Alaska photo 1.JPG

Telehealth

How to access your care at Frontier Health and Wellness

Frontier Health And Wellness (FHW) our providers are currently giving their patients two options to access their mental health care.  Both traditional In-Office appointments and Telehealth appointments are now available.  For established patients follow-up appointments can be scheduled through our online scheduling webpage or by calling and scheduling through our receptionist.

Our providers philosophy is to use as much evidence as we can in combination with informed decision making to provide the best service possible, with the most accurate diagnosis and best potential outcome.  To do this, they work with you to maximize the probability of success at every level.  This begins with the type of appointment itself:  in-office versus telehealth.  Making this decision is no different than making the decision about which treatment may be the best for you as an individual.  Every person needs to use the information at hand to balance risk and benefit when they make their decision.  The goal is for you to make an informed decision and to avoid limiting your options whenever possible.  The current situation with COVID-19 may limit all of our options in the future, but for the time being you do have a choice. 

Frontier Health And Wellness providers now have a fully integrated telehealth service.  A PDF that provides more detailed information on connecting through the telehealth service and sign in can be found HERE.  A brief summary is provided below:

FHW Telehealth Details

  • To access and FHW providers telehealth service, click the buttons above or for Dr. David Hjellen click here: doxy.me/hjellen. For Victoria Hutton click here: doxy.me/huttonKelly Moore Hutton click here: doxy.me/kellymoore

  • Please open the Doxy links a few minutes prior to your appointment.

  • We highly recommend that you go through this process at least once before your appointment to try the system out and test your connection.

  • Safe, secure and HIPAA compliant.

  • No apps to download. 

  • No account to log into.  

  • No personal information to provide.

  • Can be done on most internet browsers (it does not work reliably on Microsoft Edge).

  • A separate consent (telehealth hyperlink Here) must be filled out prior to the use of this service.

Advantages to Telehealth

  • Convenient and efficient.  The inconvenience of driving to and from the provider's office is eliminated.

  • Can be done anywhere with a good internet connection.

  • Provides remote access to providers for those in rural areas.

  • The billing system for telehealth is well established and it is covered by most insurance policies.

  • Frontier Health And Wellness providers do not add on any additional fees for the use of this service.  

Disadvantages to Telehealth

  • An artificial interface can promote artificial interactions.  This may result in an interaction with your provider that feels less productive or "less like an appointment”.

  • There is often some form of technical limitation that can be noted.  Sometimes the image is choppy, sometimes there is a delay between when the person speaks and when the other person receives it.  These issues can be frustrating at times and remind all parties that the interface is artificial.  

  • Connection speeds are not always ideal for the use of a Telehealth service.  Wifi and cellular connections are inferior to the use of a laptop, desktop or mac that is directly connected to your router.  We recommend every patient test their provider link prior to their scheduled appointment.  On that page patients can test their connection to determine how well it will work for a future Telehealth appointment.

  • Outcome measures consistently indicate that in-office evaluations are superior to telehealth evaluations in this field.  This applies to both diagnostic accuracy and treatment outcomes.

  • For pediatric patients keeping everyone on screen and involved will be more difficult.  In an office setting, the child cannot ask to go to their room to play and other children who may be nearby are less likely to interrupt the appointment.

  • Some insurance companies do not cover telehealth services, or do not cover the cost of the appointments at an equal level to an office visit.  This will sometimes result in a patient paying slightly more out-of-pocket costs for a telehealth appointment when compared to an in office appointment.  Every patient who wishes to use this service should check with their insurance company BEFORE they access it to determine at what level telehealth services are covered.

  • Confidentiality is not as well controlled.  The office environment is free of spectators.  This may not be true on the patient’s end of a telehealth appointment.  You can lower this risk by putting yourself in an isolated location during your appointment.  

When to Use Telehealth

  • Using this service is your choice.

  • As indicated above, when telehealth is used in mental health the outcomes are consistently worse when compared against the standard of care (an in-office visit).  Please use this service only when you determine that the risks and benefits of your unique situation warrant the use of the Telehealth service.

  • We recognize that many individuals are concerned over their health and the health of their loved ones.  That risk must be balanced against the known drawbacks of any telehealth service.  This final decision will be different for every individual and family.

  • FHW is only mandating the use of telehealth for those who meet the criteria for isolation from the CDC or the State of Alaska.  Please review these criteria prior to any scheduled in-office appointment to make sure you will not be turned away at the last minute due to these requirements. 

  • All patients who arrive in our office for an in-office visit are now required to complete this screening to confirm their eligibility to attend an in-office visit.  PLEASE NOTE: If you meet the criteria listed in this document you will likely be turned away from an in-office appointment.  We advise all of our clients to review these criteria prior to EACH appointment and make appropriate adjustments in their appointment type if needed.

  • We require all individuals who wish to access Telehealth services through an FHW provider to complete this consent form.

  • Although this service is the most straightforward one we could find, there are still sometimes complications.  WE RECOMMEND EVERYONE PRACTICE ACCESSING THE TELEHEALTH SERVICE AT LEAST ONCE PRIOR TO THE TIME OF THEIR NEXT APPOINTMENT.

In-Office Services

At this time these services are not being interrupted.

In-office treatment will be suspended in the event of one of the any of the following:

  • The CDC, another federal agency, the State of Alaska's Department of Health and Social Services or the Municipality of Anchorage mandate that outpatient medical care be transitioned to telehealth wherever possible.

  • Frontier Health and Wellness meets the CDC or the State of Alaska’s criteria for isolation. 

  • Our staffing supports become depleted and we are no longer able to provide services within an office setting.

  • If operational and safety standards are no longer attainable in any the FHW operated offices. 

Frontier Health and Wellness is of course familiar with how to enhance safety and sanitization standards.  Our administration is qualified to implement these strategies and qualified to train others in the application of these strategies.  Here are some of the safety enhancements that FHW has implemented to make FHW areas and the providers offices as safe, secure and healthy location for you to obtain your needed healthcare services.

  • Social distancing policies are implemented in the lobby.  Furniture has been rearranged to allow for adequate social distancing.  A secondary waiting room will be utilized when the number of people in the lobby exceeds our ability to maintain this standard.

  • Increased sterilization procedures throughout the lobby and common areas. 

  • Every patient and family who enters the FHW office is now screened with the CDC’s criteria.  This is required during EACH office visit to determine eligibility to receive in-office services. 

  • Hand-held items that pose a high risk of cross contamination have been removed from common areas where possible.  

  • In-office items are cleaned after use and between visitors.

  • To limit cross contamination please allow Frontier Health and Wellness providers to open their office doors when you enter and exit their offices.

  • Hand sanitizer is available for use by patients and families in the FHW office and within the individual provider's offices.

Everyone is being affected by this pandemic, some more than others.  FHW and our providers will continue making efforts to lower the impact this has on you and your treatment.  We will continue working to lower risk while enhancing outcomes for all patients that are being seen within the FHW office.  

For every person, the decision of how best to lower risk without sacrificing treatment success will be a unique one.  We are happy to discuss these issues further with you individually and help you make the decision that makes the most sense for you and your family whenever needed.