With the rise of coronavirus cases in Lebanon County, social distancing becomes more and more important. This is also the case when it comes to receiving medical care, as various local healthcare providers are offering patients remote visits.
Locally, WellSpan Health, the Lebanon VA Medical Center, and UPMC Pinnacle are all offering remote visits.
At all of WellSpan Health’s primary and specialty care practices, patients can now schedule appointments via phone or video. In only a week since WellSpan reached out to patients asking about potential remote visits, the amount of remote appointments has increased from less than one percent to 40 percent, according to a press release.
“We are committed to the health of our patients,” said director of Connected Health for WellSpan Kyle Letner in the relesae. “In this time where our traditional way of seeing patients in an office setting may not be feasible or safe, we are finding the opportunity to see patients with whatever means we can, using technology.”
In the press release, medical director of Connected Health Brian Pollak, M.D. said that remote visits “are suitable for patients with acute, common illness, such as a cough, urinary tract infections, sinus infections, diarrhea, a rash, flu-like symptoms and other issues.” The release also recommended remote visits for preventative care and certain types of follow-up.
Patients will still need to physically visit WellSpan locations for examinations, certain types of complex symptoms, and other cases. For some urgent concerns, patients can utilize WellSpan Online Urgent Care to access physicians virtually on-demand.
Some WellSpan surgeries and procedures have been postponed to due coronavirus concerns.
WellSpan PhilHaven is offering video visits for therapy, medication management, and some group therapy sessions.
Lebanon VA Medical Center
Services were limited at the Lebanon VA’s Community Clinics in Wyomissing, Mechanicsburg, Lancaster, Pottsville, and York due to coronavirus concerns starting March 31.
Walk-in visits are no longer available, and scheduled Community Clinic visits have either been switched to video or telephone or rescheduled.
The only location labs will be drawn is at the main Lebanon location, according to a release by the VA.
The VA advises veterans to call 717-273-6621 to schedule a telephone appointment. Patients may be advised by providers to use the VA Video Connect app for upcoming appointments.
Patients are advised to routinely check lebanon.va.gov for updates, as the situation may change.
UPMC Public Relations Director Kelly McCall told LebTown that UPMC’s three Lebanon offices are all offering a combination of video, telephone, and (if necessary) in-person visits.
“For patients who do not need a face to face office visit,” she said, “UPMC providers and staff are pleased to offer a video visit.”
Patients can access video visits through UPMC’s MyPinnacleHealth patient portal. The Pinnacle Health website mentions that “On-Demand Flu Video Visits are available Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.”
UPMC is also waiving online video visits’ usual $49 upfront fee until June 11, the website says.
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