by John R. Fischer
, Senior Reporter | August 13, 2021
Aetna, owned by CVS Health, has started up Aetna Virtual Primary Care, the first solution in the U.S. to offer patients virtual access to primary care anytime and from anywhere.
The solution is designed to help overcome barriers to healthcare access by connecting eligible Aetna members with physicians both remotely and in person. "This new care solution gives members the power of choice and convenience. A member selects a virtual care provider from a diverse panel of board-certified physicians and coordinated care from a consistent team of specialists based on their health needs. A continuous relationship with a virtual care physician is built beginning from the first 30-45 minute comprehensive primary care visit and extending to every primary care visit thereafter," CVS Health spokesperson Ethan Slavin told HCB News.
Available to self-funded employers, Aetna Virtual Primary Care is facilitated through Teladoc Health’s physician-led care team model and also supported by Aetna's provider network and CVS Health services. In addition to providing patients with access to multiple clinical specialties, Teladoc Health aims to use its technology to provide insights that can help providers and patients make better healthcare decisions. It recently partnered with Microsoft
to do just this with its Solo platform, which will be used to create a virtual hub for providers to communicate with colleagues and patients.
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For Aetna members, virtual care also includes mental health counseling, dermatology services and 24/7 urgent care. Patients are connected to a diverse panel of board-certified physicians and a team of specialists, and can meet with a virtual care physician for 30 to 45 minute primary care visits. There are no copays for virtual primary care appointments and select-in-person services at MinuteClinic and CVS HealthHUB locations. There also are no referrals for in-person visits with in-network healthcare providers.
Additionally, a personalized care plan is included with biometric screenings for in-depth preventative care as well as support for chronic health issues. Patients can communicate concerns to a virtual nurse care team through unlimited in-app texting or phone before, during and after their visit. This includes navigation services to in-person, local providers and labs and testing.
"Aetna Virtual Primary Care makes it easier for people to get and stay healthy, even when balancing the demands of work and life," said Slavin. "This, coupled with access to in-person visits with providers in our network, including MinuteClinic and HealthHUB locations, provides the flexibility needed for better health outcomes."