Ballad Health Medical Associates announces new online scheduling and virtual care options to improve patient access
Ballad Health Medical Associates is further expanding access to care through new digital and virtual options to help people find primary care when and where they need it.
A full range of primary care options includes in-person visits at a primary care clinic or urgent care clinic, virtual visits with a patient's physician or a fast and easy online service that allows patients to describe their symptoms and receive a diagnosis and treatment recommendation within an hour by email.
"We are listening to our patients and working to improve their access to care," said Mark Patterson, MD, president of Ballad Health Medical Associates. "Our new digital options make it easy for patients to schedule appointments and receive the appropriate level of care without sacrificing the quality of care."
Virtual healthcare options are accessible by visiting www.balladhealth.org, the Ballad Health app or calling 833-8-BALLAD (833-822-5523). The health system can provide immediate access to healthcare through various virtual care options: primary care virtual visits, urgent care virtual visits or a Quick Care symptom-specific questionnaire that can be completed using a mobile device or computer. These options allow patients to receive the appropriate level of non-emergency care from the comfort of their own homes.
"The integration of digital technology in healthcare is no longer a vision of the future – it is a reality happening in the Appalachian Highlands that is actively shaping how we deliver and receive care. With virtual care options and online scheduling, we can connect with our patients more meaningfully and empower them to take control of their healthcare from the convenience of their own devices at any time and location," said Taylor Hamilton, Ballad Health’s chief consumer officer. “At Ballad Health, we are dedicated to strengthening our connection with patients and their loved ones and ensuring healthcare is accessible, affordable and of the highest quality. Our efforts to make healthcare more readily available and easier align with our mission of delivering exceptional healthcare in the Appalachian Highlands while keeping costs low."
Virtual and in-person primary care
Virtual primary care visits allow patients to receive the same high-quality care, diagnosis and treatment from their established Ballad Health provider, all from the comfort of their own homes, and these visits can now be scheduled online. The virtual visits are conducted securely via the camera on a smartphone, tablet or computer. The cost of a virtual primary care visit is the same as the cost of an in-person visit, and the office will bill insurance plans for the visit and collect any co-pay required.
In-person primary care visits are also available Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m., with many providers offering same-day openings. Appointments are required for both virtual and in-person visits. Anyone who needs to establish care with a Ballad Health physician can visit www.balladhealth.org or call 833-8-BALLAD to speak with an agent about options.
Virtual and in-person urgent care
Ballad Health is committed to providing patients with quick and convenient healthcare access with a variety of options for non-critical illnesses, including in-person and virtual urgent care visits.
The system’s 13 urgent care clinics are open and ready to provide in-person care to patients who need it. People who choose this option can also visit www.balladhealth.org or the Ballad Health app to schedule an urgent care visit. And for those who prefer the convenience and flexibility of virtual care, Ballad Health offers virtual urgent care visits that can be scheduled online, with providers often available within an hour. Whether patients are experiencing flu symptoms, sinus congestion or COVID-19, the virtual care option is available to patients 3 months and older Monday-Friday from 8 a.m.-7:30 p.m., and on weekends from 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
During a virtual urgent care visit, patients can speak with a provider through a secure video connection, share their concerns and ask questions. The provider will then recommend a treatment plan tailored to the patient's needs.
The virtual urgent care visit cost is $49, and the health system accepts self-payment and insurance. In addition, anyone who needs to establish care with a Ballad Health physician can visit www.balladhealth.org or call 833-8-BALLAD to speak with an agent about options.
To further its commitment to patients to provide the best possible care, Ballad Health is also announcing a new service called Quick Care, designed to make accessing healthcare even more convenient. The online service – created through listening to the community – provides easy and immediate access to a Ballad Health medical provider.
Patients can complete a self-guided questionnaire regarding their symptoms by navigating to the Quick Care section on the Ballad Health website or app. A Ballad Health provider will review the questionnaire and provide feedback within 60 minutes. Quick Care questionnaires are available Monday-Friday from 8 a.m.-7:30 p.m. and on weekends from 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m., with plans to expand to 24/7 coverage. Quick Care visits are ideal for patients 2 years and older with conditions such as sinus congestion, headaches, COVID-19 treatments and pinkeye. With no need for a camera, it's the fastest way to receive a clinical-level treatment plan.
If a prescription is part of the recommended treatment plan, it will be sent to the patient's preferred pharmacy. If the condition requires more in-depth conversation, a virtual or in-person visit will be recommended, and the Quick Care charge will be applied to that visit.
Quick Care visits cost $30, and insurance is not billed.
"We know how busy life can be and how difficult it can be to find the time to see a doctor. That's why we're excited to offer new services that allow you to access healthcare, using digital tools you're already comfortable using. With our new services, you can take control of your healthcare with the convenience of having it all at your fingertips – available whenever and wherever you need it," Hamilton said.
Ballad Health is dedicated to providing patients with the highest quality of care, constantly looking for new ways to improve and adapt services to meet patients’ needs. To learn more about the health system’s options and services, please visit www.balladhealth.org or download the Ballad Health app.