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Consumer Reports: How to get a house call during the COVID-19 pandemic

Posted at 5:00 AM, Apr 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-22 09:12:41-04

TUCSON, Ariz. - The coronavirus pandemic has changed the way we work, shop, and even see the doctor.

“In times like now with the coronavirus going on, if you want to see a physician and you don't want to go into a doctor's office, where there might be, you know, more likely to be germs being spread around, you can accomplish a lot of stuff through, you know, from video chatting, or even just emailing your physician," says Consumer Reports Investigative Editor, Joel Keehn.

Here are some ways to get healthcare at home:

First, check with your primary care doctor. They may offer some form of telemedicine, including by video chat, phone or email. You can also check with your insurance company. Many offer access to at-home healthcare options. There are also telemedicine options if you’re uninsured.

“If you have no insurance at all, the walk-in clinics or urgent care clinics can be an affordable way to get care on a given day," says Keehn.

Your local urgent care or walk-in retail clinic may offer video consults with a healthcare provider quickly for a flat fee. CVS’s Minute Clinics, for example, has video visits 24/7 for $59 in most states.

And, if you live in a major metropolitan area, a growing number of tech companies are moving into the healthcare space offering virtual care. Carbon Health for example, accepts many insurance plans and also offers a virtual visit for a $49 flat fee.

Telemedicine can be helpful in deciding whether you need to go to the doctor’s office or to the ER. But, it’s important to remember though that if you suspect an emergency, call 911 right away.