Anthem, UnitedHealthcare & more: 6 payers expanding digital health strategies

Health insurers including Anthem and UnitedHealthcare are embracing digital health adoption and increasingly growing their respective strategies to engage with members and make care more convenient.

Here are six payers that have expanded digital health strategies so far in 2021.

1. Anthem in January established a new digital incubator focused on helping healthcare startups expand their business plans and innovations.

Anthem inked a new partnership with Canvas, an EHR and practice management platform, in April to integrate the companies' technologies so Anthem's machine learning insights can be delivered directly within Canvas' workflows.

Digital health company K Health in April announced plans to launch a digital-first healthcare company Hydrogen Health, with funding provided by Anthem and investment group Blackstone Growth. The investment follows a multiyear effort between Anthem and K Health that uses K Health's technology to reduce avoidable healthcare costs and improve health outcomes.

2. Humana partnered Feb. 1 with DispatchHealth, a provider of in-home medical care, to offer Humana members access to 24/7 medical care outside of the hospital. The Louisville, Ky.-based payer in March also joined a $200 million series D funding round for DispatchHealth. 

3. UnitedHealthcare rolled out a new virtual care option, called Right2You, in March for individuals needing hearing assessments or hearing aids.

4. Evernorth, Cigna's health services business, acquired telehealth company MDLive, the companies said April 19.

5. Highmark Health grew its partnership with Google Cloud in March by signing onto a new six-year collaboration with the tech giant's sister company Verily. With the new partnership, Highmark will add Verily's digital care tools for managing chronic conditions, including congestive heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, to its Living Health model for patients and clinicians.

6. Blue Shield of California in April said it is adding two new features to its digital health platform to help members living with Type 2 diabetes. The platform now offers shared-decision-making tool Care Compass and its meal delivery service Betr Health.

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