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National health system to offer webcam visits


Ascension Health will offer online and Web camera visits to patients beginning in the spring.

St. Louis, Missouri-based Ascension Health, the nation's largest Catholic and nonprofit health system, will offer online and Web camera visits to patients beginning in the spring.

Ascension, with more than 500 locations in 19 states and the District of Columbia, is the first American health system to offer online visits from Boston-based American Well.

The service will allow patients to access immediate live encounters with Ascension's employed primary care physicians and other clinicians affiliated with Health Ministries of Ascension Health. Patients will be able to initiate Web or phone encounters any time from their homes or workplaces.

The service will begin in the spring at a yet-to-be-named Health Ministry location of Ascension Health, with plans for a gradual expansion. Ascension Health plans to target poor and vulnerable populations by offering the service to eligible individuals in underserved areas at no charge.

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