Arches Health Plan announced today that it has chosen TruClinic as the telemedicine solution for its provider network, and will become one of the first independent US insurance payers to reimburse providers for home-based telemedicine visits.
TruClinic provides a lightweight, web-based platform through which patients can connect with their healthcare provider from the comfort of their own home or from the worksite using any computing device with an internet connection and a webcam. Arches will initially make TruClinic available to 1,000 providers inside the Arches Preferred Care Clinics, and eventually scale to their entire provider network of 4,500+ providers.
The significance of this move is driven by Arches' groundbreaking telemedicine reimbursement strategy that will accompany the rollout of TruClinic to Arches' preferred providers. While telemedicine solutions have long been available, providers have had little incentive to embrace the technology for use inside the home because of payment structures.
Arches has activated 30 CPT codes specifically for reimbursement of patient-centric care solutions that streamline the channels of care for both the patients and the providers. Some of the highlights of the new codes are: sessions conducted by physician and non-physician licensed providers, nursing home visits and home health company visits. These and other types of interactions will now be reimbursed for telemedicine sessions using the TruClinic platform.
With this new strategy, Arches will be not only the first health insurance co-op, but also one of the first non-affiliated insurance companies in the US to provide reimbursement for both primary online care and primary specialty online care.
"The reimbursement codes are aimed at paying doctors to provide high quality care without the handcuffs of our archaic system. By embracing new ways of engaging our patients we finally make it about their needs and not just our needs," said Arches Chief Medical Officer Dr. Douglas Roland Smith. "The service we can provide with TruClinic will provide an exceptional benefit to our members, and allow us to lead the charge in innovative healthcare delivery by embracing new technologies to deliver more patient centered care."
From July to September, 2014, Arches will also be making TruClinic available to their providers to use for non-Arches patients as a value added benefit - further illustrating the dedication that Arches has not only to their members, but to the improved health of all Utahns.
TruClinic has established itself on the forefront of innovative technology solutions in healthcare, working with major providers in the state of Utah, including the University of Utah Health Care system to improve access to convenient healthcare services.
"We are elated that Arches has taken a leadership position in telemedicine to begin offering a full spectrum of online care to their members and providers. Their ability to work collaboratively with their providers to improve and innovate the healthcare delivery system will resound across the country as they build out the best practices for the emerging market of online healthcare." said Justin Kahn, CEO of TruClinic.