In an effort to expand its medical offerings, Kalispell Regional Healthcare open a new virtual clinic called KRH Care Anywhere. Now patients can meet with a medical provider with a smartphone, tablet or computer without having to leave home.
“The twenty four-seven virtual clinic provides round-the-clock access to medical providers for low-acuity conditions,” said Kip Smith, executive director of telehealth services. “When we say low acuity we’re talking about things patients commonly come into our clinics for: coughs, colds, ear aches, sore throats, and things like rashes, pink eye, allergies — normal everyday things.”
KRH Care Anywhere is staffed by board-certified physicians and nurse practitioners. Visits typically last about 20 minutes. Providers will offer a summary of the patient’s visit online and make arrangements for follow-up if it is required. They can even help patients find a primary care provider if they don’t have one.
Patients are charged a flat fee of $45 for each visit. No appointment is necessary, and there is no time limit on visits. Any prescriptions the virtual provider deems appropriate will be called in to the patient’s pharmacy. Virtual providers do not prescribe narcotics or other controlled substances or provide routine refills. These prescriptions, as well as chronic medications, are most appropriately filled with patients’ primary care providers.
KRH Care Anywhere is not a platform for the more complicated conditions like broken bones or chronic illnesses. Those conditions require in-person care.