Virtual care has been a healthcare trend since the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, but for 2023 it is now about how organizations continue to mature their telehealth offerings to members. More and more payers have been adding or expanding their telehealth and remote healthcare options for members since the pandemic sparked the need for non-traditional care and communication methods.
Blue Shield of California recently teamed up with Accolade to launch a new virtual-first health plan called Virtual Blue. The new plan will enable members to access a variety of virtual health services at no additional cost, as well as get care from providers within Blue Shield’s PPO network.
Senior Vice President at Blue Shield of California Tim Lieb’s release statement nicely summarizes the reasoning behind this effort and the changing point of view of many large healthcare payers:
“This is health care the way it should be—integrated and accessible care that puts the member and their health at the center,” said Tim Lieb, senior vice president at Blue Shield of California, in the release. “The access to behavioral health services is especially important as our members cope and overcome the impact of the pandemic on their own lives.”
Another healthcare leader prioritizing virtual care this year is CVS Health who launched a new virtual primary care service and expanded their telehealth-based mental healthcare options.
Fierce Healthcare’s recent article said, “CVS executives say the virtual primary care offering is part of the company’s strategy to provide ‘longitudinal and holistic care to create stronger relationships between patients and their providers.’”
In both cases, the reasoning behind these moves match the futuristic vision behind HELIOSvisit and the reason why some of the biggest Medicaid and Medicare payers with HELIOS have opted to use HELIOSvisit.
HELIOSvisit Enabled Virtual Value-Based Care and Stronger Member Relationships Before COVID-19
HELIOSvisit was launched prior to the pandemic because we saw the need for an option that enabled greater access to care remotely. As a telehealth tool, it can help address the access issues caused by geographic location limitations, provider shortages, or transportation challenges, and help cultivate intentionality and personalized connections with members.
And when COVID-19 hit, it helped HELIOS customers with HELIOSvisit, quickly adapt care efforts to a virtual model.
For one of our clients managing Medicaid populations, HELIOSvisit combined with the Healthwise educational content integration helped improve health literacy by enabling the delivery and usage of high-quality, tailored educational materials and one-on-one, personalized conversations.
And HELIOSvisit is easy for payers to use to help improve member health and drive member engagement and empowerment. Between October 2022 and January 31, 2023, for example, more than 9,445 successful messages from HELIOS were sent.
Three Ways Virtual Care with HELIOSvisit Can Improve Members’ Health and Create Stronger Relationships
Video conferencing – Plan members can join a videoconference from any device with an internet connection and a web browser including computers, smartphones, and tablets. Some phone carrier data plans may also work.
This makes it easy to provide integrated and accessible care to all members, especially those who may be struggling to access care due to lack of transportation, lack of local providers, or socio-economic challenges that prevent them from being able to spend enough in-person time with providers.
Moreover, video conference features can help care teams support efforts to improve members’ health by routinely checking in with members, following up after appointments, ensuring medications are managed properly, and helping to answer any questions about care plan instructions. This allows added support for healthcare providers and ensures members get the help, answers, and care they need.
Exchanging files – To make things easier for members and help support health education efforts (health literacy, care plan adherence, etc.) HELIOSvisit also allows a secure exchange of files. A care manager could send a few articles or videos on diabetes management for the member to review. Or they could send a form for a new member to fill out, and the member can send it back once completed.
For members who are struggling to access accurate and free information about chronic conditions or diseases, or who live in lower socio-economic areas, this feature is exceptionally helpful for care teams to both expand access to and provide more equitable care, as well as help members improve their own health, well-being, and quality of life by empowering them with information and resources.
Simplifying personalized member experiences from anywhere – Today’s members want convenient and personalized health experiences. HELIOSvisit enables care teams and providers to connect, communicate, support, and engage members without additional software. Members don’t have to waste time making a user profile either, simply click a link and join the call.
This ease of use helps address tech literacy challenges that Senior and Baby Boomer generations may face that can negatively impact health outcomes and well-being, as well as reduce operational and tech costs for payers and providers. A simple experience has the added benefit of reducing staff workload and creating more time for patient care.
And to help further personalization of care, the interaction details, notes, and recordings can all be automatically captured and stored for future reference. This allows care teams and providers utilizing the member data in HELIOS for care purposes to always be up to date with recent conversations and interactions so that the right next steps in the plan of care can be determined.
HELIOSvisit is a Trusted, Secure Option for Virtual Care Management
HELIOSvisit is a HIPAA-compliant telehealth solution built within HELIOS. It’s easy to use for both members and care teams, allowing connections directly through the HELIOS platform. There’s no extra software or downloads necessary, which makes access simple for members regardless of their tech literacy levels. HELIOSvisit can also be a more cost-effective option for telehealth, helping to reduce an organization’s tech stack and technology costs.
Additionally, as part of the HELIOS ecosystem, it meets HITRUST’s criteria as the gold standard of healthcare information security.