Health insurer Highmark has announced that it will become the first health insurer in the country to offer teledermatology as a covered benefit, starting Jan. 1, 2015.
Next year, online services provided through DermatologistOnCall — a web-based platform developed by the Pittsburgh-based Iagnosis — will be covered for Highmark members. The company has created a network of board certified dermatologists who specialize in providing online skin care, and the service will be made available 24/7. Additionally, members can now have virtual therapy sessions in their home or a private setting of their choosing, at the discretion of their provider.
Highmark will continue to cover telemedicine primary care visits through Teladoc and has done so since 2012, its officials say.
"We need to make sure our members get the right care in the right setting, and telemedicine is a key tool to help make that setting more patient-centered," Donald Fischer, M.D., Highmark senior vice president and chief medical officer, said in a statement. "Telemedicine is a resource that is critical to transforming the delivery of health care. It ensures faster access to high-quality health care while also helping to control costs."