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Consumers Worried About Coronavirus Are Turning To Telemedicine

DENVER (CBS4) - One way to control the spread of coronavirus is by staying out of doctor's offices and hospitals. These days, you can try the telemedicine option.

You can be treated from anywhere ... 24/7. You just need a computer, tablet or smartphone.

During this outbreak, a virtual visit can help keep you safe.

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When Colorado announced its first case of COVID-19, UCHealth Virtual Urgent Care added coronavirus concern to the list of conditions their doctors can address for people in Colorado.

CBS4 Health Specialist Kathy Walsh had a mock visit.

"Well, I think I have coronavirus," Walsh told Dr. Alexandra Weeks, UCHealth emergency medical physician.

That's a statement Weeks said she's been hearing frequently.

"What kind of symptoms are you having?" she asked.

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Walsh told her fever and cough, and that she had not traveled or been around a known infected person.

"We're not recommending testing because it's much more likely you have something else going on," she explained.

But for other callers, they've suspected coronavirus.

"We've definitely had some patients that we needed to send in for testing," said Weeks.

And since the outbreak, the virtual visit volume has increased.

"We have upped staff to be able to handle that, so we have an additional provider that's on," she said.

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Turning to telemedicine makes sense. It decreases unnecessary exposure to the virus and weeds out patients who are more scared than sick.

"For the providers on the other end, it's decreasing our risk of exposure and not taking us out of the picture," Weeks said.

UCHealth will bill your insurance or you can pay a flat $49.00 per visit. At this urgent care, that's the rate for reassurance.

A number of health insurance plans cover telemedicine and the recent coronavirus emergency legislation temporarily lifts restrictions on Medicare so vulnerable seniors can use telehealth.

RELATED: Gov. Polis: State Insurance Companies To Make Coronavirus Testing Free

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