Local healthcare group adds online doctor visits via video chat

Posted at 5:06 PM, Sep 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-04 20:14:07-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — That tickle in the back of your throat, the sniffles or headaches, your body is starting to send out signals you may be catching a cold. But who has time to go to the doctor?

Healthcare company Ascension is taking patient visits into the 21st century and making it easier on those who don’t have insurance. NewsChannel 5 spoke with Amber Sims, Chief Strategy Officer of Ascension Tennessee, who tells us about virtual visits, downloading an app for your phone and speaking with a doctor.

“This is really low acuity, non-emergent care,” she explains, “So, if you think about it, your ear infections, your sinus infections, UTI’s, health conditions that are non emergent but are episodic, and can be treated.”

She goes on to say, it’s something the company has been testing for years. The online care allows a person to see a doctor 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, using a Smartphone, tablet or laptop. She says a patient will be able to know how many providers are online and rotate through.

“Healthcare has changed a lot over the years,” Sims says describing advancements in technology and medicine, adding, “but we really haven’t changed when it comes to the consumer experience and this is redefining and redesigning healthcare in a different way to change the actual experience in addition to the technology and the overall medicine.”

The cost for the online urgent care is $49, regardless of insurance. The faith-based company has 150 hospitals across the nation with more than 2,600 sites of care. Any for so many, who lead busy lives, waiting to see a doctor may not be an option.

“Maybe you’re the type of person who’s just too busy to go to the doctor’s office. You have five kids, three jobs, something like that going on. This is meant to be easy. To be able to be done in 15 to 30 minutes on your phone and it only costs $49.”

Satellite Med, another Tennessee-based healthcare company, also offers similar options. According to their website, a virtual visit without insurance costs $60. There is also a monthly subscription option.