Direct to Consumer

Oral Presentation

(DTC8-03) How to Create a Telemedicine Program That Works? Focus on Engagement

Monday, April 24
3:25 PM - 3:45 PM
Location: W224 CD

In 2015, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota (Blue Cross) announced a partnership with Doctor On Demand to provide telemedicine to its health plan members. Blue Cross is the largest Minnesota-based health plan, covering 2.6 million members in the state and nationally. This presentation will discuss how insurers and providers can collaborate to implement and scale a telemedicine program, using real results from a partnership that successfully engaged its members. The presentation will highlight three key components to deploying and scaling a successful telemedicine operation: high clinical standards, a world-class customer experience, and a proactive engagement plan.

High clinical standards:
The clinical design of a telemedicine program is the most important factor to success. Telemedicine programs should only offer board-certified physicians, psychiatrists, and licensed psychologists - who are specifically trained for telehealth with evidence-based clinical guidelines. To ensure consistent quality, programs should include double-blinded peer review, random auditing by clinical staff members, and patient reviews. Accreditations from national standard-setting organizations - like American Telemedicine Association, National Committee for Quality Assurance, and Health Information Trust Alliance - also legitimize telemedicine programs.

Positive customer experience:
Both the insurer and the provider must also actively engage with the customer to provide a positive experience. Blue Cross has focused on making telemedicine easy to access for its members. Once a member creates an account with Doctor On Demand, the service provides real-time benefits eligibility and claims processing specific to their plan. Members also have the option to set up automatic payment through their Health Savings Account, Flexible Spending Account or major credit card. These features are designed to bring the same type of administrative efficiencies from a traditional office visit to the telehealth space.

The telemedicine provider also has a role to play, in offering an intuitive, user-friendly application; real-time video interaction; a customer support team that quickly addresses patients' questions; low wait times; and seamless, customized integration into employers' benefits plans. Both insurers and providers can improve their customer experience by conducting intensive user testing and seeking continuous feedback.

Proactive engagement:
Blue Cross worked with Doctor on Demand to create a comprehensive engagement plan that gives all stakeholders a voice, including: a customer advisory group, an intensive internal Blue Cross training process, broker training, workshops with employers and employees, product demonstrations, and team building activities. Blue Cross created a dedicated team to support its telemedicine program, including a clinical product manager, an operational product manager, and a marketing consultant. This team coordinates with a single point of contact at Doctor on Demand. After implementing this engagement plan, Blue Cross increased its telemedicine utilization rate by 30 percent.

Creating a telemedicine program that works requires mastering not just the direct customer touchpoints, but also the behind-the-scenes work that makes the customer experience smooth and worthwhile. This is how to create real results. Per 100,000 employees, Doctor On Demand saves an estimated $2 million and 30,600 hours of productivity each year. But these statistics are a fraction compared to telemedicine's full potential.

Learning Objectives:

Tania Elliott

Medical Director
Doctor On Demand

Dr. Tania Elliott is the Medical Director of Doctor On Demand. Dr. Elliott is a graduate of Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia. She completed her residency in Internal Medicine at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City and fellowship in Allergy and Clinical Immunology at Winthrop University Hospital on Long Island. She is board certified in both specialties.

Dr. Elliott has a commitment to keeping up with the most current advances in medicine. She is a firm believer in providing her patients with clear, useful information and resources so that they can be empowered to make healthy lifestyle choices. Dr. Elliott has appeared on multiple television shows including The Doctors, ABC World News, CBS, and Fox News.

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