Community Physician Group adds telemedicine to primary, specialty care

Community Physician Group in Missoula this week added telemedicine to its primary and specialty care offerings, including its clinics in Lolo and Stevensville.

The healthcare addition includes both telephone and video chats with a provider, said Apryle Pickering, director of primary care with Community Physician Group.

“As the situation with COVID-19 continues to evolve, telehealth capabilities enable our clinical team to practice social distancing to further reduce the spread of illness while still meeting our patients’ health needs,” said Pickering.

A telephone visit includes a patient phone call with a provider while a video visit includes a virtual, face-to-face chat with a provider using a video conferencing service. Virtual visits may not be available in all cases and will be evaluated based on a patient’s specific clinical needs, Pickering said.

Patients can request a telehealth visit by calling their provider’s office, just as they would for an in-person visit. The provider will determine if a telehealth visit is appropriate based on the patient’s health condition.

Pickering said that if a virtual visit is deemed clinically appropriate, the patient will be given an appointment time and instructions for the best way to connect. Instead of coming to the office, the patient would call back at the scheduled time and be “checked in” by a nurse, and then transferred to the provider for the call or two-way video.

Patients who are concerned they may be experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 are encouraged to call the Free 24/7 Nurse on Call system at 406-327-4770, or check-in online at one of our Focused Screening Centers at communityfirstcare.com.