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Adventist Health and Blue Shield recently announced a new “telehealth” initiative to help people in rural Northern California communities access specialty care.

With this program, Blue Shield members can be diagnosed and treated by specialists from across the state through interactive video technology available at a local Adventist telehealth site.

The program is for Blue Shield individual and family plan customers, including those who purchased coverage through Covered California. Available specialties include cardiology, dermatology, endocrinology, pulmonology, rheumatology, orthopedics, infectious disease, nephrology, gastroenterology, general surgery and spine surgery.

The specialists are Adventist Health physicians and are contracted in the Blue Shield network. Local telehealth sites are located in St. Helena and Napa. The member's cost for a telehealth visit is the same as their plan's co-pay/co-insurance amount for specialist visits with an in-network provider. 

Each telehealth site is equipped with interactive video technology that allows the patient to see, hear and interact with a specialist. A clinical coordinator in the office assists the patient and uses equipment including an electronic stethoscope, vital signs monitor, and high definition camera to send accurate data, images and audio to the specialist. The visits are private and confidential.

Blue Shield individual and family plan members interested in scheduling a telehealth visit should call 1-866-832-8218.

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