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VERIFY: Privia Medical Group patients received an email to participate in a COVID-19 questionnaire. It's legit

A viewer asked the Verify team if an email from Privia Medical Group asking her to participate in a program to collect information about COVID- 19 exposure is real.

WASHINGTON D.C., DC — QUESTION:

A viewer asked the Verify team if an email from Privia Medical Group asking her to participate in a program to collect information about COVID-19 exposure is real. Is it?

ANSWER:

Yes, a Privia Health spokesperson confirmed this email is really from them.

SOURCES:

Dr. Keith Fernandez: Chief Clinical Officer, Privia Health 

Department of Health and Human Services: "Oracle Donates Therapeutic Learning System to HHS to Gather Crowd-Sourced Data on COVID-19"

Department of Health and Human Services spokesperson

Oracle: "Oracle COVID-19 Therapeutic Learning System"

PROCESS:

A viewer asked us to verify whether this email from Privia Medical Group asking her to participate in a program to collect information about COVID- 19 exposure is legit?

Our Verify researchers contacted Privia Health, and a spokesperson confirmed that the email did come from them.

About 225,000 Privia patients across the country have already received the email; 100,000 of them are in the DMV, where 1,100 Privia physicians practice medicine, according to Dr. Keith Fernandez. 

"We wanted to provide information ammo, so to speak, in the battle against COVID, and we think we can do it a lot more effectively with larger numbers of participants than you typically get in a clinical research trial," Fernandez said.

Here’s how it works: the email lets you sign up to answer a daily questionnaire about how you’re feeling, your symptoms, whether you’ve come in close contact with coronavirus, or tested positive yourself. 

Then you’ll be asked about any medicines you’re taking to treat COVID-19.

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Credit: wusa


That info will go to the Department of Health and Human Services as part of a new program that will help the agency study how COVID patients are reacting to different drugs, which seem to be the most effective, in what doses and how early you started taking it during the progression of the disease.

On April 20, HHS announced that software company Oracle donated an online platform to help record real-time medical data. Privia Health, Wake Forest Baptist and Atrium, are among the major medical systems participating in the program, according to an HHS spokesperson.

Fernandez said Privia Health was an early adopter of the program.

Identifying factors like your name and address are stripped off before the information goes to HHS, according to Fernandez.

"When we exchange that information it has to be virtually impossible to find out who you were," Fernandez said.

So we can verify that this email is legitimate. As of May 4, about 16,000 Privia Health patients have opted in.

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