CEDAR RAPIDS (March 19, 2020) – In an effort to continue to provide accessible, high-quality healthcare to our community as we actively address the COVID-19 situation, Mercy is expanding the use of telemedicine to offer patients video visits with more local providers at more local locations. This initiative provides yet another way for patients to receive urgent care, primary care or specialty healthcare services from Mercy and MercyCare providers.
Available now, expanded video visits offer patients access to a local Mercy healthcare provider through Mercy’s MyChart mobile app. Patients can then connect with the provider in a live video chat to discuss their illness and symptoms.
The video visits cover a wide range of patient needs – from acute care to the management of chronic conditions to follow-up appointments. At the conclusion of the visit, providers can send a prescription directly to a patient’s preferred pharmacy, if necessary. The visits are covered by most insurance carriers, and some carriers have chosen to waive cost-sharing at this time. Self-pay is also an option for this service.
“As more eastern Iowans are self-isolating and practicing social distancing because of the coronavirus, we’ve worked diligently to expand the use of our telehealth capabilities to reach patients at home or wherever they might be,” said Dr. Tim Sagers, MercyCare family medicine physician. “Video visits are a natural fit for patients who prefer or need to stay home at this time, yet still need to consult with a doctor so they can get better, quicker.”
Dr. Sagers also stressed that Mercy Medical Center and MercyCare clinics remain open and accessible to patients, but video visits offer an off-site option to seek the care of a local healthcare provider.
Mercy is following the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which recommends that healthcare organizations expand access to telemedicine for patients during the coronavirus outbreak.
Patients can get more information on urgent care, primary care and specialty care video visits, offered through the MyChart mobile app, by calling their Mercy or MercyCare provider or by visiting www.mercycare.org/videovisit