How Virtual Primary Care Helps People in Central Pennsylvania

Central Pennsylvanians with busy work hours and family obligations have a virtual primary care option from UPMC that offers quick, quality care.

Doctors with Virtual Primary Care-UPMC provide preventive and diagnostic care for both acute and chronic illnesses without travel-related headaches. This is ideal for adults with transportation, childcare, or mobility challenges, fixed work hours, or demanding travel schedules.

Virtual primary care is like a regular primary care practice, but online.

“It’s just like your doctor’s office,” says Carleen Talbot Warner, MD, family medicine, UPMC in central Pa. “You can go there for almost anything; most of the care is cloud-based and virtual. The biggest benefit is convenience. Think about your last visit to your doctor’s office. You maybe had to take time off work and you had to drive to the office. With virtual primary care, we can see you from the comfort of home or work.”

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Services at Virtual Primary Care-UPMC

Virtual Primary Care-UPMC provides a variety of services for patients. We can provide care for chronic medical conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, high cholesterol, and mental health concerns. We also can help with acute issues like sore throat, fever, sinus infection, bladder infection, or rash.

The options offered through UPMC’s virtual primary care practice include:

  • Acute illnesses.
  • Dermatology services.
  • Skin cancer screenings.
  • Acne, rosacea, and eczema treatments.
  • Diagnosis and disease management for pulmonary, cardiac, endocrine, gastrointestinal, and orthopaedic issues.
  • Gynecological and contraceptive services.
  • Nutrition and exercise.

“There are very few things that can’t be managed via telehealth. Even severe conditions such as heart failure or diabetes can be monitored with remote devices. The only things we really can’t do are sew up a laceration, do a procedure, or an in-person test,” she says.

Referral Services Available

If you need a lab test, imaging study, referral for a procedure, or consultation with a specialist, a virtual primary care provider can help. They will order the test or procedure for you. You will then go to the site where tests or procedures are usually performed. Afterward, your provider will talk to you about your results and any necessary follow-up care. Test results will also be available in your patient portal.

If you need in-person care, your provider will refer you to one of the practice’s satellite locations. We have locations in Harrisburg, Mechanicsburg, Lancaster, York, and surrounding areas. Once there, one of our virtual providers can see you in person.

Who Can Go to Virtual Primary Care-UPMC?

The full-service virtual family medicine practice offers a complete spectrum of care for people ages 18 and older. We are available Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“Our main demographic is women 20 to 50 years old,” Dr. Warner says. “But we see people 18 to 80-plus. We don’t see anyone under 18 years old only because the vaccine schedule is really intense for that age group and routine offices visits are necessary.”

All you need for primary telehealth services is a smart device or a computer, an internet connection, and a UPMC patient portal account.

“You don’t even have to know how to troubleshoot problems on your computer,” Dr. Warner says. “You just need to know how to use your smartphone or tablet. You don’t have to be super tech-savvy. We all got more comfortable doing all sorts of things virtually during the height of COVID-19, and virtual primary care is a natural product of that.”

UPMC offers on-demand video visits after hours and weekends, too, without an appointment. A UPMC provider can see you for flu, COVID-19, and many other non-urgent symptoms.

To schedule a new patient virtual visit, use the online self-scheduling link or call 717-207-4800.

About UPMC

Headquartered in Pittsburgh, UPMC is a world-renowned health care provider and insurer. We operate 40 hospitals and 800 doctors’ offices and outpatient centers, with locations throughout Pennsylvania, Maryland, New York, West Virginia, and internationally. We employ 4,900 physicians, and we are leaders in clinical care, groundbreaking research, and treatment breakthroughs. U.S. News & World Report consistently ranks UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside as one of the nation’s best hospitals in many specialties and ranks UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh on its Honor Roll of America’s Best Children’s Hospitals. We are dedicated to providing Life Changing Medicine to our communities.