Christus Health announced May 18 it is expanding access to health care across South Texas with the launch of Christus On Demand Care.
The platform, according to a news release, allows patients to meet with a Christus Health caregiver through live video from their smartphone, tablet or computer to address urgent care needs from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. any day, including holidays.
This new service complements scheduled virtual visits that are already in high demand and available to new and existing patients, Christus officials said.
Paul Generale, Christus Health’s executive vice president and chief strategy officer, said Christus On Demand Care provides another option for patients seeking to get basic medical questions answered in a short, timely manner from the comfort of home or elsewhere.
"The patient virtual care experience will be something we continuously look to grow at Christus. We want to respond to the needs and wants of people with busy schedules, those who live in secluded areas or those who need quick access to an urgent care doctor in minutes,” Generale said.
The news release said a virtual visit allows someone to be placed in a queue and to be seen quickly by the first available Christus board-certified provider. Expected wait times are no longer than 30 minutes and are averaging a wait of just a few minutes, the release said.
"People can get the same high-quality care they would expect from an in-person visit without requiring them to leave their home or office," said Mike Talley, Christus Health’s vice president of clinical operations and virtual care.
Talley also said a user need not be an existing Christus patient.
“We also want the communities we serve in Texas and Louisiana to know that we keep their privacy top of mind,” Talley said.
According to the release, nearly all major medical insurances cover Christus On Demand Care visits. Depending on the insurance plan, one might have a co-pay. Medicare and Medicaid also cover virtual visits such as Christus On Demand.
Christus Trinity Clinic President Dr. Steven Keuer said if a physician thinks a patient could benefit from an in-person visit following a virtual appointment, one can be arranged in a clinic or emergency room.
“If further testing like blood work or consultations is necessary, Christus On Demand Care can also help facilitate referrals and provide other helpful instructions,” Keuer said.
To schedule Christus On Demand Care, visit www.christushealth.org/virtual-medicine.