- Humana is partnering with telehealth platform Doctor on Demand to create On Hand, a virtual primary care plan aimed at meeting the needs of employers and their employees.
- The new plan announced Wednesday is the first to use Doctor on Demand's Synapse virtual primary care platform, which rolled out in February and is designed to integrate into health plans' existing networks.
- On Hand includes a dedicated primary care provider and low copays. Patients pay nothing for doctor visits using Doctor On Demand and a $5 copay for common lab work and prescriptions.
The pressure for payers, providers and employers to offer easy access to virtual care is mounting. Between 2015 and 2018, physician adoption of telehealth jumped 340% from 5% to 22%, according to a recent American Well survey. And a Vidyo report named telehealth the top IT priority at large health systems, followed by remote patient monitoring.
The partnership comes as government and private insurers are also focusing more on primary care. On Monday, CMS unveiled a voluntary Medicare payment model for primary care. The Primary Cares Initiative, set to launch in January, offers separate tracks for small practices and large organizations and various risk levels, from partial shared risk to full downside risk.
In addition to a dedicated primary care provider, Humana's new On Hand health plan offers a medical device kit that includes a digital blood pressure cuff, thermometer and log; access to board-certified doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists and nurse practitioners; wellness visits to track overall health; and video visits and secure messaging. The package also features in-network referrals and care coordination, in an attempt to hold down costs.
"Through virtual care delivery, On Hand gives employers the opportunity to affordably offer healthcare benefits to employees without sacrificing comprehensive, quality care," Chris Hunter, president of Humana's group and military segment, said in a statement.
Doctor On Demand's Synapse platform provides a range of health and wellness services, from preventive health to chronic care, urgent care and behavioral health, all through video visits. The platform also allows patients to access their digital health records and updates, including from connected devices.
A Doctor On Demand spokesperson declined to say whether other Synapse-related partnerships are currently in the works.