CHICAGO (CBS) — Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox has announced a new method for some patients to get treatment without ever stepping foot in the hospital.
Starting January 1, Silver Cross Hospital patients can contact physicians from the Teladoc company. For minor ailments, they can consult a doctor over the Internet, or deal with one over the phone.
“For the time being, the Teladoc charges $49 per visit. Patients pay cash. They have the opportunity to submit it to their insurance company if the insurance company will cover,” Silver Cross chief strategy officer Ruth Colby said
Teladoc can help patients save time by not requiring them to wait for hours to get treatment in an emergency room, according to Colby.
“What it does help is keep patients who do not need to be in the emergency room for care out of the emergency room, so they don’t have long wait times and then find out that they really didn’t need to be there from the start,” Colby said.
Teladoc said its doctors can handle everything from pink eye and allergies to skin rashes and depression through consultations online or over the phone.
Colby said, if a Teladoc physician feels a patient is in need of in-person treatment, the patient will be recommended to visit an emergency room, an urgent care center, or their own primary care physicians. Teladoc also can send a records of a patient’s visit to his or her to a primary care physician if the patient wishes.