Blog Post

Best ways to maximize success with telemedicine health plans

Best ways to maximize success with telemedicine health plans. Health plans need to take the whole benefit of telemedicine health in order to maximize their impact. Telemedicine enables healthcare providers to deliver affordable, convenient, and high-quality care to their members. Here are some ways top telemedicine health plans deliver better care to their members and enhance their programs.

  1. Expanding healthcare access to behavioral healthcare services: There is a national mental healthcare provider shortage, especially in psychiatric services. 77% of the counties of the nation report a severe deficiency of psychiatrists. The lack of mental health providers is most critical in the rural communities/ remote areas, where patients must travel long distances for care, and most often, they choose not to seek care altogether. Top telemedicine health plans are offering care for telehealth to combat these issues. Telehealth makes care more accessible by enabling these health plans further to extend needed behavioral health services into member communities. Across the country, telemedicine and high deductible health plans are using telehealth to:

    1. Address member access and mental health provider issues.
    2. Divert patients away from PCPs and ERs for behavioral telemedicine healthcare plans.
    3. With the help of PCPs, build a virtual behavioral health collaborative model.
  2. Considering the impact of telehealth on quality metrics: While health plans use quality performance metrics to analyze providers and maximize payments from Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), consumers use these metrics to compare health plans. The quality performance metrics like HEDIS and CMS star ratings shall become vital to ensure quality care. The telemedicine healthcare management model continues to shift from fee-for-service to value-based care. Telehealth can improve ratings for three categories:

    1. Management of chronic conditions.
    2. Staying healthy – screening, tests, and vaccine.
    3. Member experience with health plans.
  3. Empowering and connecting provider networks: It has become very difficult to provide coordinated care in a competitive healthcare marketplace. Members seek care outside the health plan ecosystem as care options increase, which causes fragmentation and market share loss. Co-ordination becomes easier and local providers can collaborate on how to best care for members by using telehealth to engage network providers. For providers in risk-based contacts- searching for more efficient and effective ways to care for these members- especially those with chronic conditions, utilizing a health-plan associated telehealth program is especially relevant.

  4. Driving member awareness: The most vital thing that health plans should do is build awareness since many members may not know how telehealth works. Top telemedicine health plans are utilizing comprehensive marketing approaches to build awareness of telehealth services and driving usage. Successful marketing tactics include direct mail, email, working with employer groups, and digital advertising. Another key factor essential to success is messaging. The value propositions are different compared to other populations if you are marketing to a Managed Medicaid population.

  5. Access to care and convenience: The ability of telemedicine, especially during a global pandemic, to connect patients, your employees, to care providers despite the physical distance is critical, especially during a global pandemic. For those in more rural areas, the convenience and access to care are especially important. Not to mention that not being with a care provider physically can help reduce the spread of COVID-19. This is the best way to maximize success with telemedicine health plans.