Okay, not really. I know that not every problem in life can be solved on my phone. But going to the doctor’s office for minor ailments that are easily diagnosed? Yes, technology has solved this one. Here are the eight key things to know to make a Virtual Visit work for you:
(1) Set it up when you’re well, on your laptop or on your phone.
I’m old enough that doing things on my laptop still feels more legit to me than doing it on my phone. But honestly, the set-up was so easy that I probably could have done it through the app just fine. Either way, do it now. It’s quick, and you’ll thank your 3-months-ago self when you’re sick and it’s pouring out and now you don’t have to get into your car and can make your significant other bring you your prescription.
(2) What it costs.
$49. The most that could vary is +/- $8 depending on insurance. Confession: I hate insurance paperwork and issues so much that sometimes I’d rather just pay cash than deal with it. Horrible, I know. Good thing a Virtual Visit is just $49 flat (and yes, could be covered if you input your insurance info).
P.S. – You don’t have to be a Atrium Health patient to enroll.
(3) What it’s useful for.
Common ailments like seasonal allergies, cold/cough/flu, pink eye, lower back pain, UTIs… If you call in and it’s immediately obvious that you need to go brick-and-mortar (ex. ear infection or sprained ankle), you won’t be charged for the visit. Win-win.
(4) Check on your pharmacy hours before you start.
One of the beautiful things about Virtual Visit is the 24/7 access. If your visit results in a prescription, they will call it in to any pharmacy you request. It sounds obvious, but choose a pharmacy open when you need it if you’re looking for quick relief.
(5) Set up your dependent accounts, if any.
You can set up children ages 3 to 13 as dependents under your account. On vacation and suddenly notice some suspicious pink-eye-looking-flare? That’s an easy one.
(6) Don’t overthink it.
I’m dating myself again here, but sometimes I’m still wary of things done online that I grew up doing IRL. Virtual Visits are appointments with real-life, board certified medical professionals that are on staff at Urgent Care centers in North Carolina. It’s actually not mysterious at all.
(7) Step foot into North Carolina.
Full disclosure, since we’re right on that state line – this service is currently only available to patients physically present in North Carolina. You can reside wherever to enroll, but you have be in N.C. to use the visit (looking at you, daily commuters).
(8) Keep your PJs on.
Make a pot of tea, cozy up on the couch and enjoy the ease of access. Log in, fill in your symptoms and info and wait to see your provider (they can even text you when available). Wait times range from instantaneous to about 10 minutes depending on time of day. The average is 3-4 minutes.
(Note: This content was co-created with Atrium Health.)