Oklahoma City, Okla. (August 17, 2015) – Just a week after announcing its plans to forge a new direction in healthcare, AllianceHealth Oklahoma is introducing a faster and easier way to see a doctor for non-emergency health conditions. The innovative service, called VirtualHealthNow, lets Oklahomans video visit with a doctor, anytime, anywhere via a mobile device, computer or tablet.
The online service can be accessed from a free app called VirtualHealthNow downloaded from Google Play or the App Store, or on the web at MyAllianceHealth.com. Consumers who sign up for a free VirtualHealthNow account by September 17 will be registered to win one of five Fitbit Flex™ fitness tracker prizes. No purchase is necessary to win.
“VirtualHealthNow gives Oklahomans from all over the state more access to quick, convenient and affordable healthcare,” said Jim Kendrick, Network CEO of AllianceHealth Oklahoma.
“Having a physician diagnose your sore throat from the comfort of your sofa or via your computer at work may sound like a dream come true. And for Oklahomans, it is,” says Kendrick.
“This will save patients both time and money when they have an urgent care need that can be diagnosed during a video consultation.”
“Virtual appointments aren’t designed to replace the physician-patient relationship,” stresses Dr. Paul Preslar, a family practitioner with QuickMed, an AllianceHealth Medical Group walk-in clinic in Midwest City. “But we know there are times when it’s either a real inconvenience to get to your primary care doctor or your regular doctor’s office is closed. Having an alternative option to obtain the appropriate level of care in a cost-effective format is smart for both patients and the healthcare system.”
VirtualHealthNow is intended for patients who have an urgent need to see a physician for minor health concerns like sinus problems, fever, ear infections, cold and flu symptoms, allergies, migraines, stomach pain, and much more. The doctor will evaluate and diagnose the patient, and if appropriate, send prescriptions to the pharmacy—just like an in-office doctor’s appointment.
For Oklahoma City resident Kristy Burrough, the virtual visits are the perfect answer to convenient primary care. “Using virtual visits allows me to access to my doctor from wherever I happen to be,” said Burrough. “Dr. Preslar has taken care of me through virtual visits on the weekends, in the evenings and at work – it’s very convenient. It’s like having my doctor visit my house – like they did in the old days.”
VirtualHealthNow visits are only $39, payable by debit or credit card (Visa, MasterCard, Discover, or American Express). This includes Health Savings Account and Flexible Spending Account cards.
Several AllianceHealth Medical Group providers like Dr. Preslar who have clinics are also VirtualHealthNow providers; additional board-certified physicians participate through the network’s telemedicine partner, American Well, a U.S. industry leader in telehealth. AllianceHealth Medical Group will increasingly integrate its healthcare providers into the service as consumer demand grows.
AllianceHealth Medical Group practitioners currently participating:
Through VirtualHealthNow, physicians can only provide a prescription in accordance with state laws and when medically appropriate. Prescriptions for controlled medications (such as narcotic pain medications or benzodiazepines) cannot be filled.
In a life-threatening emergency, persons should always call 9-1-1 or proceed to the nearest emergency room.
One of the state’s largest healthcare systems, AllianceHealth Oklahoma combines the strength, resources and quality of 10 hospitals, more than 70 medical practices and six home health agencies. The 4,500 physicians and employees focus on providing high quality, safe care, and the best possible experience for patients. Deaconess, Durant and Midwest hospitals are owned in part by physicians. For more information, visit MyAllianceHealth.com or follow AllianceHealth Oklahoma on Facebook and Twitter.