Anthem Blue Cross adds Spanish-language telemedicine, diabetes prevention tools

By Heather Mack
Share

California residents under Anthem Blue Cross are now able to have video visits with a Spanish-speaking doctor for non-emergency needs through a partnership with LiveHealth Online, a telemedicine company that offers its service, Cuidado Medico, to both members and non-members of Anthem.

“We all know how important it is to talk to a doctor in the language in which you’re most comfortable,” Anthem President Brian Ternan said in a statement. “Cuidado Medico on LiveHealth Online offers a secure way for our members to use their insurance plan and contact a Spanish speaking board-certified doctor via your smartphone.”

With Cuidado Medico, patients can access Spanish-speaking doctors from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Pacific time, 365 days a year. Doctors can assess non-emergency situations, write prescriptions for non-controlled substances, or refer patients to a brick and mortar service, if necessary. A summary for each visit is created, and can be forwarded to their primary care doctor. For those who are Anthem members, the LiveHealth Online visits are a covered benefit; for those who are not, it’s $49 per visit.

“This, of course, isn’t to replace a primary doctor, but it’s a great option for situations where, it’s Friday night, you aren’t feeling well, your kids aren’t feeling well, and you just need to speak with a doctor and you don’t have the option to go to a regular one,” John Jesser, vice president of provider engagement strategy for Anthem Blue Cross told MobiHealthNews.

LiveHealth Online began offering doctor visits in 2012 via its website, and mobile access became available a year later. But the pairing with Anthem is a first for California residents who either need or just prefer to speak with a doctor via their phone or computer in Spanish.

While Anthem Blue Cross didn’t have firm numbers on just how many people will use Cuidado Medico, they did say that, given the demographics of California, it is likely to have a large impact.

Also this week, Anthem Blue Cross made a diabetes prevention program available to community groups such as Black Women for Wellness and Valley Jewish Community Center, via a partnership with Solera Health, which offers healthy lifestyle coaching and weekly classes to help prevent and manage diabetes.

The yearlong program will integrate Solera’s network of community groups as well as national and digital DPP programs, so qualified Anthem Blue Cross members can easily access whichever type of program works best for them. Digital programs include offerings from HealthSlate, Retrofit, Blue Mesa Health and Lark.

To facilitate this, Solera launched solera4me.com, a website that enables members to complete a quick assessment to determine whether they qualify for the program, match with a program provider, and confirm plan eligibility. Solera and Anthem are also working with Anthem Personal Health Care providers and ACOs to identify members who would most benefit from the programs.

“With 55 percent of adults in California considered diabetic or pre-diabetic, diabetes is a looming crisis in our state and our nation,” Dr. Jacob Asher, an Anthem Blue Cross medical director said in a statement. “As part of our effort to provide quality and affordable healthcare, this program will give members who are at risk for diabetes the education and power to improve their long term health. It also gives them the freedom to decide how, where, and when they need to access this potentially life-altering intervention.”