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Telemedicine is Here to Stay at Innovative Care

Telemedicine Covered by Insurance?

Consumers have come to enjoy conveniences that started during the COVID pandemic. With curbside retail pick-ups, grocery delivery and virtual appointments with your doctor, you hardly have to leave home anymore! The COVID pandemic forced many businesses into a consumer-centric mindset designed to make convenience (and the ability to stay home) king. In healthcare, this was rare pre-pandemic. But not at Innovative Care! We have offered telemedicine since we opened our doors in 2015, as it is part of our promise to make quality care more convenient. When the pandemic hit, we simply utilized the system we already had in place to see even more patients virtually. 

Is telemedicine here to stay?

It is at Innovative Care! In fact, we are continuing to ramp up our telemedicine services. We offer virtual visits as well as in-person visits at our urgent care, primary care and behavioral health practices. We also utilize virtual visits in other programs, such as our ADHD management and Innovative Weight Management programs. Patients want convenience, and with the technology readily available to us, there is no reason not to offer it. 

The question remains as to whether or not other clinics will do the same. This recent article in the Washington Post suggests that while patients want telemedicine to continue, many clinics will reduce or eliminate virtual appointments in the coming months due to insurer policies. 

Does insurance cover telemedicine at Innovative?

Yes! Insurance may be used for visits with our urgent care and primary care teams, as well as for ADHD evaluations, and visits that are part of our weight management program

Committed to Convenient Care

Innovative Care was founded with the promise to provide quality care that is also convenient and efficient. We understand that our patients are busy. They do not have time for unnecessary visits, or long hold times trying to make an appointment. We utilize technology to offer virtual appointments and easy, online scheduling.

Concert Goers Who Are Sneezing, Sniffling, Coughing or have a Sore Throat, Should Get Tested for COVID

It’s early in the week, but we are already seeing Lolla concert goers coming in with a sore throat, coughs and sniffles. Does this mean they caught COVID? No, but it does mean that they should be tested for the virus. 

Assume you have been exposed

Events the size of Lollapalooza almost guarantee you have been exposed to COVID. If you are vaccinated, you have a chance of avoiding illness, but please know that breakthrough infections are happening at a high rate. The tricky part is this…people who are vaccinated against COVID-19 typically have only minor symptoms. Oftentimes, these are symptoms that wouldn’t even raise a red flag. The biggest finding from the recent CDC report is that vaccinated people can get COVID-19 AND they are still highly contagious! That’s why we recommend that people be tested if they have any symptom out of the ordinary, even if they are vaccinated. 

Living with COVID

The Delta variant is the dominant strain of COVID going around right now. It is highly contagious, so identifying it as the cause of symptoms early is key to stopping it from spreading. Innovative Care offers COVID testing seven days a week at our Lincoln Park clinic. We also have a COVID testing site in Downers Grove

The best protection against COVID-19 is to increase the number of people who are vaccinated. This virus is not going away, and it will continue to mutate along the way. We must learn to live with COVID, which means 1) get vaccinated 2) test if you have symptoms and 3) do your part to protect others, i.e. mask up when warranted. 

Vaccines Available in Downers Grove

If you have not yet been vaccinated, know that it offers your best protection against COVID. Schedule a vaccine appointment online at our Downers Grove clinic. This clinic also offers COVID testing.

Innovative Care Simplifies ADHD Management for Patients

ADHD Management

We think managing your ADHD should be fast, easy, convenient, and dignified. If you are tired of trekking to the doctor monthly just to get a prescription refill, we can help. Innovative Care recently launched Innovative ADHD, a service designed to make managing ADHD more convenient for patients. Our providers will see you virtually for medication refills, which means you only need to physically come to the clinic twice a year. Keep reading if you are ready to save time and simplify your ADHD management. 

Already diagnosed with ADHD?

If you have already been diagnosed with ADHD and want to benefit from virtual appointments and a far more convenient management program, visit us online. You can have better ADHD care in three simple steps. 

Step 1: Complete online form

Step 2: Schedule an in-person visit

Step 3: Monthly telemedicine management

Not yet diagnosed but believe you have ADHD? 

Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) affects between 3-5 percent of the adult population. Symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity (but not always), and impulsive behavior can make everyday life a challenge. If you are struggling to stay focused and are feeling overwhelmed by your responsibilities, our therapy team can help

Step 1: Complete the online form

Step 2: Virtual evaluation

Step 3: Primary care visit

Step 4: Telemedicine management 

We Accept Insurance

Innovative Care is a medical group in Chicago. We have brick and mortar clinics, and we also offer telemedicine. Our goal is to make quality healthcare more convenient and efficient for our patients. We accept most insurance plans for ADHD evaluations and management. A list of accepted insurance plans can be found here

ADHD Evolved

Our tagline is Healthcare Evolved. Well, Innovative ADHD makes ADHD management evolved, too. Patients benefit from a real clinic, with real providers (unlike those online only pharmacies) managing their care. With only two in-person visits a year, it’s a no-brainer. We’ll even deliver your medications to your house or work! Get started today.

