CHRISTUS Coushatta Expands Telehealth Services

CHRISTUS Coushatta Health Care Center has drastically expanded telehealth services and online screening tools with secure video and telephone visits and an online COVID-19 screening tool.

Beginning now, telehealth services are available to offer secure, HIPAA-compliant video visits for clinic patients regarding routine visits with a Primary Care Provider. These video visits are available for Apple iPhone and Android users. These new telehealth services are in addition to the Primary Care services available at the clinics in Boyce and Ringgold. 

“CHRISTUS Coushatta is making both video or telephone visits available to our community,” said Brandon Hillman, RN, MBA, Administrator, CHRISTUS Coushatta Health Care Center. “They can both be used for simple things such as coughs and colds, or for more complicated things such as helping manage diabetes or heart disease at this time.”

If a patient begins a video visit and their primary care provider determines the need for an in-person evaluation, that will be arranged. If further testing such as blood work or consultations is necessary, a referral and instructions will be provided. Both video and telephone visits are covered by nearly all major medical insurances including Medicare and Medicare Advantage plans. Depending on your plan, you may be billed a copay, just as though you were seeing your provider in a traditional office setting. There is no additional cost associated with a telemedicine visit.

“The new telehealth systems can be used to prevent overcrowding in clinics while preventing exposures, reducing risk and facilitating high-quality care,” said Hillman. “Due to the extraordinary circumstances created by the current COVID-19 pandemic, regulatory agencies have approved new patients to be seen via telemedicine visits.”

In addition to telehealth services, the new CHRISTUS COVID Chatbot is live at and accessible by the public. The goal is to alleviate stress on call centers and the clinic staffs by offering a dedicated tool to help patients self-screen for the virus and get direction on what steps they need to take next.

A chatbot is an artificial intelligence (AI) unit programmed into a website to perform basic, automated duties, such as replying to customers on a retail site or engaging with users on social media messenger services.

“Patients will interact with our chatbot through a text-chat interface on the website,” said Hillman. “The COVID Health Chatbot is available 24/7 and will provide a screening function for patients who are ill with fever or cough or shortness of breath and have had travel to any region that has known community spread of coronavirus or if you have any of the above symptoms and exposure to a person with confirmed or suspected COVID-19.”

“As health care systems adapt their procedures and we all make changes to our daily lives and routines, it is important that CHRISTUS Coushatta Health Care Center does everything we can to ensure patients have access to the medical care they need,” said Hillman. “We are poised to do whatever it takes to continue bringing you the same seamless, compassionate care you have come to expect, while also doing everything we can to minimize the spread of infectious disease throughout the communities we serve.”

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