HCSC Launching Virtual Primary Care in 2023
Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC) is expanding its virtual care portfolio by offering virtual primary care to some midsize and large employer groups in Illinois and Texas starting January 1, 2023. The virtual primary care model is designed to help employers with employees scattered across diverse geographies get timely and convenient access to a trusted online care team – all while managing health care outcomes and costs.
“We know that having a primary care provider is associated with better overall health outcomes — fewer hospital visits, earlier detection of problems and improved management of chronic conditions,” said Dr. Monica Berner, Chief Clinical Officer for HCSC. “The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated the effectiveness and convenience of telehealth, so we continue to evolve our solutions to help members get care where and how they need and want it.”
HCSC’s virtual primary care program is powered by Teladoc Health, which supplements HCSC’s network of providers to increase convenient, timely access to care. Members can develop a relationship and keep seeing the same Teladoc provider for their ongoing primary care needs, if they choose. The physician they select can provide annual exams, preventive care, diagnosis and treatment for health concerns and management of chronic conditions. The providers are available for phone or video primary care visits six days a week. They can write prescriptions and refer members to in-person care, when necessary. The doctors are part of a virtual care team that includes a registered nurse and a medical assistant. Members receive a welcome kit with a blood pressure cuff and heart rate monitor so they can provide vital data to their health care team.
Primary Care Plus
While the name of this new solution highlights access to primary care – the offering includes time-sensitive access to additional specialty services, especially those in highest demand:
- Virtual urgent care. This on-demand service can be used to assess, diagnose and treat everyday issues such as a cold, flu or sinus infection. Available via phone or video 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
- Virtual behavioral health. Therapy, counseling and psychiatry, as needed, can be used to address stress, anxiety and other behavioral health conditions. Available via phone or video 7 a.m. – 9 p.m. local time seven days a week, excluding federal holidays.
- Virtual dermatology. Members upload images and explain their concerns via an asynchronous digital platform and receive a reply within 48 business hours with a diagnosis or request for additional information.
Growing Digital Options
Virtual primary care is HCSC’s latest virtual solution to meet the evolving needs of customers and members. HCSC recently launched a digital mental health program that provides behavioral health assessments, as well as a digital care management model to connect with members after surgery and provide follow-up guidance by email, digital messaging portal, and text message.