****UPDATE: UNC Health Care has extended the time period where this fee will be waived until 11:59 p.m. Sunday, September 23.****
UNC Health Care is waiving fees associated with the system’s virtual care service while much of North Carolina is being impacted by Hurricane Florence.
The service “provides patients with real-time access to physicians via phone, tablet or computer,” according to the health care system.
UNC Health Care officials said patients must be physically located in North Carolina during the virtual visit, in order to comply with medical licensing regulations. But the $49 fee typically assessed for the service is being waived from Friday through 11:59 p.m. Sunday.
“As we said when this service launched, the virtual technology fits with our mission of providing care to all North Carolinians at any time,” UNC Health Care CEO Dr. Bill Roper said in a release. “We believe waiving fees for UNC Urgent Care 24/7 is a concrete way for our health care system to serve North Carolinians during Hurricane Florence.”
Physicians are able to assess patients “by phone or internet through a private and secure connection.”
“The physician can diagnose problems, recommend treatment and prescribe medications when appropriate (excluding opioids and other controlled substances),” according to the release. “Patients with true emergencies, including chest pain, should still go to a hospital emergency department.”
More information on the program is available here.