Frequently Asked Questions
What is a virtual visit?
A virtual visit is a secure, confidential video-conference with your provider that replaces the need for you to physically come into our office for your appointment. Through our simple, easy-to-use virtual visit technology you can use your computer to connect with your provider using real-time audio and video streaming from whatever location is most convenient for you (home, work, school, etc.). To have a virtual visit, all you will need is internet connectivity and a computer with a video camera and microphone. Although it will be possible in the future, at this time mobile devices (i.e., smartphones and tablets) are not yet supported. See below for our technology guidelines & troubleshooting.
When is it appropriate to schedule a virtual visit?
Virtual visits are appropriate for a variety of care needs, including urgent care, routine follow-up visits, chronic disease management, medication management, reviewing test or lab results, and lifestyle coaching. Common illnesses that can be treated virtually include sinus problems, respiratory infections, allergies, cold and flu symptoms and many other non-emergency illnesses.
Issues Commonly Addressed via Virtual Visits
- Abdominal Pain/Cramps
- Eye Infection/Irritation
- Acid Reflux
- Respiratory Infection
- Animal/Insect Bite
- Skin Injury
- Sore Throat
- Depression/Mental Health
- Herpes Zoster – Shingles
- Blood Pressure Issues
- Poison Ivy/Oak
- Bowel/Digestive Issues
- Pink Eye
- Menstrual Issues
If you have a question regarding the appropriateness of a virtual visit for your next appointment, call our office and we will help guide you.
How much does it cost?
Most commercial insurance plans cover virtual visits just as they would an in-office visit with your doctor. Medicare and Medicaid are unlikely to cover the service. As with any office visit, we will collect the normal co-pay amount at the time of service and bill your insurer. If the service is not covered by your insurance, we have affordable cash pay options available.
What do I need to prepare and have ready for my virtual visit?
- Identification – We will need to confirm your identity with a government-issued ID.
- Credit/Debit Card – We will collect payment information to cover any out-of-pocket costs.
- Patient Portal Account – We utilize the patient portal for many of the steps to “check in” for your virtual visit. Click here to sign up for the patient portal.
Getting ready for a visit?
Once your appointment is scheduled, we will email you additional materials and the link to join your visit. Please make sure we have your most recent email address. Test out the device you plan to use prior to your scheduled visit. See below for our technology guidelines & troubleshooting.
Can I use a virtual visit in an emergency?
Virtual visits should not be used in an emergency. If it is a life-threatening situation call 911. For other urgent concerns, day or night, your first call should always be to your Privia doctor. With access to your health history and an understanding of your individual needs, your doctor can give you advice over the phone to guide your next steps. Specific urgent concerns that are not appropriate for a virtual visit include:
- Chest pain
- Severe abdominal pain
- Sudden, severe, headache
- Sudden weakness, dizziness, loss of balance
- Sudden numbness on face, arm, leg
- Difficulty breathing
- Coughing or vomiting blood
- Severe bleeding
- Severe burns
- Broken bones
- Poisoning/drug overdose
- Sudden bleeding during pregnancy
- Open wounds, puncture wounds
Technology Guidelines and Troubleshooting
What technology do I need for my virtual visit?
As with any application, there are a couple technological requirements we suggest to ensure you have a seamless experience. Although it will be possible in the future, at this time mobile devices (i.e., smartphones and tablets) are not yet supported. Please review the list below to confirm you have the right computer setup for a virtual visit.
- Strong Internet Connection – To test your internet connection speed, visit speedtest.net and press Go. If the test says your speed is under 20 mbps and you’re using wifi, try using a wired internet connection or restarting your router.
- Forward Facing Video Camera – Have you used Skype, Facetime or another video application with this device before? If so, your device should work well for a virtual visit. See “Why is the video not loading?” for additional detail setting up your camera.
- Integrated Microphone – Your device should have a microphone. Be sure to locate the microphone. Make sure it is not covered and close enough to you to pick up your voice. See “ Why can’t my doctor hear me?” for any issues with your microphone.
- Web Browser – The virtual visit will launch through your device’s web browser. Make sure you have the most recent version of either Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. When prompted by your browser allow the technology to access your camera and microphone. You will need to ensure you are not using the incognito or privacy mode on your browser.
Who can I contact for help?
Please review the common issues outlined below. If this information does not address your needs and your question relates to the virtual visit technology, please reach out to Privia Support at email@example.com OR call (888) 774 – 8428.
Why is the video not loading?
You’ll need to check two things here. First, do you have your webcam all set up? If you’re using a laptop, chances are you have an integrated camera. If you’re on a desktop computer, you may be using a separate webcam. Remember, mobile devices are not supported at this time.
- Go to your device’s control panel or settings menu and look for your webcam under devices. Test it out to see if it’s working. You could also try opening a video chat app like Skype to see if the webcam is working correctly.
- Did you allow the web browser to access your webcam? Your browser will show a pop-up when you first enter the virtual visit. The pop-up will ask you to allow the browser to access your webcam. Click yes to allow. If you don’t see that, try refreshing the page.
Why is the video quality bad?
Low video quality is usually caused by a poor internet connection. You will need an absolute minimum internet connection of 20 mbps to do a virtual doctor’s visit. That’s the minimum speed we recommend for streaming video.
To test your internet connection speed, visit speedtest.net and press Go. If the test says your speed is under 20 mbps and you’re using wifi, try using a wired internet connection or restarting your router.
Why isn’t my audio working?
We know it sounds silly, but is your speaker volume turned up? We’ve all done that before. You can always play some music or open up a video clip on YouTube to test your sound.
Why can’t my doctor hear me?
Check your microphone. Is it working? Like the webcam, you’re probably dealing with an integrated microphone if you’re on a laptop. If you’re using a desktop computer, you should have an external microphone plugged in.
Go to your device panel or settings and make sure your microphone is set-up. You could also open a simple voice recorder app (most mobile devices or computers come with one, like Quicktime) and do a test recording.
The visit froze. What should I do now?
Chances are, your internet connection dropped. Try refreshing the webpage — usually that will help. If you’re still having issues, check on your internet connection at speedtest.net.
If you continue to have problems, contact your doctor or reach out to Privia Support at firstname.lastname@example.org OR call (888) 774 – 8428.