(ChristianaCare photo of Dr. Sarah Schenek)
ChristianaCare has launched Virtual Primary Care as the state’s largest healthcare system expands its telemedicine options.
The practice is an offering of ChristianaCare’s Center for Virtual Health and can be accessed via mobile device for a monthly charge. The service is also a tool in dealing with a healthcare provider shortage throughout the state. The shortage is the most acute in fast-growing Sussex County.
“Virtual primary care in most markets does not establish an ongoing relationship between the patient and the provider — it’s on-demand care with the next available provider,” said Sarah Schenck, M.D., medical director of Virtualist Medicine at ChristianaCare. “ChristianaCare Virtual Primary Care is different. We offer a personalized approach in which patients have the attention of their care team who are all focused on their specific needs and health goals. Each care team knows their patients and is actively working to help them reach their personal health goals. And when patients need specialized care or services, our providers have access to ChristianaCare’s network and the ability to refer to the trusted services and specialists a patient might need outside of primary care.”
The practice is accessible to residents of Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey and available by monthly, quarterly or yearly subscription. Plans are available for people ages five and older and start as low as $35 per month, ranging up to $65 a month, with a 10% discount for a yearly payment.
The subscription provides full access to virtual primary care services — with no additional fees or copays — including same-day appointments, extended hours on nights and weekends, and secure text messaging, a release stated.
Services that are not a part of primary care, such as emergency room visits, lab tests, diagnostic imaging, and specialist referrals, are not included in the subscription and would be subject to the patient’s existing health insurance coverage.
“At ChristianaCare, we are reimagining health care by making it radically convenient and accessible and by creating a unique and personal experience,” said Sharon Anderson, ChristianaCare’s chief virtual health officer and president of ChristianaCare’s Center for Virtual Health. “The Virtual Primary Care practice goes beyond simply offering video visits to patients. We’ve transformed care, so it no longer revolves around waiting for an appointment — it’s immediate, coordinated, continuous. Patients can now access virtual primary care 24/7 as well as a host of other health services — all through their computer, tablet or smartphone.”
When individuals sign up, they’ll choose their care team of experts, including a primary care provider, nurse and a patient digital ambassador (PDA), a release stated The patient digital ambassador serves as a personal health guide to assist individuals with registration and technology set-up for their virtual visits. As a care team member, the PDA ambassador is available as a personal health guide, while the primary care provider supports patients with their care needs.
Once enrolled, individuals will receive a welcome kit tailored to their needs with tools to assist in their care, such as monitoring blood pressure, weight, and temperature.
- Schedule a virtual checkup, communicate using video, send photos through secure text messaging and discuss health concerns and treatment options.
- Schedule same-day appointments and enjoy extended hours on weekends.
- Get quick referrals to specialists.
- Create a personalized Working on Wellness Plan (also known as WOW plan) to help achieve healthy goals around stress management, exercise, nutrition, sleep and other areas.
Further information is available at ChristianaCare Center for Virtual Health or by calling 302-428-2400.