Updated December 16, 2020
We know your sexual and reproductive health can't wait. With the ongoing pandemic, we understand there may be concerns about coming to the health center, which is why Planned Parenthood is now offering telehealth services. Telehealth delivers high quality, expert care via phone or video whenever you need it, wherever you need it, with the privacy and confidentiality you expect from a health care provider. Telehealth is still new for us, and it may be new to you as well. So, we’re answering some of the most common questions we get about telehealth and how it works.
What telehealth options do I have?
With Planned Parenthood, you can have a virtual visit with an online doctor via video or app. With video, the appointment is face-to-face much like an in-person visit. Patients can use a computer, tablet or smartphone to talk to the doctor.
By app, you can use the Planned Parenthood Direct app to get a prescription for birth control or emergency contraception. No video or phone call is required. Simply answer a few questions and a clinician will respond within one business day.
Will telehealth only be available during COVID-19?
Telehealth services are here to stay. We were already in the process of launching telehealth prior to the pandemic, and COVID-19 only sped up that timeline and heightened our commitment to ensure health care access to those who need it.
Do I need to live in Missouri to use telehealth?
Telehealth with Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri is available to both Missouri and Illinois residents. Those living in other states may be able to access telehealth services with a Planned Parenthood health center in their state or region.
What services can I get through telehealth?
We offer telehealth for the following services:
Are telehealth visits shorter or more rushed than an in-person visit?
Not at all. The length of your visit is determined by your needs. Telehealth visits are conducted by the same compassionate nurses and doctors who work at our health centers. So your nurse or doctor will give you all the time and attention you need to ensure that your concerns are met. And they will help you understand the next steps in your care.
What if I need a follow-up appointment?
Not a problem. Your nurse or doctor will walk you through the next steps in your treatment plan. If you do need a follow-up appointment, health center staff will help you schedule it. If you need prescription medicines you can pick them up at your local Planned Parenthood health center, or you can arrange to have them mailed to you. Your nurse or doctor will help you figure out what's best.
Do I need to have insurance to do a telehealth appointment?
Telehealth is available to patients whether they are insured, uninsured or underinsured. The cost of your visit may depend on the type of coverage you have. If you use Planned Parenthood Direct, insurance is not accepted and all patients must pay a flat fee through the app.
Do I need to have previously been a Planned Parenthood patient to use telehealth?
No, not at all! You don’t have to be a prior Planned Parenthood patient or have to have had a prior in-person visit to use telehealth. Besides getting the care you need without having to leave your home, the great thing about telehealth is that people who may not be able to otherwise can access reproductive health care.
Do I have to turn on my camera during a telehealth appointment? Or can I just use audio?
We ask that you please find a private, quiet place for your telehealth visit so you’re able to use both video and audio. Telehealth appointments are face-to-face much like visiting your doctor in person, just from the comfort of your home (or wherever you are).
If I use video, do I have to expose myself over the Internet?
No. Your nurse or doctor won’t conduct a physical exam over video. If you need a physical exam, your nurse or doctor will help you schedule an in-person visit as a next step.
What if I get disconnected during my telehealth visit?
If you have any issues connecting in the telehealth platform, we'll call you from a private number, so please answer the phone. If you have issues connecting or reconnecting, you can call 314-531-7526 and the call center will connect you to your clinician.
How much does a telehealth visit cost?
Telehealth visits have a flat fee that is paid up front. The flat fee is dependent on the type of service you are receiving.
To book a telehealth appointment, either visit our website or give us a call at 314-531-7526. To use telehealth, you will need access to an Internet connection through a device with video capability (computer, smart phone, or tablet with Firefox, Safari, or Chrome), and a private space for your virtual visit. When you make your appointment, you will be provided additional instructions on how to access the video conference at the time of your appointment.
Charity Galgani is the Director of Clinical Services at Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri