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Virginia Mason Introduces Virtual Care Clinic, Broadens Public Access to Medical Services

SEATTLE – (Sept. 23, 2015) – Virginia Mason is further expanding access to primary care with today’s launch of the online Virginia Mason Virtual Care Clinic. The telemedicine service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to conveniently serve individuals with simple, non-emergency medical concerns.

Here’s the link: VirginiaMason.org/Virtual-Clinic  

The Virtual Care Clinic serves Virginia Mason patients and individuals who are new to the Virginia Mason experience. For new patients, the virtual clinic is a convenient entry point into Virginia Mason’s network of primary and specialty care services. When an individual uses the virtual clinic, for example, he or she can then connect with the Virginia Mason Call Center to schedule an in-person, follow-up visit with a Virginia Mason primary care provider in downtown Seattle, Bainbridge Island, Bellevue, Federal Way, Issaquah, Kirkland, Lynnwood, or University Village.

“Introduction of the Virtual Care Clinic keeps Virginia Mason on the forefront of technology and enables us to meet the public’s desire for convenient, on-demand access to expert advice for simple medical issues,” said Senior Vice President and Clinic Administrator Jim Cote.

Consults with a Virtual Care Clinic provider occur via phone or video through FaceTime (for iPhone users). If a prescription is needed, the telemedicine provider sends the order to the person’s preferred pharmacy for pickup. Each consult costs $35 and may be paid with a credit or debit card. Virtual clinic users should contact their insurance carriers to determine their eligibility for reimbursement of all or a portion of the cost.

The Virtual Care Clinic serves everyone except individuals enrolled in government programs such as Medicare and Medicaid, which have restrictions on telemedicine. Consultations are confidential and can occur anywhere an Internet and phone connection exists. In the Seattle area alone, there are an estimated 2.8 million phones, iPads and other electronic devices that can access the virtual clinic.

Addition of the Virtual Care Clinic continues Virginia Mason’s focus on broadening access to its medical services. In January, the organization introduced daily, appointment-free urgent care at its Bainbridge Island Medical Center, and daily urgent care for treatment of minor illnesses and injuries began at the Virginia Mason Federal Way Medical Center in August.

About Virginia Mason Virginia Mason, founded in 1920, is a nonprofit regional health care system based in Seattle that serves the Pacific Northwest. Virginia Mason employs approximately 6,000 people and includes a 336-bed acute-care hospital; a primary and specialty care group practice of more than 480 physicians; regional medical centers throughout the Puget Sound area; and Bailey-Boushay House, the first skilled-nursing and outpatient chronic care management program in the U.S. designed and built specifically to meet the needs of people with HIV/AIDS. Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason is internationally recognized for its breakthrough autoimmune disease research. Using the Virginia Mason Production System management methodology, Virginia Mason is an international leader in applying lean manufacturing principles to health care delivery to eliminate waste, lower cost, and improve quality and patient safety. Virginia Mason website: www.VirginiaMason.org

To learn more about Virginia Mason, visit Facebook.com/VMcares or follow @VirginiaMason on Twitter. To learn how Virginia Mason is transforming health care and to join the conversation, visit our blog at VirginiaMasonBlog.org.

Media Contact: Gale Robinette Virginia Mason Media Relations (206) 341-1509 gale.robinette@VirginiaMason.org