Virtual Primary Care: Your Primary Care Provider Anytime, Anywhere
The landscape of virtual primary care and telehealth looks drastically different now compared to 2019, thanks in no small part to the COVID-19 pandemic. Mandatory lockdowns and quarantines caused a boom in the popularity of virtual healthcare and people quickly became comfortable with virtual visits.
We know this firsthand, as Premise Health saw a 3,600% increase in scheduled virtual visits from 2019 to 2020. Our clients are also betting on the future of virtual healthcare. When surveyed earlier this spring, nearly three-quarters stated they’re focused on driving greater adoption of on demand healthcare solutions.
The quick adoption of virtual healthcare has been one positive result of the pandemic, but there is still room for improvement in the digital realm. Luckily, Premise Health is here with a new approach to virtual primary care through our Digital Wellness Center.
What is virtual primary care?
Virtual primary care is the ability to access your primary care provider through a digital environment such as a phone call, video visit, or secure message. Commonly associated with telehealth or telemedicine, the healthcare space has seen a flood of third party technology companies offering a variety of virtual visits ranging in quality, staffing models and more, to meet consumer demand, most of which have come with some downsides.
Almost all telehealth providers lack integration between virtual and in-person visits. For members, this means needing to explain your entire medical history every time you access the telehealth service, which can be off-putting and inconvenient. It can also mean duplicative services and gaps in care that can be costly to member health and their wallets. Virtual care has come a long way very quickly, but there are still areas where care can be better informed, integrated, and convenient for users.
How is Premise’s virtual primary care solution different from traditional telehealth?
Aligned with the strategies and philosophy of care employed at our physical wellness centers, Premise Health’s virtual primary care model focuses on a whole-person approach and the long-term health of the member, from preventive services to behavior coaching and modification to chronic condition management. Our team has an extensive history in providing high quality, evidence-based, and member-centric primary care ensuring members are up to date with all of their preventive and proactive healthcare needs. This experience, when paired with convenient technology tools, results in more than just a smart app, it is a trusted care provider, right in your pocket.
We also deliver value by removing barriers to care and creating seamless experiences. Members can access our exclusive care team and network of physicians 24/7 across all 50 states. Our approach is built on our mission to help people get, stay, and be well – all while reducing how much members spend on healthcare.
Premise sets ourselves apart from traditional telehealth through our high-tech and high-touch approach. Our centralized team of virtual providers take a team-based approach to care and use the same technology platform as our local providers, allowing them to access and understand a member’s full medical history from a single source of truth. Integration between virtual care and in-person services minimizes potential gaps in care and makes sharing medical information hassle-free for members.
Services available through virtual primary care include:
- Centralized primary care – Our virtual primary care providers can serve as a member’s primary care physician (PCP) in addition to supporting acute and episodic care on demand. Primary care services include facilitation of preventive exams, biometrics, and cancer screenings, medication management, lifestyle medicine, travel medicine, condition management, wellness screenings, lab services, women’s health, and pediatrics.
- Specialist and referral management support – This includes referrals to local care teams and existing vendor partners, as well as community specialists for complex condition management or routine screening and diagnostic testing such as colonoscopy, stress testing, glaucoma evaluation, osteoporosis screening, and more.
- Episodic and acute care – Care for common illnesses and short-term needs such as flu, sinusitis, allergies, medication refills, sore throat, sprains and strains, skin related conditions and more.
- Behavioral health – Primary care providers are equipped with general training and resources to help members with uncomplicated behavioral health conditions including behavior change coaching and support, medication management, screenings for depression and anxiety, follow up and support for members with known behavioral health conditions, assistance with Employee Assistance Program benefits for acute needs, and referral navigation for long-term counseling.
How does virtual primary care work?
Unlike other telehealth providers, virtual primary care visits are supported by a centralized team of full-time, salaried family medicine physicians. Premise can attribute members to a provider of choice, giving them the ability to select a physician on the Digital Wellness Center team as their primary care provider. Our virtual care team works to build ongoing relationships between members and their dedicated provider so that members feel as comfortable as possible in the digital environment.
All interactions take place on a secure technology platform, My Premise Health, and virtual visits can be conducted through multiple channels:
- Video visits – Face to face virtually with a provider
- Phone visits – Talk conveniently with a provider from anywhere
- Secure messaging – Message directly with a provider through a secure platform
Whether members prefer to engage with their virtual primary care physicians on-demand or through scheduled appointments, the virtual member experience team facilitates white glove, concierge support along the way while working collaboratively with the Digital Wellness Center provider team.
What happens when in-person care is needed?
Virtual primary care means that providers can support care for most member needs, but there is always going to be a small portion of care that will need to be administered in-person. When this is necessary, the virtual care team leverages various resources to ensure members get the care they need. One example is through our Care Navigation solution’s data-driven approach to ensure members receive high-quality, cost-effective specialty care in the community and across the healthcare ecosystem.
A model that integrates virtual and in-person care will help drive the best outcomes and most value for members. Access to an onsite or nearsite health center helps facilitate a seamless transition from virtual care to in-person care with all providers utilizing the same Epic platform with full integration of clinical data.
What are the benefits of virtual primary care with Premise Health?
Virtual primary care fits into every member’s lifestyle, providing care right when they need it with providers available 24/7. Whether it’s a scheduled check-up or on-the-spot care for a new, acute issue, virtual visits can be a quick and flexible way to access high quality primary care.
Everyone can benefit from using virtual visits to save time commuting to appointments and missing work. But this method of accessing primary care also benefits populations that have historically had difficulty getting to a physical health center, such as those in rural areas or those with chronic illnesses or disabilities. Convenient appointments also help members stay up to date with their health and avoid worsening conditions down the road.
Premise’s approach to total population care means that no member is left behind, whether they’re in rural Montana or metropolitan New York, whether they’re gay, straight, or transgender, black, Asian, or white, everyone gets equal care that’s high-quality and accessible.
Virtual primary care isn’t going anywhere thanks to its convenience and ease of use, but the quality of care will vary by provider. That’s why Premise is committed to evolving the way traditional telehealth is delivered by bringing to market a more integrated solution that’s focused on creating positive change not only for clients and members, but in the broader healthcare industry. Virtual primary care through the Digital Wellness Center is a core piece of how we are redefining access, experience, and value, and demonstrates how we are redefining the healthcare system.
Learn more about how you can deliver holistic virtual primary care to your entire population here.