Easy Lolla Testing at Innovative Care

Lolla COVID Testing

If you are planning to party at Lollapalooza, you will need proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test result (within 72 hours) to enter the music festival. Innovative Care offers hundreds of testing appointments daily, at two city locations, to get you ready to rock. Here’s what you should know: 

Test before the Fest

Lollapalooza will require proof of a negative COVID test from anyone who is unvaccinated. Your rapid COVID test must be performed within 72 hours of your entry to the music festival.

Easy Access to Fast Results

Innovative Care has two clinics to serve Lolla festival goers. Innovative COVID accepts insurance (or you can self-pay). COVID of Chicago is self-pay only. Both clinics offer a discounted Lolla testing rate for rapid COVID tests.

Innovative COVID – 1111 W. Diversey Parkway

  • Insurance is accepted. If you have a plan we do not accept, you will pay a discounted $100 Lolla rate for your rapid test (show us your wristband for this rate). This occurs rarely since we accept most major insurance plans (less than 1 in 100 people self-pay). 
  • If you have NO medical insurance, we will test you for FREE using the CARES Act 
  • Easy drive-thru testing
  • Results in 15-30 minutes via email, or wait on-site and take your printed documentation with you.  

COVID of Chicago – 1240 N Halsted

  • Self-pay only. We do not accept insurance at this location. 
  • $100 Lolla rate (show us your wristband for the discounted rate)
  • Results in 15-30 minutes via email, or wait on-site and take your printed documentation with you.  
Keep Rockin’

Proof of vaccination is likely to become commonplace for entry into events. Virus strains, such as the Delta variant, are continuing to fuel COVID-19. If you have not been vaccinated, please do so to help curb this pandemic. The vaccines being offered in the United States are effective against the Delta variant strain and offer our best protection. Until more people are vaccinated, the virus will continue to alter our lives. Keep rocking and avoid the need to test prior to events by getting vaccinated

STIs on the Rise as Chicagoans Take Dating Offline

STIs Chicago

COVID-19 put a damper on dating in 2020, but now that restrictions have been lifted, Chicagoans are taking their dates offline and hopping back into the dating scene. Based on anecdotal evidence and a review of our recent provider visits, it appears they are hopping back into bed, too! 

Innovative Express Care has seen a sharp increase in the number of visits related to Sexually Transmitted Infections in the last month (at least 50 percent more than what we saw six months ago). It’s going to be a hot summer in Chicago, so be sure to protect your sexual health. Our providers have some tips:

Safety First

You don’t go out in the rain without a raincoat, so don’t go out to the club without one either. 

Be Proactive About Your Sexual Health 

Many STIs do not cause symptoms. Be proactive and screen for STIs regularly rather than only asking your provider about testing if you have symptoms. A general rule of thumb on STI testing frequency is this – get tested every time you change partners. 

Swipe Right Frequently? 

If you are free as a bird, sewing your oats and having fun with multiple partners, plan on STI testing every 3-6 months. Innovative Express Care offers an array of testing options and we are open seven days a week. 

Get the HPV vaccine

People up to age 45 can be vaccinated against HPV. If you have ever been sexually active and have not been vaccinated against the HPV virus, we urge you to get vaccinated. The HPV vaccine protects against the main strains of HPV, which have been known to cause cancer. Innovative Express Care carries the HPV vaccine and we can easily vaccinate you during your next appointment

What to Test For?

We see chlamydia and gonorrhea most frequently at Innovative Express Care. Both of these STIs may be present without symptoms, which makes being proactive about your sexual health extremely important. HPV is also extremely common, but testing for this STI is typically done during a well woman exam when you are having a pap smear. There is not a good HPV test for men, so this STI is most commonly detected in women. 

Schedule Testing

STI testing ranges from $175-250 for self-pay patients. We also accept insurance. Appointments are easy to schedule online at Innovative Express Care.  

 

Will our “Normal” Days Last? Dr. Khare weighs in on new COVID strains and what to expect moving forward

No restrictions. None. Normal. Well, almost normal. Whatever you want to call where we are right now, it’s wonderful. Chicago is out and about, smiling and socializing. We even have full capacity Cubs games again. We’ve come a long way since the COVID-19 pandemic wreaked havoc on our lives. But is it over? I asked Dr. Khare to offer his perspective on what’s next. Will we continue to see small spikes? Is the new strain going to threaten to shut things down again? Here’s what he had to say. 

