Corporate Insight examines desktop telehealth best practices, revealing which health plans excel at this crucial technology

Learn best practices for desktop telehealth services, which address behavioral health needs quickly and remove geographical barriers to care

Digital point-of-care services that include consultations with healthcare professionals via videoconferencing, live chat or email are increasingly important to consumers. Of our 2019 Digital Healthcare Survey respondents, 32% indicated that the ability to video chat with a healthcare professional was “very important” or “extremely important” to them.

Respondents value instant messaging and emailing with a healthcare professional even more, with 37% and 48% declaring these services “very important” or “extremely important”, respectively. Many healthcare fields benefit from telehealth due to its potential to address behavioral health needs quickly and remove geographical barriers to care, such as in areas affected by natural disasters. More recently, providers are using telehealth to help address the coronavirus outbreak. Notably, the effectiveness of telehealth highlights the importance of offering these capabilities on member sites and apps.

In this Health Plan Monitor Report, we follow up last month’s report on member mobile app telehealth services with an assessment of the promotion, findability, usability and features of desktop telehealth services. Fifteen firms in the Health Plan Monitor coverage group offer access to telehealth services via their member sites. However, only seven percent of survey respondents used a telehealth service on their insurer’s member site in the last six months, showing the need to promote these services better.

Only three firms offer members direct access to video, messaging or telephone consultations through member site integration, while eleven firms provide access through external third-party sites. Five firms offer members access to AmWell for telehealth services, four offer MDLIVE, three offer Teladoc and two offer Doctor on Demand. The strongest firms effectively promote telehealth services within their member sites by including service details and out-of-pocket costs, as well as ensuring seamless access to telehealth platforms.

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