Virtual & Video Visits

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Virtual & Video Visits
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Virtual Visits

Virtual Visits are for established patients with simple problems that can be diagnosed without a full exam (for example, colds, sinus infections, urine infections, rashes, some ear aches and sore throats). It saves you the trouble of coming to the office (or going to Convenient Care/Urgent Care), and it saves the community from being exposed to your germs.

If you believe this is an emergency, call 911 IMMEDIATELY or go IMMEDIATELY to the Emergency Room. Symptoms such as chest pain, chest pressure, shortness of breath, or blood loss may require immediate medical attention.

Virtual Visits are done by submitting one of the Virtual Visit Forms on the Patient Portal and letting us know to have Dr. Kies call you to review what is going on. If you don't know how to get to your Portal account, call us.

Virtual Visits during office hours will be reviewed by Dr. Kies as time allows. You should hear from us by the end of lunch for morning visits and by 5pm for afternoon visits.

On weekends and holidays, after you have submitted a Virtual Visit, you'll have to page Dr. Kies to let her know yuou need her. Call the Hospital Switchboard at 1-800-433-3883 and tell them to mention "Virtual Visit" in the message so Dr. Kies can log in and review the form before she calls you back. If you do not hear from Dr. Kies within an hour of requesting the "page", call the Switchboard again and have them re-page her.

There is a charge of $25 for Virtual Visits which will be waived if Dr. Kies decides you need to be seen to properly address your concern. So far, no local insurance plans cover Virtual Visits, so you are responsible for the amount. We will bill you directly for the $25.

To start your Virtual Visit, go to the Patient Portal and log in. If you have a digital picture (rash, throat) to go with your Virtual Visit, you can attach it to the message.

Video Visits aka Telemedicine

We are doing Video Visits using Updox, after experimenting with Skype for a couple of years. Updox is the company that provides our Patient Portal. You can do Video Visits with your cell phone or your laptop or desktop computer (if it has webcam capability).

Video Visits are suitable for the same problems as the Portal-based Virtual Visits, with the benefit of more visual information for Dr. Kies. Video Visits can also be used for routine follow-up of problems like stable depression, and ADHD.

During business hours, call the office to make a Video Appointment. Dr. Kies will then contact you via text or email to send you the link to the Updox Video Chat room as close to the scheduled appointment time as possible.

Many private insurance carriers will now cover Video Visits like a regular office visit, but not all. Medicare has issued a special dispensation to cover them during the Covid-19 corona virus situation. If your insurance does not cover this service, please plan to be billed directly for $70.

If there are problems with connections or bandwith using Updox, we will go back to using Skype, which is a free video app for computers and smartphones (in which case we will need your Skype name).

Note that while Updox is fully secure and HIPAA-compliant, Skype is a commercial video conferencing service that may or may not guarantee the security of our communication from hackers. Dr. Kies will use both services in a manner to ensure that your privacy is reasonably secure from onlookers on her end. You are responsible for whoever is around you on your end. Your voluntary use of this service, indicates that you accept these risks.

Unfortunately, Virtual and Video Visits will not be available when Dr. Kies is on "vacation".