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 to have us help you.

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 through the Hospital Switchboard at 1-800-433-3883. Tell them to mention "Virtual Visit" in the message so Dr. Kies can log in to the computer system 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 (skin rash, sore throat) to go with your Virtual Visit, you can attach it to the message.

Video Visits

We have started Video Visits using Skype, which is a free video app for computers and smartphones equipped with cameras. These will be suitable for the same simple problems as the Portal-based Virtual Visits, but obviously provide 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 and give the staff your Skype name. Dr. Kies will then call you via Skype as close to the scheduled time as possible (just like an in-office appointment).

Outside of office hours (before 10 pm) look for "Dr. Kies" on Skype. If it's not a good time, she will return your Skype as soon as she can. If she hasn't Skyped back within 30 minutes, have her paged through the hospital switchboard (1-800-433-3883 or 641-428-7000) with the message to check for a Video Visit.

Many private insurance carriers will now cover Video Visits like a regular office visit, although Medicare does not, yet. Until we know if your insurance overs this service, please plan to be billed directly for $50.

Note that Skype is a commercial video conferencing service that may or may not guarantee the security of our communication from hackers. Dr. Kies will use Skype 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".