Penn State Health OnDemand improves college students’ access to doctors when they need them

As parents help their teens get ready to head off to college this fall, they might want to add downloading the Penn State Health OnDemand app to their to-do list. The urgent care telehealth program offers remote visits with board-certified doctors 24 hours a day, seven days a week, from any smartphone, tablet or computer.

Students 18 years of age and older can receive treatment for common illnesses, such as cold and flu, allergies, sinus infections and other urgent care needs. Patients use secure video to connect face-to-face with a provider and receive a personal diagnosis and treatment plan. Providers can diagnose and, if needed, send prescriptions directly to pharmacies and schedule follow-up appointments.

Benefits

Penn State Health OnDemand offers a number of benefits that help students no matter where they are:

  • Convenience ― Students can stay in their dorm room rather than travelling home or to the university health center when they are feeling ill. Parents can be part of the video conference, as well, if they prefer.
  • Easier access― Doctor visits can take place outside traditional office hours, so students don’t have to miss class.
  • Familiar modes of communication ― Today’s college students have grown up with technology and are comfortable communicating with a doctor through a screen.

“Penn State Health OnDemand is a convenient, low-stress way to see a doctor for many common symptoms and chronic conditions,” said Chris LaCoe, vice president of operations at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. “It also lets parents join their teen for the on-demand visits, so they can stay informed about their child’s health.”

Co-pay and Enrollment

The app is not limited to Penn State Health employees or family members. Anyone can download Penn State Health OnDemand and use it at their convenience from anywhere in the continental United States. The cost of Penn State Health OnDemand visits is $49 each or less, depending on the patient’s insurance provider. Penn State Health employees and their family members who are covered by Highmark are charged a $15 co-pay, the same as an in-person appointment.

Enrollment is free. The app can be downloaded using the iOS or Android mobile app or by visiting PennStateHealthOnDemand.com.

Since Penn State Health OnDemand launched in August 2018, more than 3,750 people have enrolled, and more than 550 patient-doctor visits have been completed. Overall satisfaction with the app has been high.

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