Boston-based Telehealth services provider American Well has announced that its partnership with Blue Cross and Blue Shield health plans has enabled the company to offer telemedicine visits in more than half of U.S. states.
Visits of this ilk will now be offered across 26 states via 29 independent health plans. The LiveHealth Online service alone provides telehealth services for Blue plans in 14 states. Since partnering with American Well in 2012, LiveHealth Online has been offering video doctor visits as a covered benefit, which now includes more than 15 million members.
Increasingly health plans are adopting telemedicine as a way to expand or bring new services to their members to cover the full care continuum—including disease-management programs tailored to specific conditions, behavioral health services, and wellness and nutrition services.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts is one of 29 Blue plans in the American Well network; the plan has a two year pilot program underway in which it is providing American Well telehealth services to select physician practices in its network. Through the program, patients can engage in a video visit with their clinician or physician as an alternative to a traditional doctor visit. A team of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts clinicians are also using the American Well platform to connect with members across its care management programs.
"Modern technology like web and mobile lets us bring healthcare to you, instead of making you wait for it," said Dr. Roy Schoenberg, CEO, American Well. "It made perfect sense to partner with the Blues, who have been long-standing leaders in bringing healthcare to consumers, to deliver online care to their networks. The ability to see a doctor instantly, from your home or smartphone, is now reality for millions of people who have trusted their healthcare to the Blues. We are honored to do our part in making high-quality medical care much more accessible and significantly less painful."