School-Based Virtual Health Clinic by Niswonger Children's Network
A telehealth service your child can access at school
When your child needs medical attention during school, they can have virtual access to Ballad Health medical professionals without leaving the nurse’s office.
Niswonger Children’s Network has partnered with Ballad Health Medical Associates Urgent Care to provide students and staff with a convenient option to access high-quality care using virtual health technology while at school.
With permission and signed consent forms, a school nurse will use live video technology to connect the student or staff member with an off-site Ballad Health Medical Associates urgent care provider. They can diagnose, listen to your child’s heart and lungs, order basic labs and send any needed prescriptions to your pharmacy – all without your child leaving school.
How does a school-based virtual visit work?
The nurse will contact the parent or guardian to inform them of the need for a visit and to get permission to proceed. The parent has the option to be included in the visit either in-person or virtually.
Nurse connects online via video with a Ballad Health Medical Associates provider who will interact live with your child through the computer. They can view images of your child's throat/mouth, ears, eyes, or skin rashes, and they can listen to your child’s heart and lungs.
Visit takes place. The provider calls the parent or guardian and lets them know the outcome of the visit. School notes can be provided to the school as needed.
Any needed medication orders are sent electronically to pharmacy of parent or guardian's choosing.
Conditions we treat with school-based virtual visits
We offer primary care services to students and staff, including the diagnosis and treatment of
- Sore throat/strep
- Allergy symptoms
- Ear pain
- Abdominal pain
- Skin irritation/rash/wound
- Limb sprains/strains/contusions
- Pink eye
- Cold/flu symptoms (cough, runny/stuffy nose, etc.)
How to sign up your child
To enroll in the program, complete, sign, and return all of the forms (patient information form, consents and history) in your back-to-school packet. Please include a photocopy of your insurance card (front and back).
How much does a visit cost?
We will bill your insurance, or you can pay a flat fee of $49 for the visit. If your child does not have insurance we can also work to determine if they are eligible for the state health insurance plan (TennCare).
Please note that there is an additional cost for flu, COVID, and/or strep tests. Self-pay patients can expect the following prices for lab tests: flu – $6.60, strep – $3.30, and COVID – $6.21.
Schools that offer the Virtual Health Clinic
Ballad Health offers school-based virtual visits in schools throughout East Tennessee and Southwest Virginia:
- Bristol Tennessee City Schools
- Elizabethton City Schools
- Greeneville City Schools
- Greene County Schools
- Kingsport City Schools
- Lee County VA Schools
- Russell County VA
- Smyth County VA Schools
- Unicoi County Schools
- Washington County TN Schools
Frequently Asked Questions
How does a school-based virtual health visit work?
With the help of virtual care technology, an off-site provider can receive information related to your child’s medical condition. With the assistance of the school nurse, the off-site provider will interact live with your child through the computer, view images of their throat/mouth, ears, eyes, skin rashes and so forth, listen to the child’s heart and lungs, as well as order basic labs and send prescriptions to your preferred pharmacy, if needed. Our virtual health providers are doctors, physician assistants and nurse practitioners employed by Ballad Health Medical Associates Urgent Care.
As a parent or guardian, can I attend the visit?
Yes, we encourage a parent or guardian to attend the visit in-person or remotely. The school nurse will contact you to invite you to the visit and provide a link if you prefer to join remotely. If you have completed the proper paperwork and can’t be reached in a timely manner, we will proceed with the virtual visit.
What happens after a telemedicine visit?
Our providers will follow up with the parent or guardian after the visit. If your child needs further treatment, this will be communicated to the parent or guardian by the school nurse. We will also fax or send an electronic copy of the report to your primary care provider using our electronic health record system (EPIC) if this is indicated on the enrollment paperwork. If prescriptions are needed for treatment, the provider will electronically prescribe them to your preferred pharmacy.
When can a virtual visit be scheduled?
This service will be available Monday through Friday during normal school hours.
Will my child be able to stay at school after a virtual health visit, and will a doctor’s note be provided?
Whether your child will be able to finish the day at school depends on your child’s medical condition and symptoms. If applicable, a doctor’s note will be sent to the attendance records office.
Does my insurance cover the virtual health visit?
We will bill your insurance, if your child does not have insurance, we offer a flat rate of $49 per visit. We can also work to determine if they are eligible for the state health insurance plan. Please note that there is an additional cost for flu, COVID, and/or strep tests. Self-pay patients can expect the following prices for lab tests: flu – $6.60, strep – $3.30, and COVID – $6.21.
If I don’t want my child to use this service, can they still see the school nurse?
Yes; simply disregard the enrollment forms. If your child becomes ill at school, they cannot use this service if the enrollment forms have not been completed.