Payer Strategies In The Time of COVID-19, part 3

This is the third part of a three-part series on strategies for payers during the COVID-19 pandemic.   

The situation surrounding COVID-19 is changing day-by-day or even hour-by-hour, and has derailed most of our normal patterns: People are working from home, kids are home from school, restaurants are closed, and the healthcare system has become singularly focused on containing and treating this virus.

What can/should healthcare plans do?   Most are waiving copays on tests and agreeing to pay providers for telehealth visits. Beyond that, the question is what can payers do to best serve their members’ health needs once the immediate crisis starts to stabilize.

Increase access to mental health services: This is a stressful time, as normal routines are upended, there is a lot of uncertainty -- and we are now adding social isolation. Large numbers of members are experiencing emotional stress or anxiety that impacts their daily lives, beyond the 25% of Americans who have traditionally experienced mental illness. Even members who have mental health coverage often find the coverage to be limited; this may be the time to expand mental health access for right now, to allow members to deal with the repercussions of the pandemic. Further, referring members to those services and scheduling appointments during an outreach call – again, whether via an in-person or telehealth visit -- can improve access and can help members receive badly needed mental health treatments that will help the plan save money in the long run by reducing complications and admissions down the road.

Written by ReferWell

ReferWell is a New York-area digital health company that leverages the referable moment — the point in time when a person is most ready to take action to improve their health — to improve access to care, increase health plans’ quality performance and reduce the total cost of care while improving the members’ experience and outcomes. ReferWell’s intuitive technology platform and skilled service team helps health plans and providers manage value and help more people get on, and stay on, their healthcare journey by providing an optimized provider search, making it easy to schedule appointments at the point of care to increase patient compliance, and providing a service component to ensure providers close the loop regardless of the EMR they use.

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Payer Strategies In The Time of COVID-19, part 2
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