NEWPORT BEACH, Calif., April 10, 2020 — In the face of the growing COVID-19 pandemic, Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian has launched a robust telehealth program to provide patients with safe, convenient access to their trusted physicians.
In addition to in-office visits, many primary and specialty care physicians at Hoag are offering phone or video visits. Video visits are being conducted using the secure audio/video Zoom platform to allow patients to remain in the safety of their home during the current “stay at home” guidelines.
“Hoag is proud to provide the continuity of care our community has come to expect – even during this time of global crisis,” said Robert T. Braithwaite, president and CEO of Hoag.
“Our patients can continue to ‘see’ their trusted clinician to maintain their optimal health and communicate with them directly.”
Telehealth options work well for non-emergency medical care and are also useful for patients with chronic medical conditions, such as diabetes and high blood pressure, and patients who are continuing specialized care for acute illnesses, including heart problems, gastrointestinal disturbances, cancer care, and more. Patients who have established care with their primary or specialist physician are encouraged to use this virtual care option to keep an existing appointment that may have been scheduled prior to the stay-at-home guidelines or to schedule a new visit. While some in-person appointments may still be necessary, each physician’s office can confirm what appointments can be done virtually.
“At Hoag, we are committed to providing access to high quality care to address the health care needs of our community,” said Martin Fee, M.D., infectious disease specialist and senior vice president and chief clinical officer, Hoag. “Through virtual care, we can make sure our patients remain safe, connected and cared for – even without having to physically come into the doctor’s office.”
Certain emergency symptoms, such as sudden chest pain, loss of speech, vision or limb strength, acute abdominal pain or GI bleeding, need immediate attention and patients should call 911 or come to the Emergency Department.
For Medicare or Medicare Advantage patients, telehealth visits, including telephone visits and video visits, are covered for any condition. Commercial HMO and PPO coverage varies by plan. Some plans cover for COVID-19 related symptoms, other conditions and symptoms that are managed during a virtual visit or telephone visit for patients may not be covered with HMO and PPO insurance, and are subject to co-pays and co-insurance. Patients who wish to access virtual care at Hoag are advised to check with their insurance companies with questions about coverage.
Braithwaite anticipates that telehealth options will flourish even after the pandemic is over.
“Telehealth offers convenience and efficiency to both patients and physicians, and once this pandemic ends, we anticipate that our community and our physicians will want to continue to offer this valuable tool to their patients,” he said.
ABOUT HOAG MEMORIAL HOSPITAL PRESBYTERIAN
Hoag is an approximately $1 billion nonprofit, regional health care delivery network in Orange County, California, that treats more than 30,000 inpatients and 480,000 outpatients annually. Hoag consists of two acute-care hospitals – Hoag Hospital Newport Beach, which opened in 1952, and Hoag Hospital Irvine, which opened in 2010 – in addition to nine health centers and 13 urgent care centers. Hoag is a designated Magnet® hospital by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). Hoag offers a comprehensive blend of health care services that includes five institutes providing specialized services in the following areas: cancer, heart and vascular, neurosciences, women’s health, and orthopedics through Hoag’s affiliate, Hoag Orthopedic Institute, which consists of an orthopedic hospital and two ambulatory surgical centers. Hoag has been named one of the Best Regional Hospitals in the 2019 – 2020 U.S. News & World Report. For an unprecedented 23 years, residents of Orange County have chosen Hoag as one of the county’s best hospitals in a local newspaper survey. Visit www.hoag.org for more information.