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The Benefits of High-Performing Nurse Advice Line Services

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Many health plans and some healthcare providers offer a 24-hour nurse advice line to support patients and members by assessing and triaging symptoms, offering care advice and referrals, and educating members about their health.

What many don’t realize is that high-performing nurse advice lines aren’t just a beneficial to patient engagement and health outcomes: they can also be leveraged to have a measurable impact on lowering health plan costs and increasing member satisfaction. Nurse advice line services enable health plans to turn a cost center into a strategic solution that supports member safety, wellness and experience while also directing non-urgent care to the most appropriate setting, saving significant value for payers and providers. A 24-hour nurse line can help to reduce unnecessary emergency department visits—a top driver of costs for health plans and the U.S. healthcare system at-large.

Carenet Health has been pioneering the telehealth space for three decades with clinical engagement and telehealth services including a 24-hour nurse line. By integrating our industry-leading nurse advice services with quick access to virtual medical and behavioral health options as needed, we deliver a more comprehensive, cost-effective physician and nurse telehealth solution. Throughout our long tenure in the field, we have learned a few lessons and helped our clients turn basic nursing telehealth services into high-quality, cost-saving assets.

One of the nation’s largest health insurers partnered with Carenet to offer nurse triage prior to physician telehealth appointments, leading to:
  • 3:1 return on investment
  • $12 million in annual cost savings

Health plans and providers that take their nurse line to greater levels of performance can expect value-drivers including:

  1. Significant cost savings
  2. Improved overall care access for patients and members
  3. Better coordination of care and scheduling
  4. Higher satisfaction and appreciation for a free source of guidance and information
  5. A substantial decrease in unnecessary urgent care and ED usage and associated costs

How to optimize your nurse advice line services

Here are a few tips for your next steps.

  1. Seek a nurse advice-line provider that has earned the URAC Health Call Center Accreditation, which comprehensively examines systems, processes and performance.
  2. Look for NCQA Health Information Products (HIP) Certification when considering potential partners for nurse information and triage services.
  3. Ensure the telehealth service is staffed with experienced, licensed registered nurses specially trained as telehealth nurse practitioners to conduct telephone triage and operate under uncertainty with limited sensory input.
  4. To meet the on-demand expectations of today’s healthcare consumer, provide around-the-clock service.
  5. Take advantage of multiple communication channel options, including health portal chats and text messaging capabilities.

You can learn more about these tips and benefits in our 10 Best Practices for Nurse Advice Lines ebook. Contact us today to learn more about how Carenet’s 24/7 nurse advice line services can benefit your organization.

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