This is the second 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.
Help schedule hi-risk patients: Getting folks to go to preventative care visits is hard enough, without a global pandemic keeping everyone inside. During the pandemic, most routine doctors’ visits and elective treatments have been put on hold in favor of Corona-related care. There is a good chance most of these preventive visits don’t get rescheduled, which is especially troubling for hi-risk patients. Plans can help by reaching out to these high-risk members and scheduling their preventive care appointments for either an in-person or a telehealth visit. The best method is to schedule the provider visit with the member right then and there while on the phone (or work with a company who can make the calls on the plan’s behalf). When scheduling the appointment on that call, statistics show that the likelihood that members show up for that appointment is doubled.