URBANA — Too busy or feeling just plain too miserable to go see a doctor in person?
Carle Physician Group is now offering e-visits, in which patients send their symptoms to a primary-care doctor and get a diagnosis and care instructions all through a secure Web portal.
And before anybody gets their hopes up, this kind of care doesn't come free: At Carle, e-visits will cost $35 apiece.
Carle said it's new eVisit system will be available only for:
— Established adult Carle primary-care patients who have a "MyCarle" online account.
— Those patients with symptoms of any of the following seven ailments: coughing or bronchitis, diarrhea, nausea, pink eye, sinus or allergy, urinary tract infection and vaginal irritation or discharge.
Carle said it's been piloting e-visits with its employees since January, and sees it as an option to help more patients — such as busy parents and professionals and the elderly — obtain care more quickly and efficiently.
Dr. Bill Schuh, Carle's chief medical information officer, said he thinks a growing number of patients will take Carle up on this option over time.
"I see more and more people accessing their health information electronically, and to have the ability to interact with physicians electronically is going to be more and more popular," he predicted.