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How Do I Get the Care I Need When I'm Supposed to Stay Home?

The Iowa Clinic offers Virtual Visits to connect you with a primary care provider.

When you need a safe, easy way to get care, The Iowa Clinic offers a fuss-free option to see a provider from the comfort of your own home. As long as you have a reliable internet connection, and a device equipped with a microphone and a camera, you’re all set to receive secure and HIPAA-compliant virtual care.

When should I use a Virtual Visit instead of coming in to The Iowa Clinic?

Man MultitaskingWith recommended social-distancing measures in mind, Virtual Visits are a great option for those that are self-quarantining or are considered at-risk (patients over 70 years old and patients over 60 years old with conditions like diabetes, hypertension, lung disease and immunosuppression). Plus, it’s a great choice for anyone that prefers to stay home!

Virtual care visits can substitute for almost any normal clinic visit — from acute illnesses like a bladder infection, anxiety or allergies to ongoing chronic disease management. Providers can answer medical questions, diagnose common illnesses, and even evaluate injuries through video consultation. Here are The Iowa Clinic’s current specialties offering virtual visits:

At this time, appointments for well checks, annual exams or anything requiring an injection or infusion are not eligible for virtual visits. However, Medicare’s Annual Wellness Visit is eligible for a Virtual Visit.  So if you’re an eligible Medicare beneficiary, an AWV is your yearly appointment with a primary care provider to develop or adjust your personal prevention plan. It may also include a cognitive impairment assessment. As a reminder, this is a not a head-to-toe physical. We can even help you prepare for your AWV ahead of your virtual visit.

If you have questions about what is and is not available for a virtual visit, please contact your provider’s office.

I think I have COVID-19 symptoms. Can I get tested for Coronavirus through a virtual appointment?

No. The Iowa Clinic offers novel coronavirus testing by appointment only for individuals who have been triaged and determined to need testing at the West Des Moines location. Walk-ins will not be accepted, and patients with appointments will be required to stay in their cars to limit exposure to others.

However, a provider CAN talk with you about your symptoms and may recommend an appointment with our Mobile Testing Center or to seek additional care.

For the latest on Coronavirus (COVID-19), please visit our Coronavirus page.

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Video Appointments Available Daily

Connect with a provider without leaving the comfort of your own home.

Get started with virtual visits 

What can I expect during a virtual visit?

Virtual care appointments are quick — they last fewer than 15 minutes. And, on average, you’ll wait less than that to see a provider once you’re logged in to The Iowa Clinic.

When your virtual appointment begins, the provider will ask you health questions and consult with you through video. If you have multiple symptoms for the same condition, they can be treated during the same visit. But if you have symptoms for multiple conditions (like a sinus infection and acne), two separate visits might be required.

What if I don’t have a web camera or other video-enabled device?

Though video allows the provider to be able to see you and better assess your condition, you can request a phone-only consultation if needed.

Do I have to be a patient with The Iowa Clinic to schedule a virtual visit?

No. However, to use The Iowa Clinic, you will need to register as a patient with an Iowa Clinic provider. Existing patients: Select “I am an existing Iowa Clinic patient.” New patients: First call the department directly to register as a new patient. This will create your electronic chart to be used during the virtual visit.

For children ages one to 17, an adult must be present during the virtual visit.

Will I connect virtually with my normal primary care provider if I use a Virtual Visit?

All The Iowa Clinic primary care providers are available on The Iowa Clinic, but on-demand availability may vary. The best way to ensure you can see your normal primary care provider is to schedule an online appointment by searching for your provider then clicking the “Virtual Care” button.  If you need care before they are available, you can still see other providers on-demand from 8am-6pm Monday through Friday and 8am-noon on the weekends. Your visit will sync with your electronic health record, so your primary care provider will be able to see your virtual visit notes.

Can I get a prescription if I need one during a virtual care visit?

Yes. Prescriptions like antibiotics, antivirals or other prescription-strength, over-the-counter drugs can be sent to your preferred pharmacy.

The Iowa Clinic provider can also prescribe a refill until your provider can see you in the office.

How should I get started with a Virtual Visit from The Iowa Clinic?

You can access The Iowa Clinic from your desktop computer, tablet or mobile phone from 8am-6pm Monday through Friday and 8am-noon on the weekends. By creating your account for virtual care before you need it, you can make sure everything is ready to go when the time comes.

Does my insurance apply for my Virtual Visit?

When you create your account, you’ll input your insurance and payment information, and select your preferred pharmacy.

The Iowa Clinic will bill your insurance on file, just like for an office visit. If you don’t have insurance, you will be responsible for the full payment. There is no up-front payment required for virtual visits.

What should I do if I need to see a doctor in person?

For routine well-check and preventative-care appointments, we are still seeing patients in our clinics at this time. However, we strongly encourage those patients over 70 years old and patients over 60 years old with certain conditions (diabetes, hypertension, lung disease or immunosuppression) to postpone these visits for at least four weeks.

Visits for necessary care are still acceptable. Please contact your provider’s office directly to schedule an appointment for a time that ensures your safety as well as the safety of our providers and staff.

In case of an emergency, please visit the closest emergency department or Urgent Care. If you believe you’ve been exposed to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), please alert the medical staff in advance if possible.

For non-emergencies, please call your primary care provider to schedule an appointment or talk to medical staff.

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