Virtual Primary Care (VPC) – An evolved DPC

Primary Care remains the frontline in helping employees remain healthy

Primary Care remains the front line in helping employees and their family members remain healthy. As an employer this is obviously very important to you as well as you seek to control the costs of your plan and remain competitive as a company. Many employers have leveraged Direct Primary Care (DPC) in this effort to deliver better healthcare to geographically concentrated groups of employees. By directing care to a select group of DPC doctors employers have been able to significantly reduce employer healthcare costs.

PROBLEM: How do you engage a dispersed, virtual workforce?

In today’s world the increase of remote workplaces appears here to stay which places challenges on the traditional DPC efforts. Enter Virtual Primary Care (VPC), not necessarily as a replacement for DPC but rather to supplement those efforts. The bottom line is that if you maintain a self insured health plan you need to ensure your member have fast access to robust healthcare wherever they are located if you stand any chance at controlling healthcare costs.

DO THE MATH: Why is virtual primary care important?

High-quality, affordable primary care is imperative and it can be done in a way that helps employees get the primary care services they need virtually, helping them avoid costly in-person visits. Employers who are embracing different way to engage and support employee health are finding that the impact to claims trends of their healthplan can be significant.

How does it work?

When an employer rolls out their VPC offering to employees, the first step is for them to schedule a first session with their doctor. Members are provided a large group of primary care physicians to choose from and this doctor becomes their primary contact for all of their healthcare needs. One very nice feature is that if a member has an urgent care need, they will be directed to their primary care doctor for that visit whenever possible.

Fast access to your primary care physician!

One of the most critical components of VPC is having fast access to see your doctor, typically within 24 hoursWhen compared to today’s primary care experience of often having to wait weeks to see a doctor, the benefits of this approach are obvious. The doctors visits occur just as you would expect except via a virtual environment. When labs are needed, the doctor simply orders those and the member will go locally to have labs performed. The VPC physician can also prescribe medications.

The workforce has changed significantly, and they all have a smartphone.

The healthcare experience continues to lag other areas of our modern, digital lives. Today’s workforce spends an average of 4.5 hours per day on their smartphones. Employee healthcare offerings are just beginning to catch up by offering employees app based options to access care and benefits information.

Combining member claims experience for better care

Some offerings in the marketplace are even taking the historic claims experience of members and providing that data to their primary care physician so that they can have a broader picture of the employee that otherwise available through their basic health record. It is important to keep in mind that without having access to a persons healthcare claims a doctor will only be aware of care that occurred inside their healthcare practice/organization. Without claims experience a doctor does not have visibility into other doctors visited or prescriptions filled, creating an obvious gap.

Leveraging Claim Analytics.

PlanWell Health offers a robust employee health app that delivers one connected experience where benefits delivery is centralized and employees are empowered to make better healthcare decisions and save money based upon their specific health needs.

Through our integration with Self Insured Reporting, we intuitively access the claim metrics you hope to impact such as high volume procedures and providers, or drugs and conditions that are the most expensive for your population.

We then go further by providing members with access to quality metrics for doctors and medical facilities to help make better healthcare decisions for themselves and their families. When the time arises to access healthcare, members can easily search for only the highest quality providers based upon their measured outcomes and complication rates .

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