AIS Newsletter Focuses on Growing Telehealth Trend Among Blues Plans

Share Article

The September 2015 issue of The AIS Report on Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans showcases specific Blues plans’ telehealth options. The AIS Report is not affiliated with the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association or its member companies.

Telehealth represents a growing trend among Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans, with one company, American Well Corp., contracted to handle the telehealth services of more than 12 Blues plan clients. The September 2015 issue of The AIS Report on Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans takes a look this growing trend, interviewing executives at Capital Blue Cross, whose telehealth services will launch next year. Published independently by AIS, The AIS Report is not affiliated with or sponsored, endorsed or approved by the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association or any of the independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies.

A telehealth visit is similar to an in-person office visit except the doctor and patient see each other via computer, tablet or web-enabled mobile phone. During telehealth appointments, doctors can diagnose common conditions and send prescriptions electronically to a member’s pharmacy.

While some of Capital’s providers are apprehensive, they also want to participate, says Jay Simmons, vice president of provider network engagement at Pennsylvania-based Capital Blue Cross. “The concerns tend to revolve around how the technology interacts with the patient and the effect on the provider-patient relationship,” he tells The AIS Report. But he predicts providers will gravitate toward telehealth because the technology allows them to be more efficient and see more patients.

Brooke Nordai, Capital’s director of product innovation, stresses to the AIS Report that telehealth is not meant to replace traditional office visits, but should be seen as a convenience-focused service for members who might not have time for an office visit, or who might need care outside of normal office hours.

Capital’s telehealth services, and that of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Michigan will go live to enrollees starting in January, according to The AIS Report; Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts launched a two-year telehealth pilot program in March. Capital’s service will be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and will cost Capital members $39, which will count towards members’ annual deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums.

Visit http://aishealth.com/archive/nblu0915-06 to read the article in its entirety, including barriers to telehealth access and comments from Danielle Russella, American Well’s president of customer solutions.

About The AIS Report on Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans
The AIS Report on Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans delivers timely news and insightful analysis of new products, market share, strategies, conversions, financing, profitability and strategic alliances of Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans, which are major players in every U.S. health insurance market. The 12-page monthly newsletter is designed for plan managers and others who consider BCBS plans to be partners or competitors. Visit http://aishealth.com/marketplace/ais-report-blue-cross-and-blue-shield-plans for more information. A thoroughly objective publication, The AIS Report on Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans is published independently by AIS and is not affiliated with or sponsored, endorsed or approved by the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association or any of the independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies.

About Atlantic Information Services
Atlantic Information Services, Inc. (AIS) is a publishing and information company that has been serving the health care industry for more than 25 years. It develops highly targeted news, data and strategic information for managers in hospitals, health plans, medical group practices, pharmaceutical companies and other health care organizations. AIS products include print and electronic newsletters, websites, looseleafs, books, strategic reports, databases, webinars and conferences. Learn more at http://AISHealth.com.

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Jill Brown, Executive Editor
Atlantic Information Services
+1 (202) 775-9008 Ext: 3058
Email >
@AISHealth
since: 04/2009
Follow >
AISHealth
since: 01/2011
Like >
Atlantic Information Services, Inc.

Visit website