Pine Rest offers virtual urgent care

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Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services Psychiatric Urgent Care Center is now offering telehealth assessments as an option.

“Due to COVID-19, we want to offer this virtual option for those who would prefer not to come in person,” said Megan Zambiasi, director of clinical practice, Pine Rest Hospital and Residential Services. “However, it also makes it more convenient for people who are not within easy driving distance or don’t have transportation to use this service, as well.”

The psychiatric urgent care center opened April 15, 2019, and treated 6,600 patients in its first year. It is designed to provide same-day assessment and treatment for adults who cannot wait for routine outpatient intervention.

Interested participants can call the center and will initially speak to a social worker who will help determine the most appropriate level of care for the caller. If triage indicates an appointment would be most helpful, the caller will be transferred to a medical assistant who will set up an appointment or will begin the appointment with the caller if desired and available.

The Pine Rest staff person uses a HIPAA-compliant telehealth app similar to Facetime or Skype. The caller will be instructed on how to download it to a cell phone, tablet or computer.

The caller will continue by talking with a social worker or advanced practice provider who will complete a full evaluation and determine next steps, prescribing when indicated. Before the appointment is concluded, the medical assistant will ensure an aftercare plan is created and communicated to the patient.

The center serves adults ages 18 and up. The psychiatric urgent care center will continue to be available for people to come in person. The center, paired with the existing behavioral health care available at Pine Rest and in the community, helps address a variety of problems.

Aftercare treatment plans or the next level of care include outpatient, inpatient, partial hospitalization day program, residential detoxification or an appointment with the patient’s physician or therapist.

The psychiatric urgent care center is staffed by a multidisciplinary team specifically trained to provide psychiatric assessments and treatment for a range of symptoms, including depression, anxiety, panic attacks, disturbing thoughts, suicidal thoughts, acute grief reactions, trouble managing daily activities and substance use disorders.

Those experiencing an acute medical issue should go to a medical urgent care or local emergency room.

The center is open for assessments 10 a.m.-8 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on weekends. For shortest wait times, individuals are encouraged to call ahead or arrive in the morning.

Most commercial insurance, Medicare and Medicaid health plans cover this service. People with Medicaid coverage should call ahead because some plans require authorization for services.

For more information or to make an appointment, call the psychiatric urgent care center at (616) 455-9200. For more information about the center, go to pinerest.org/urgent.

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