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Allegheny Health Network Adds Video Visits with Caregivers to Growing List of Services Designed to Enhance Access to Health Care

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

PITTSBURGH – Starting today, patients seeking high-quality and more convenient care for a range of non-urgent health issues have unique access to caregivers at Allegheny Health Network (AHN) via interactive, real-time video visits that can be facilitated from any desktop or mobile device.  

“Providing patients with an exceptional experience requires that we continually explore and introduce new services that enhance access to care in ways that fit patients’ real lives,” said Kenyokee Crowell, Senior Vice President of Clinical Access. “With the availability of patient-centered services such as video visits and same-day appointments, patients in our region have the opportunity to receive world-class care when and where it’s most convenient for them.” 

AHN video visits are available 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Residents of Pennsylvania who are 18 and older can schedule a video visit by logging in to the AHN patient portal ‘MyChart’ from their smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop computer. Patients will be connected face-to-face with an AHN nurse practitioner who will address their symptoms and treatment options. The nurse may prescribe non-narcotic medications as needed.  

MyChart, which is accessible via web browser or smartphone app, provides patients with direct access to their AHN electronic health record information. Today, more than 200,000 AHN patients utilize the portal to conveniently schedule appointments, request prescription refills, ask their doctor a question, view test results, and more.

“Conducting video visits on the same platform where the patient’s health information is accessible to both the patient and the caregiver is not common of most other virtual care experiences today. From one screen, our clinician is able to quickly understand the patient’s complete health picture – past and present – and, as a result, provide the same highly personalized, comprehensive care that the patient would expect to receive during an in-office visit,” said Angela Pantelas, Director, Telehealth Strategy and Operations, AHN.  

The cost of a video visit depends on the patient’s insurance coverage. As a covered benefit under certain plans, including most Highmark plans, the cost is the same as the patient’s copay for a primary care office visit. Patients are advised to check with their insurance carrier for specific coverage information.

A full list of health concerns that can be addressed during a video visit are listed on MyChart under “Virtual Care.” For emergency issues, patients should dial 911 or their local emergency service number.

Video visits are just one of several new programs and services introduced over the last year at AHN that enhance access to health care. Last year, AHN became the first health care provider in the region and among the first nationally to significantly improve the timeliness of health care delivery by offering same-day appointments for both primary and specialty care.

Since the launch of same-day appointments, more than 155,000 have been scheduled, including approximately 90,000 for primary care and 65,000 for specialty care.

AHN also recently introduced extended appointment hours at various provider locations. At the Wexford Health + Wellness Pavilion, extended hours appointments are available from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.