Kittitas Valley Healthcare will be introducing a virtual care service as early as April 2016. The service will allow patients with minor illnesses to receive care using a computer or their mobile device.
KVH Virtual Care will be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week by phone or webcam. Common conditions that can generally be treated via virtual care include cold or flu symptoms, sore throat, headache, pink eye, cold sores, rashes, and urinary tract infections. The virtual providers specialize in family medicine and are able to write prescriptions if needed.
“We know this service will be particularly important in upper Kittitas County to provide all-hours access to care,” said Rhonda Holden, Administrator of Patient Care Services at KVH. “Once KVH Urgent Care – Cle Elum closes at 11 p.m., residents and visitors in upper Kittitas County don’t currently have local access to a healthcare provider until the following morning.”
Virtual care is not intended to replace a patient’s relationship with their primary care provider. In fact, KVH Virtual Care will function similarly to an urgent care. Appointments are not needed; most patients will be seen within 30 minutes of their request.
The service will cost $40 per visit. Commercial insurance is not accepted for virtual visits. In Washington State, individuals who are covered by a government sponsored insurance plan, such as Medicare, Medicare Advantage, Medicaid, or Tricare are not eligible to receive virtual care.
Virtual visits will be accessible through the KVH website or by phone.