Contact: Rebecca Green
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many CGH Medical Center providers are now offering telehealth visits to our patients. Telehealth allows both new and established patients to safely “see” their healthcare provider – or a Ready Care provider for more urgent issues - through a secure video appointment without leaving the comfort and safety of their home.
“As we continue to practice social distancing, it’s important that we give you safe and expanded options for care,” said Dr. Paul Steinke, CGH President and CEO. “We are committed to caring for our patients and our communities now and always. We are learning with you, developing and continuously working to find the safest and best ways to deliver healthcare during these unprecedented times.”
To schedule a video visit, patients should call their CGH provider’s office, ask if they are participating and see if a telehealth appointment is an option. If so, an appointment will be scheduled just like would normally be done for non-emergency medical issues and follow ups. Telehealth visits are also available at the CGH Ready Care Clinic. (Call the Ready Care Clinic at (815) 564-1999 to schedule your appointment. No need to come into the clinic.)
At the time of the appointment, the provider’s nurse will call the patient’s cell phone to obtain preliminary information. The nurse will then send a secure text message to the patient when ready for the video portion of the visit to start, and the patient connects with their provider by following the text link. During the video visit, the provider can electronically prescribe medications, if necessary, refill medications and order labs. In addition, the nurse or receptionist may call back after the visit to schedule further testing or appointments.
“Several CGH physicians and providers have conducted their first telehealth visits with their patients,” said Shane Brown, CGH Vice-President of Physician Services & Clinic Operations. “The response and experience have been positive for both the providers and our patients who can complete visits from the safety of their homes.”
Telehealth visits currently require that the patient has a smartphone. Visits will be charged/billed to insurance just as if the patient came into the clinic for an appointment, and co-pays (if applicable) will be billed. Learn more about CGH Telehealth at www.cghmc.com/telehealth or call your health care provider’s office.