Ideas from Telehealth Leaders

The eHealth Initiative (eHI) held their annual meeting virtually with the panel discussion Virtual Care Delivery During COVID-19 and Beyond led by Jen Covich Bordenick eHI’s CEO. 

Panelists included Saurabha Bhatnagar MD United Healthcare, CMO, Head of Technology, Roy Schoenberg MD, Amwell, President & CEO, and Adam Peliegrini, CVS Health, SVP Enterprise Virtual Care and Consumer Health.

Dr. Bhatnagar said, “UnitedHealthcare in 2019 conducted one million telehealth visits and in 2020 in the Medicare space, there was a big increase of 40% in telehealth visits. United Healthcare has been  expanding access to virtual care through their recently announced Primary Care Offering.

The Primary Care Offering enables the company to make available virtual care with local physicians for members enrolled in employer sponsored plans. The company is also expanding the availability of care with their new Virtual Primary Care Service  with local physicians for members enrolled in employer sponsored plans.

Also, UnitedHealthcare has updated a policy to help encourage the use of virtual care which enables eligible members to meet with their physicians. As of January 1, the policy applies to fully insured and self-insured employer plans and will continue to reimburse local primary care physicians, specialists, and select therapy providers for administering certain care through telehealth.

Roy Schoenberg MD, CEO Amwell, reports that the biggest change is that people are getting care where needed as in the home. He emphasized that today there is innovation in providing health or medical care that includes using Artificial Intelligence (AI) However, the question is if a doctor is using AI what will be the policy in terms of payment to doctors?

Recently Amwell launched Amwell Psychiatric Care (APC) to provide a solution to enable hospitals and health systems to provide on demand and scheduled telepsychiatry services 24/7 by board-certified psychiatrists. The goal is to improve Emergency Departments throughput, help health systems avoid costly admissions or transfers, and expedite patient discharge by rapidly evaluating psychiatric patients.

Adam Peliegrini, CVS Health reports the goal for CVS is to not only deliver seamless medical help online, but also provide help in the stores in order to provide a unified consumer experience. To do this, the company recently expanded HealthHUB locations at CVS Pharmacy stores. There are plans to have 1,500 HealthHUB locations operating by the end of 2021.

He described how HealthHubs with personalized pharmacy support along with expanded MinuteClinic services, is helping to improve care for patients managing chronic conditions. The teams are able to recommend next best clinical actions.

In addition, a care concierge inside the store is there to educate customers about the store’s new service offerings, help customers navigate the in store services, and connect them to in-store providers.


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