditions, such as coughs, colds, sinus pain, ear pain, allergies, painful urination, minor rashes or skin conditions, flu-like illnesses, minor musculoskeletal complaints, and gastrointestinal issues.
The cost of the visit is $49 regardless of insurance coverage, and some insurances will cover part of the fees. Connect Care providers can prescribe medications and send them to local pharmacies. If the providers see the need for the patient to visit a doctor face-to-face or needs immediate attention, they will refer the user to the nearest clinics, according to an Intermountain press release.
“Not all medical conditions are appropriate for telehealth evaluation and treatment,” Daines said in a statement. “If the provider feels that an in-person evaluation is needed immediately, the provider will refer you to a local in-person clinic and we won’t charge you for the telehealth visit.”
Intermountain officials point to the new telehealth service being tied to the patient’s Intermountain electronic medical record (EMR). As such, Intermountain providers will be able to quickly access the patient’s medical history and medications during the Connect Care visit, officials attest. Clinicians who meet with patients in person in the future will also have the details of the online visit available to them.