Q: Should we be worried about new strains of COVID-19?

A: The CDC is watching new strains closely, as variants of the virus have the potential to spark new waves of illness. One variant in particular that is on the CDC watch list is the Delta strain (B.1.617.2). This mutation of COVID-19 was first detected in India in February 2021. India, as we’ve seen on the news, has suffered tremendous loss. Thousands of people got sick. This strain of COVID-19 is already in the United States. Whether it creates another round of illness is the real question, but here’s the data: If you have been vaccinated, this strain will not affect you. The only issue is for those who have not been vaccinated. There is a significant amount of Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt (FUD) that is pushed in the media (obviously, they need to get clicks and reads), but right now, in my medical opinion, this strain will not cause an increase in COVID-19 cases in those who are vaccinated.

Q: Will COVID-19 ever be gone from our lives? 

A: Probably not. However, it will likely become less problematic and we will learn to live with it. Vaccines, coupled with people having antibodies from previous infection, will limit new strains from spreading. When COVID-19 first entered the United States, we had no protection. It spread like wildfire and caused serious illness. Now, even if new COVID-19 strains continue to crop up, we have some level of protection. We learn more about the virus every day, which allows us to create effective vaccines and to be proactive in preventing its spread.

Q: Will additional vaccines be required? 

A: Much like flu viruses, COVID-19 viruses can mutate and change. For this reason it is entirely possible that we will one day have annual vaccines for COVID-19 variants. Scientists are continuing to study how well the existing vaccines protect against the variants. They are also astudying how long the vaccines will last and protect us. I suspect booster vaccines will be needed down the road, probably starting in October. You will probably need to get a booster from the same manufacturer as your original vaccine. 

Q: Do we still need to be tested for COVID-19 every time we get symptoms? 

A: While COVID-19 virus numbers are low currently, it’s still best to be tested if you have cold-like symptoms, a cough, fever or shortness of breath. Innovative Express Care continues to offer COVID-19 testing at our 1111 W. Diversey Parkway location. Testing and early identification of the virus allows you to quarantine and prevent spreading the illness to others. The days of dismissing symptoms and going to work sick or not are likely over. COVID-19 devastated many businesses as employee outbreaks occurred. For this reason, many will continue to require COVID tests and take a more proactive approach to employee health.

More Businesses Invest in Employee Health

Innovative Care for Business

The COVID pandemic put a tremendous strain on businesses. Many companies were unprepared for remote work and unsure how to implement safety protocols in the workplace. As we move forward from the pandemic and return to the office, Innovative Care is helping companies limit further disruptions. Innovative Care for Business grew from an employee testing program launched last summer, to a full concierge health service for companies.

Small Investment, Big Reward

Companies who take a proactive approach to employee health will experience fewer disruptions in the workplace due to illness. We are here to help companies develop policies to protect their workforce, as well as to offer immediate access to care when it’s needed. A full list of the services offered through Innovative Care for Business is below. 

  • Priority urgent care appointments (sick visits, injuries, medication refills, X-ray services)
  • Telemedicine appointments 7 days/week
  • Annual flu shots given at your workplace 
  • Annual biometric screening at your workplace (cholesterol, A1C, hemoglobin)
  • COVID-19 testing with results within 36 hours
  • Medical directorship to guide you
  • Patient navigator at your side
  • Access to Innovative Therapy, our integrated behavioral health services
  • Discount at Innovative MedSpa (10%)

Medical Directorship

Wouldn’t it be nice to say, “I got a guy” for all your employee health questions? That’s exactly what you get with Innovative Care for Business. We will help you modernize guidelines for symptomatic and sick employees. We will also keep an eye on virus activity and alert you if it begins to spike again, granting time for you to make adjustments in the workplace. Having Innovative by your side is like having a doctor down the hall to help determine what is in the best interest of the company and your employees. Nobody expected the COVID-19 pandemic. But you can be prepared for anything that comes your way in the future. Add Innovative Care to your team and keep your workforce healthy. 

For more information about Innovative Care for Business, visit us online

Enroll your business.

Your Physician May Be the Missing Link in Your Weight Loss Program

Weight Management Have you struggled with your weight for years? Do you start strong, but then fizzle out when beginning a new plan? Your physician may be the missing link. 

Being chronically overweight or obese is a health problem that can put you at risk for heart disease, diabetes, cancer and other serious diseases. So why isn’t your weight treated like other medical problems? Sure, your doctor may advise you to lose weight, watch your diet and exercise, but a quick mention during an annual physical is far from managing this chronic condition. 

Innovative Primary Care is stepping up to do more for our patients. We now offer Innovative Weight Management, a physician-led, 12-month weight loss plan to help you achieve success.  

