(Good Things Utah) Warm weather is around the corner, and injuries tend to rise. Many people often wonder where they ought to receive care and what their options are if they’re not feeling well or are injured.

If you cannot get an appointment with your primary care physician, or if you do not have one, it is common to turn to the emergency room for help, but for many common illnesses and injuries, patients can get the same care at a lower cost — and get it faster — by turning to InstaCare or a telehealth service, such as Intermountain Healthcare’s Connect Care service.

Intermountain Connect Care is a video call platform like Facetime or Zoom that provides secure access for convenient, high-quality urgent care from wherever and whenever it is needed.

Patients can use their smartphone, tablet, or a computer to connect with an Intermountain clinician 24/7/365, on weekends and even on holidays. Visits do not have to be scheduled, just connect whenever a visit is needed.

“You can see us from the convenience of your home or from wherever you are, even if you’re on vacation. We’re available to answer your health questions or take care of any medical concerns a patient may have,” says Sabrina Steele PA-C, an advanced practice provider for Intermountain Healthcare.

In addition, a condition can be treated at a lower cost compared to traditional urgent care consults in a brick-and-mortar facility, the doctor’s office, or emergency department.

“We’ve had people at work, at Home Depot, parking lots, calling in, but we certainly don’t want a person driving and calling,” says Steele. “It’s beneficial that patients do not have to be exposed to a waiting room full of illness, there’s a shorter wait time, and it’s in the comfort and convenience of a patient’s home or wherever they are.”

Most insurance cover Intermountain Connect Care visits, minus a deductible. Some insurers even wave the deductible. It is recommended to check with your insurance provider for specifics on your plan.  For patients who don’t have insurance, Intermountain Connect Care visits are only $59.

For Intermountain patients, Connect Care can be accessed through the MyHealth+ app. If you don’t have the app, it may be accessed through the Connect Care app on your device’s app store or by going to http://intermountainhealthcare.org/connectcare.

To access it, create an account with your personal health and insurance information.

The visit summary is also available on the MyHealth+ app and your primary care provider will also have access to the record of your visit.

If the Connect Care provider can’t safely treat a condition over the video visit, and they give a recommendation to be seen in-person, then there won’t be a charge for the video visit.

For lower acuity, more common conditions, Intermountain Connect Care providers may treat:

  • Allergies
  • Colds
  • Coughs
  • Sore throats
  • Pink eye
  • Rashes
  • Bug bites
  • Minor injuries
  • UTI for women over 18
  • Influenza
  • Symptomatic COVID testing and treatment

Intermountain Connect Care isn’t appropriate for medical emergencies, and should not be used or the following conditions:

  • Chest pain or pressure
  • Uncontrolled bleeding
  • Sudden or severe pain
  • Coughing / vomiting blood
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Sudden dizziness, weakness, change in vision, slurred speech, numbness, or other neurological changes
  • Severe or persistent vomiting or diarrhea
  • Changes in mental status, such as confusion
  • Assault, physical or sexual abuse, or child abuse

If a patient is found to have any of these conditions, please call 9-1-1 for emergencies.

InstaCare visits may be better for less serious issues such as ear pain, respiratory distress and other potential illnesses that may be triaged through Connect Care.

Additionally, Interpretation is available on Connect Care. Upon entering the virtual waiting room, an interpreter may be available to assist.

Apart from Urgent Care services, Connect Care also has a Behavioral Health and Primary Care option and will soon have an e-visit option where patients would be assessed through a symptom checker on MyHealth+, which may be a more affordable route.

Many providers throughout the Intermountain Healthcare system also offer video visits. These are scheduled, not on-demand. Reach out to your specialist to see if this may also be an option. 

To create a Connect Care account, visit http://intermountainhealthcare.org/connectcare.  

For more information on Intermountain Connect Care, visit http://intermountainhealthcare.org/connectcare.

**This segment contains sponsored content