UAMS HealthNow Resumes Urgent Care Live Video Visits Along with COVID-19 Screenings, Calls

By Liz Caldwell

UAMS HealthNow is the 24-hour digital connection to health care professionals that the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) began in January. It offers to assess and treat conditions involving the nose and throat, respiratory, eye, skin, and gastrointestinal systems as well as cold and flu.

When patients visit, they still can access the COVID-19 screening tool, or choose an urgent care visit for a charge. Patients also can opt to talk to a provider live after using the screening tool. This service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to patients of all ages across the state of Arkansas and can be accessed from a smart phone, tablet, laptop or computer with video capabilities.

The screening tool uses a series of questions about a patient’s symptoms, age, overall health, travel and potential exposure to COVID-19. UAMS HealthNow will guide patients regarding next steps, if any. This may include advice to contact their local physician for further evaluation and possible testing for the virus.

UAMS HealthNow also accepts health insurance. Patients using health insurance will be asked for photos of their insurance card and driver’s license. The HealthNow registration team will verify the insurance and after the visit bill the patient for the copay. Self-pay patients will pay approximately $63 for a new patient visit or approximately $43 if an established UAMS patient.

“The advanced practice registered nurses taking these calls worked incredibly hard during this COVID-19 crisis period. They saved lives,” said Curtis Lowery, M.D., director of the UAMS Institute for Digital Health & Innovation, which operates UAMS HealthNow. “Without the HealthNow APRNs, we wouldn’t have been able to respond in such a proactive fashion. It’s a very valuable, local provider-driven system compared to the national companies doing digital health that are not run by Arkansas people.”

From mid-March until mid-April, UAMS HealthNow took more than 2,000 calls from Arkansas patients and even thousands more used the screening tool.

“It was challenging when the call volume was high early on. “I am really proud of how our team was able to readily adapt and change to the needs of our community in offering these screenings.” said Stacy Petty, APRN, UAMS HealthNow director. “The screening tool for patients was a great help. The COVID-19 call volume has been more manageable the last two weeks. Our APRNs are excited about doing urgent care again. We’re ready.”

People who have symptoms and who have been exposed to COVID-19 are urged not to visit a physician’s office, urgent care clinic, emergency room or hospital without first talking to the facility and getting instructions on how to prevent spreading the virus to health care providers and other patients.

UAMS is the state's only health sciences university, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; a hospital; a main campus in Little Rock; a Northwest Arkansas regional campus in Fayetteville; a statewide network of regional campuses; and seven institutes: the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, Psychiatric Research Institute, Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging, Translational Research Institute and Institute for Digital Health & Innovation. UAMS includes UAMS Health, a statewide health system that encompasses all of UAMS' clinical enterprise. UAMS is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. UAMS has 3,275 students, 890 medical residents and fellows, and five dental residents. It is the state's largest public employer with more than 12,000 employees, including 1,200 physicians who provide care to patients at UAMS, its regional campuses, Arkansas Children's, the VA Medical Center and Baptist Health. Visit or Find us on Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), YouTube or Instagram.