UPMC Rolls out Telemedicine App for Pennsylvania Patients with 24/7 Service | Healthcare Informatics Magazine | Health IT | Information Technology Skip to content Skip to navigation

UPMC Rolls out Telemedicine App for Pennsylvania Patients with 24/7 Service

March 27, 2017
by Rajiv Leventhal
| Reprints

UPMC (University of Pittsburgh Medical Center) Health Plan recently launched a new smartphone-enabled UPMC AnywhereCare platform that allows patients to receive remote care from emergency room professionals 24 hours a day and with reduced copays.

Using the video camera on a smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop computer, patients ages three and older with a variety of non-emergency symptoms ranging from sore throats and upper respiratory illnesses to back pain and seasonal allergies, can be seen face-to-face by a healthcare professional who will assess the symptoms and recommend a personal treatment plan, just like a traditional in-office visit. UPMC officials point out that AnywhereCare is available anytime, anywhere, with healthcare professionals always on call. Indeed, the service is provided without the typical time needed to schedule a health care appointment or the additional hassles of traffic or parking.

The platform launched as a desktop version in November 2016, at which time it was made available for UPMC Health Plan consumers only. But now, the app version is available to all patients in the state. Since its launch, satisfaction with AnywhereCare has ranked highly among consumers, with patients rating the overall experience 4.8 out of 5, according to UPMC officials. And, the average wait time for AnywhereCare services is just over six-and-a-half minutes—shorter wait time than a typical physician's visit. Following each patient evaluation, if needed, healthcare professionals are able to send prescriptions directly to the patient's pharmacy so that treatment can begin immediately.

“UPMC members and patients now have access to a UPMC physician, 24 hours a day, seven days a week through their computer or mobile device," Kim Jacobs, vice president of consumer innovation at UPMC Health Plan, said in a statement. "Consumers are seeking convenient and high quality care, when and where they need it. Using AnywhereCare, patients can initiate a visit with a UPMC physician without traveling to an office or taking time off of work. AnywhereCare visits are low cost, typically about half the cost of a health care plan copay, and they allow patients within Pennsylvania to be cared for by UPMC clinicians in their homes, at work, or on the road."

The cost of an AnywhereCare visit is between $10 and $49, depending on insurance coverage. Medically-appropriate prescriptions, if needed, must be paid separately by the patient.

"The platform allows patients to use technology to be seen by doctors more quickly," added Jacobs. "AnywhereCare also helps to free the backlog in doctor's offices, urgent care facilities, and hospital emergency rooms and allows doctors to spend more time with patients who suffer from chronic conditions. Nearly 90 percent of patient issues are resolved during the AnywhereCare virtual visit and do not require follow-up care."

Get the latest information on Health IT and attend other valuable sessions at this two-day Summit providing healthcare leaders with educational content, insightful debate and dialogue on the future of healthcare and technology.

Learn More



Healthcare Execs Anticipate High Cost Returns from Predictive Analytics Use

Healthcare executives are dedicating budget to predictive analytics, and are forecasting significant cost savings in return, according to new research from the Illinois-based Society of Actuaries.

Adam Boehler Tapped by Azar to Serve as Senior Value-Based Care Advisor

Adam Boehler, currently director of CMMI, has also been named the senior advisor for value-based transformation and innovation, HHS Secretary Alex Azar announced.

Vivli Launches Clinical Research Data-Sharing Platform

On July 19 a new global data-sharing and analytics platform called Vivli was unveiled. The nonprofit group’s mission is to promote, coordinate and facilitate scientific sharing and reuse of clinical research data.

Survey: More Effective IT Needed to Improve Patient Safety

In a Health Catalyst survey, physicians, nurses and healthcare executives said ineffective information technology, and the lack of real-time warnings for possible harm events, are key obstacles to achieving their organizations' patient safety goals.

Physicians Still Reluctant to Embrace Virtual Tech, Survey Finds

While consumers and physicians agree that virtual healthcare holds great promise for transforming care delivery, physicians still remain reluctant to embrace the technologies, according to a new Deloitte Center for Health Solutions survey.

Geisinger, AstraZeneca Partner on Asthma App Suite

Geisinger has partnered with pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca to create a suite of products that integrate into the electronic health record and engage asthma patients and their providers in co-managing the disease.