2020

Published on October 16, 2020

Virtual Visits Explained

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many health systems have found ways to care for patients with in-person and virtual options. Holzer Health System is providing quality care for patients in office settings and virtually, right from the comfort of your home.

Katherine J. Kiger, DO, Family Medicine & Primary Care, Holzer Health System – Athens Clinic, provides information to help individuals understand the virtual visit option. Virtual medicine can take place in two forms, an over-the-phone visit or through a video encounter. Both types can address the patient’s concerns, provide help in getting a prescription filled, and allow ease for all levels of communication.

“The patient and I visit through video chat like old friends, which I think we are all getting used to.” Kiger said. “Most of what I do during the visit is based on the patient’s medical history and any current health needs. Very few issues require an in-person exam.”

Chronic illnesses, rashes, acute respiratory problems, and a variety of other conditions can be treated through a virtual visit. Dr. Kiger shared that she has found no barriers through virtual visits.

To participate in a virtual visit, Kevin Waller, Director of Communication, Holzer Health System, shares that all you need to do is click a weblink.

“Before your visit, find the link that we send to you, click on it, enter your name, and you will be connected,” Waller said. “The link can also be sent to anyone else you would like to join your visit. All devices that support the Chrome browser or internet service will work for the platform.”

Prior to your visit, it is encouraged that vitals such as patient’s weight, height, and blood pressure are documented as well as reviewing any current medications. Patients should ensure that a mobile device or computer is compatible for the visit. Virtual visits do provide an opportunity for physicians to see their patients during a normal day at home. Dr. Kiger enjoys seeing her patients in their day-to-day state.

“Patients might have kids in the home, be taking care of a family member, or have a house full of pets, and I can see that they’re living,” Kiger said. “I don’t need a patient to isolate themselves for the exam unless they prefer to be alone for the visit.”

The benefits of virtual visits are unlimited. Virtual visits are quick, convenient, and eliminate the need to travel to and from an appointment.

Most insurance providers will cover virtual visits. Waller encourages patients to check insurance plan coverage or call the insurance carrier’s customer service department to confirm coverage prior to the appointment.

“Please remember, if the patient has not met a deductible for the year, he/she will be responsible for any out-of-pocket portion determined by the plan,” Waller said.

To schedule a virtual visit, call 1-855-4HOLZER. If you have any further questions or would like more information, visit www.holzer.org

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