About Innovative Weight Management

Obesity is a chronic health condition, and it should be treated as such. While some people may be able to simply watch what they eat and exercise regularly, it is just not that easy for others. This is not your fault. Genetics, lifestyle, physical health and many other factors come into play with weight. As a medical provider, we are acutely aware of the legitimate struggles that people face with their weight. Do this for your health. Let’s reach your goals together. Innovative Weight Management combines diet, exercise, physician support and for many patients, medication, to achieve your goals. 

Here’s what you get:

  • Physician Led Program
  • Benchmarks Recorded 
  • Insurance Accepted
  • Regular Check-ins (weekly for the first four weeks; monthly thereafter)
  • 12-Month Program 
  • Support in all elements of weight management: behavior, nutrition, physical activity and pharmacology. 
  • Complementary MedSpa consultation during your journey. 
Why it Works

Having your physician involved in your weight loss adds accountability and purpose. Weight loss is not just about how you look. It’s about your health. Your health matters. Having your physician by your side through this health endeavor, just as you do for other health problems, just makes sense. It’s also an important element that is not present with fad diets, quick-fixes, cleanses and other things you’ve tried. Innovative Weight Management is a 12-month program to educate, guide and motivate you to make lifestyle changes that will be long-term. Our approach is based on guidance from OMA (Obesity Medicine Association), Cornell and Harvard. 

Start Your Journey Today

Make an appointment at Innovative Primary Care and talk to Dr. Gazzi and her team to get started. We are here to help you achieve a healthy weight, just as we manage blood pressure and other chronic health conditions.

Vaccinated and Exposed to COVID: Am I at Risk?

Vaccinated and Exposed to COVID: Am I at Risk?

Now that approximately 50 percent of people in Illinois are vaccinated, we are getting a lot of questions about virus risk and COVID-19 testing. Is it necessary for this group? Can they still catch COVID? Dr. Khare weighs in on some common questions below.

Q: I’m fully vaccinated, can I still catch COVID?

A: Yes, however the chance of you contracting COVID after you have been fully vaccinated remains low. If you do however catch the virus, your symptoms will be considerably less severe than if you had not been vaccinated. This is why it is very important for people to get vaccinated. While it may not offer 100 percent protection against the virus, it does offer up to a 95 percent protection against severe illness related to COVID. Thus far at Innovative Express Care, we’ve seen seven individuals who were fully vaccinated test positive for COVID-19. This may be due to different variants of the virus that are circulating.

Q: If I’m fully vaccinated, but was exposed to COVID, do I need to get tested?

A: According to the CDC, you do not need to be tested for COVID unless you experience symptoms. That said, if you are repeatedly in contact with a COVID positive person (i.e. a parent with a positive child or a caregiver to someone who tests positive), it doesn’t hurt to be tested. We often recommend this for caregivers, just to be sure they are not unknowingly carrying the virus and therefore potentially spreading it to other individuals. If you experience COVID symptoms, whether you had a known exposure to the virus or not, we do recommend testing. Testing is the only way to know for sure if you are carrying the virus. It is uncommon for vaccinated individuals to contract COVID, but it is possible. Testing could prevent someone else from getting sick, and possibly even save a life.

Q: Can a vaccinated person spread COVID to an unvaccinated person?

A: Yes, although this only happens if the vaccinated person contracts COVID themselves. That said, the risk remains low. Since it is however possible for a fully vaccinated person to contract COVID, there is the potential for someone who is vaccinated to spread the virus within their community. The best thing to do is to get tested if you have virus symptoms. This will allow you to find out if it’s COVID, or perhaps something else, before you spread it to others.

Q: Is it hard to make a testing appointment?

A: Not at all. We are open 7 days a week and accept walk-ins for COVID testing. You may also schedule online here. Testing is quick and easy. After checking in, you’ll simply walk up or drive thru our testing center. Patients are typically in and out within 15 minutes.

Innovative Vaccinates Eligible Employees at Area Businesses

A successful return to the workplace means COVID precautions, or better yet, vaccines. Many local businesses have worked with Innovative Express Care during the pandemic to offer COVID-19 testing for employees and to consult on best practices to stop virus spread. Those same businesses are now lining up for the next phase to ensure a healthy workplace, vaccines. 

Innovative Express Care has worked with more than 100 businesses over the last six months. Companies both large and small have recognized that COVID-19 prevention strategies, such as regular testing of employees, can be the key to staying open. Innovative Express Care has a dedicated mobile team for occupational health at area businesses. That team is now beginning to administer vaccines to businesses who have eligible employees. 

Innovative Express Care recently vaccinated more than 100 employees at a factory in Schiller Park.

For more information, or to arrange workplace COVID-19 testing or a vaccine clinic at your business, please complete our online form