HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Long lines at hospitals and clinics across the country are prompting innovative ways to serve patients effectively while keeping others safe.
A local direct primary care clinic, Welbii, says they’ve got the solution and they think virtual primary care will soon be the new normal.
“Our patients are busy, they’re working, right now they’re at home,” said Dr. Thomas Spain, Welbii founder and physician.
At Welbii, rather than paying for insurance, patients pay for a monthly membership.
About 60-70 percent of their care is always virtual– not just during a pandemic.
“We’re able to follow up with them about needs, check in on them easily the next day, and again so many of those things we’re able to do remotely either by text or by video,” Spain explained.
Right now their patients have a lot of questions about their symptoms. Our area is currently experiencing allergy season, flu and cold season, and the spread of COVID-19.
Welbii sends forms to patients that screen them for their symptoms. Then physicians will determine if it’s something they can treat from home, or if the patient needs further testing.
“Does this sound like something where you can stay at home? Is this something where it sounds like you need to go get tested?” Spain said.
Dr. Spain believes that in the next ten years primary care will be mostly virtual.
“And then it will have in-person components to it, just like how we do our banking and so many other relationship-based services now,” he said.
His clinic knew the increased need for virtual care was coming, but the need now, is higher than ever.