WellPoint's Telemedicine Service Saves Patients $71 per Visit

Telemedicine has proved a cost-efficient, reliable means of delivering many care services. Several health insurance companies have turned to telemedicine to offer timely access to a physician at a reduced cost.

Through a partnership with American Well, WellPoint beneficiaries have access to American Well's Online Care platform and are able to connect with physicians via video, secure online chat or telephone. In the next 12 to 18 months, WellPoint expects to expand the service to reach 32.5 million members, according to a Bloomberg report.

Users of the service, LiveHealth Online, save an average of $71 per visit, according to Bloomberg. Using LiveHealth Online instead of traveling to a physician's office also saved most patients two or three hours of time, according to the report.

Several other insurers, including UnitedHealthcare, Aetna and Cigna, have conducted telemedicine pilots or have begun offering the services more broadly. Soon, consumers will expect to have telemedicine services available, according to telehealth vendor MDLive CEO Randy Parker.

"It's going to be just like urgent care was in the U.S. — it's now completely acceptable," he told Bloomberg. "Within the next few years, no consumer will even remember not being able to connect to their providers through telehealth."

More Articles on Telemedicine:

Blue Shield of California, Adventist Health Announce Telehealth Initiative
FCC Announces New Health IT-Focused Task Force
Patient Portal Messaging, Tele-Visits Do Not Affect In-Person Physician Visit Frequency, Say Mayo Researchers

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