Prominent healthcare payers have explored a medium to reach the doorstep of every individual by a system called virtual-first health plan. These plans are not the direct consequence of the coronavirus pandemic. Humana, the ginormous healthcare provider of the USA, had announced a virtual healthcare system in April 2019, much before the outbreak of the apocalyptic pandemic. The pandemic only catalyzed the process and transformed the idea into reality much sooner than it was planned.
- When the pandemic first hurled its stings upon the people of the USA, the telehealth procedure hiked to almost 60% in 2019. Although in late 2020, the percent dropped down to 20% according to Epic’s Data, technology remained an essential component for healthcare.
- As an increasing number of payers adopted the telehealth and virtual-first health plans as the optimum means of procuring health benefits, the virtual systems are gaining more consistency and success in upholding their causes of innovation. One of the most important features of the virtual-first health plans is they are accessible 24 hours and 7 days a week. Any individuals suffering from too many health problems can immediately access virtual care without any difficulty. The main goal of this health plan is to offer a cheap health plan to people who are extremely busy and are looking for a convenient health plan to suit their busy schedule.
- The second most important feature of these health plans is that they provide more emphasis on primary care. This plan not only provided primary care but also urgent treatment, but also preventive care, and health support through a virtual platform. Oscar announced its first virtual primary care in August 2020, which would provide the patient a vital monitoring kit and emergency door step expert to conduct lab work from the patient’s home. The third most important feature of these health plans is that they provide personalized concierge support to the members enrolled under them. The traditional health plan included a whopping cost of 218$ for every pathological test and doctor fees, whereas, in the virtual first health care plan, the cost is $0.
- Steve Cain, the Chief Executive Officer of United Health in Northern California said,” In designing the California Doctor’s plan, we wanted to not only offer significant cost savings but also a more personalized simplified and coordinated care experience that can help people improve their health and well being”.