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By Providence Health & Services | Skagit Valley Herald

RENTON, Wash., Jan. 14, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- As flu season kicks into high gear, Providence St. Joseph Health announced it has launched on-demand virtual services for common health issues. Providence ExpressCare Virtual allows consumers in Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Montana and California to virtually visit with a doctor using a computer or mobile device to receive treatment without having an appointment.

"ExpressCare Virtual makes accessing care even easier with technology-enabled, easy-to-use tools to connect patients with quality providers. Patients have more flexibility and can access care while on the go, at work, or from the comfort of their homes," said Chief Executive of Providence ExpressCare Sunita Mishra, MD, MBA. "Our hope is that by making care more accessible and creating fewer barriers, more people will seek care, especially those who may not be able to leave work, those who do not have transportation, or are home-bound."

Providence St. Joseph Health, one of the largest health systems in the country, continues to transform health care by ensuring on-demand solutions are available to patients and consumers. Providence ExpressCare is a suite of technology enabled health and wellness services that allows patients to access same-day care where and when they need it, in a retail clinic, at home or in a virtual setting.

"Convenience and ease of care matters. Consumers want the right care at the right time and place. That's why Providence ExpressCare offers services designed around consumers, where common health issues can be treated the same day, in the way the consumer wants," added Dr. Mishra.

Providence ExpressCare Virtual accepts most insurance plans, and although the price varies depending on benefits, out of pocket expenses will not exceed $49. If the virtual visit is not appropriate for the conditions presented and an in-person appointment is required, ExpressCare Virtual providers will help arrange for an appointment in clinic and there will not be a charge.

To book a virtual visit, patients can download and register with the Providence Health Connect app or visit Providence.org/ExpressCare. ExpressCare is designed for on-demand care, so no appointment is necessary to see a provider. After a patient logs in using their smartphone, tablet or computer, they simply hit "connect" to start the appointment. A board-certified provider will meet with a patient live and face-to-face through secure video technology. Patients will be prompted to provide information about their ailment, which combined with a patient's medical history, will allow the provider to suggest some over-the-counter solutions to relieve discomfort and even prescribe medication, if needed.

Providence ExpressCare Virtual and clinic offerings include, but are not limited to:

  • Common Aliments: fever, cough, cold, flu and headaches
  • Nose and Throat: sore throat/strep, sinus infections and laryngitis
  • Skin: rashes/hives, infections, dry skin/eczema, poison ivy/oak, acne and lesions
  • Gastrointestinal: heartburn, vomiting and upset stomach
  • Women's Health: reproductive health, UTIs and yeast infections
  • Respiratory: infections, bronchitis, allergies and congestion
  • Eye: infections, irritation, pink eye and styes

To prepare for a virtual visit, download and register with Providence Health Connect app or visit Providence.org/ExpressCare.

About Providence St. Joseph Health (soon to be known as Providence)

Providence St. Joseph Health is a national, not-for-profit Catholic health system comprising a diverse family of organizations and driven by a belief that health is a human right. With 51 hospitals, 829 physician clinics, senior services, supportive housing and many other health and educational services, the health system and its partners employ more than 119,000 caregivers serving communities across seven states – Alaska, California, Montana, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas and Washington with system offices based in Renton, Wash., and Irvine, Calif. Starting in June 2020, Providence St. Joseph Health will transition to a new brand, with the word as Providence as the name and the St. Joseph Health cross as the logo.

About Providence ExpressCare

Providence ExpressCare is a suite of technology enabled health and wellness services that allows patients to access same-day care where and when they need it, either in a retail clinic, at home or in a virtual setting. The Providence ExpressCare experience is a combination of the right digital tools with the right personal touch leading to an exceptional care experience. ExpressCare operates in five states across the west including Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Montana and California. Its more than 60 clinics are open seven days a week with after-hours options for care on evenings and weekends. Online scheduling allows patients to schedule appointments from their computer, tablet or smartphone. Patients also have the ability to walk in to a clinic to make an appointment, at which time they are able to see what time slots are available and can easily schedule in person. To connect with ExpressCare Virtual or find a clinic, visit providence.org/expresscare