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Press Releases

Virtual Expresscare Leads COVID Treatment Citywide With Over 20,000 Prescriptions for Paxlovid and 6,800 Monoclonal Antibody Infusions

These treatments are projected to have prevented over 1,550 hospital visits and over 300 deaths

Virtual ExpressCare is the largest prescriber of Paxlovid in New York City, prescribing 8 times as much as the next highest provider

The service provides urgent care 24/7 in over 200 languages, and patients are connected to a provider in minutes

Sep 14, 2022

NYC Health + Hospitals today announced its Virtual ExpressCare service has issued over 20,000 prescriptions for Paxlovid and 6,800 monoclonal antibody infusions to treat Covid, potentially preventing over 1,550 hospital visits and over 300 deaths. Virtual ExpressCare is the largest prescriber of Paxlovid in New York City, prescribing 8 times as much as the next highest provider. NYC Health + Hospitals and its Virtual ExpressCare program was one of the first in the nation to offer telehealth visits to prescribe Paxlovid, making it easier for New Yorkers to access the medication and protecting the community by keeping COVID-positive individuals at home. In addition to Covid, Virtual ExpressCare provides urgent care for an array of concerns, including minor injuries, fever and flu, upper respiratory infections, anxiety, depression, and substance use issues. The service is available 24/7 in over 200 languages, and patients are connected to a healthcare provider in minutes. Patients can access Virtual ExpressCare by going to expresscare.nyc or calling 631-EXP-Care (631-397-2273).

“Keeping New Yorkers safe and healthy are our top priorities, which is why we are investing in new weapons to fight the war against COVID-19 and make it easier to get tested and treated,” said New York City Mayor Eric Adams. “Thanks to the 20,000 doses of Paxlovid we’ve distributed through Virtual ExpressCare, thousands of New Yorkers have been able to speak to a provider in minutes and get connected to lifesaving medication. If you feel sick, get tested, get treated, and get back to your life.”

“NYC Health + Hospitals has been critical to the City’s response to Covid, and that continues today as our system leads in prescribing Paxlovid in New York City,” said NYC Health + Hospitals Senior Vice President and Chief Quality Officer Eric Wei, MD. “We have since expanded beyond the five boroughs, and now all New Yorkers should know if they test positive for Covid, they can rely on NYC Health + Hospitals for treatment from the comfort of their own home through our Virtual ExpressCare service.”

“Virtual ExpressCare gives patients a quick and easy way to talk to a provider and see if they qualify for Covid treatment,” said NYC Health + Hospitals Executive Director of ExpressCare Erfan Karim. “We are here all day, every day to help all New Yorkers with their urgent care needs in their preferred language and we bring equitable care into their homes virtually so people can live their healthiest lives.”

“Having access to the latest COVID-19 therapeutics regardless of whether someone has a regular health care provider is critical in our effort to keep New Yorkers from becoming seriously ill or hospitalized,” New York State Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett said. “Thanks to the State’s agreement to use NYC Health + Hospitals’ Virtual ExpressCare Platform, thousands of people, particularly in underserved communities throughout New York State, have been evaluated for treatment and received care by calling the State’s new Hotline at 888-TREAT-NY or by calling 212-COVID-19 for those who live in NYC.”

“Treatment, and specifically Paxlovid, have been literal lifesavers for many New Yorkers,” said NYC Health Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan. “They have enabled us to navigate recent waves while keeping hospitalizations comparatively low, and represent a critical ongoing tool to save lives and help us navigate the moment we’re in with COVID-19. NYC Health + Hospitals has been a valued partner is making treatments accessible and we’re grateful for their speed in building this program up.”

Since its launch, Virtual ExpressCare has offered nearly 90,000 virtual visits, more than 40,000 of which have been for Covid. In July, Virtual ExpressCare began offering Covid prescriptions statewide through the State’s new Covid hotline, 888-TREAT-NY. In its first two months, the service has issued nearly 1,000 Covid prescriptions to residents across the state. Virtual ExpressCare also prescribes Paxlovid via the city’s unique Covid hotline, 212-COVID-19, and offers home delivery to patients in New York City coordinated by the NYC Health Department.

Patients who are prescribed Paxlovid can receive same-day or next-day courier delivery of the medication in all five boroughs of New York City.

In June, the New York City Test & Treat Corps began prescribing Paxlovid through the nation’s first mobile Test to Treat program. New Yorkers who test positive for COVID-19 at one of the over 30 mobile Test to Treat units can be evaluated by an onsite clinician and, if eligible, walk away with Paxlovid provided onboard the mobile unit. Since the program’s launch, clinicians have issued approximately 1,500 prescriptions onsite.

Patients who are prescribed a monoclonal antibody infusion can schedule same-day or next-day in-person infusion at 12 locations across the city. The health system can provide transportation for patients to and from their infusion appointments. Follow-up care is also available, including calls from the infusion team 24 to 48 hours after dose and access to Virtual ExpressCare providers to address any post-visit clinical concerns.    

There is no out-of-pocket cost to patients for Covid treatment. If a patient has insurance, NYC Health + Hospitals will bill the patient’s insurance for the visit. If a patient is uninsured, the service will help patients obtain coverage through health insurance, NYC Care, or a sliding scale program. NYC Health + Hospitals offers monoclonal antibody treatment at its 11 hospitals with no out-of-pocket costs to patients.

Contact: pressoffice@nychhc.org; 212.788.3339

About NYC Health + Hospitals

NYC Health + Hospitals is the largest municipal health care system in the nation. We are a network of 11 hospitals, trauma centers, neighborhood health centers, nursing homes, and post-acute care centers. We are a home care agency and a health plan, MetroPlus. Our health system provides essential services to more than one million New Yorkers every year in more than 70 locations across the city’s five boroughs. Our diverse workforce of more than 43,000 employees is uniquely focused on empowering New Yorkers, without exception, to live the healthiest life possible. Visit us at www.nychealthandhospitals.org and stay connected on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/NYCHealthSystem or Twitter at @NYCHealthSystem.