If your health plan is searching for ways to deliver more progressive 24/7 virtual care—and to substantially trim costs while still offering high-quality, on-demand access—it’s time to rethink the traditional telehealth model.

Why? Because the conventional, fragmented approach that offers separate resources (and contact points) for a nurse advice line, physician video consultations, online behavioral health services and after-hours member support is not only cumbersome to navigate, it’s also more expensive to provide, by around 50 percent, according to John Erwin, CEO of Carenet Health.

In contrast, a consolidated virtual clinic approach that uses nurse triage or after-hours support as the first point of member interaction, with live physician consults and behavioral health assistance when needed, delivers one seamlessly integrated, cost-saving service. Only patients that will benefit from a doctor consult move on to MDs, while member advocates and RNs provide guidance or care at a far lower price point.

The math is simple

“When you consider that the average cost for a virtual MD call is around $100 to $200 for a health plan, with much of this cost due to per member per month fees, it just makes sense,” Erwin says. “A member call to an experienced nurse or member support group averages far less. And skilled nurses are able to resolve about half of the calls that would normally come in for a virtual physician consult. So even if you lower the price per-doctor interaction to the lower end of the spectrum, you’re still saving around 50 percent with a combined approach.”

Another benefit? Improved member satisfaction

Removing virtual care silos also simplifies the member experience, providing faster access to the most appropriate care and just one point of entry. This removes the decision-making process over which service to contact; members don’t have to think about who to call when they’re sick or caring for a family member. 

Plus, it gives members one more reason to stay with your plan versus competitors.

Just because you’ve always done it that way, doesn’t mean you should keep doing it

Ready to rethink telehealth? The Carenet Virtual Clinic delivers the industry’s only integrated telehealth solution—with a guaranteed ROI. Contact us today for a detailed analysis of your potential cost-savings.

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