According to a recent press release, a new phone application from UnitedHealthcare provides on-demand access to telemedicine services for roughly 27 million plan participants. The mobile app helps plan participants maintain and improve their well-being, access care, and better understand their health benefits.
UnitedHealthcare explained that more virtual care solutions are a top priority for employers. Citing a recent survey from the National Business Group on Health, the insurance company said that 51% of employers plan to implement virtual care solutions. Further, virtual care expansions are important especially for those living with chronic conditions and those living in rural areas where access to care is limited.
Typically, 25% of emergency room visits could be addressed with a virtual visit. On average, virtual care costs less than $50 per visit compared to $740, which is the average cost for an emergency room visit for a similar low-severity condition.
“Digital health resources are fundamentally changing how people navigate the health system, making it possible to access care from anywhere at any time and helping remove barriers to care,” said Dr John Chang, senior medical director, UnitedHealthcare of California.
Roughly 3 million people can benefit from this application, specifically, in California where UnitedHealthcare is one of the state’s largest health plans.
“Digital health resources are fundamentally changing how people navigate the health system, making it possible to access care from anywhere at any time and helping remove barriers to care,” said Anne Docimo, MD, UnitedHealthcare chief medical officer. “The new app is part of UnitedHealth Group’s more than $3 billion annual investment in data, technology, and innovation, helping build a health system that is more intuitive, affordable, and convenient.” —Julie Gould