As COVID-19 vaccines continue to be rolled out and a post-pandemic world seems within reach, it is still important to reflect on the past year and how our clients exemplified telehealth excellence and led the way in providing and expanding access to quality care. This past year, our clients have continuously risen to the occasion, demonstrating unparalleled strength and resilience while pushing the boundaries of what is possible through virtual care.
To recognize these achievements and highlight those who have shown exceptional vision and leadership, Amwell is proud to announce its annual Client Awards in four award categories:
Empowering Providers: For partnering with providers to enhance the virtual care experience for long-term adoption.
- Hawai’i Medical Service Association (HMSA)
- Horizon Health Services
New Models, New Normal: For successfully adapting care delivery models to respond to rapidly changing healthcare circumstances.
- Cook County Health
- Northwell Health
Innovative Integrations: For identifying connection points within digital healthcare to improve clinical outcomes and
- Anthem Inc.
Positive Impact: For proven success using telehealth to improve population needs and close inequities in care.
- M Health Fairview
- MedStar Health
- National Association of Letter Carriers
- Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona
Hawai’i Medical Service Association (HMSA)
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, most of the providers on HMSA’s telehealth platform, HMSA’s Online Care (HOC), were behavioral health providers. Historically, HMSA has seen the highest volume of virtual visits for behavioral health. That changed during the pandemic, when members were looking for safe ways to get care from their primary care providers and specialists. To keep up with increased member demand for telehealth visits, HMSA has onboarded more than 400 new HOC providers. HMSA’s primary goal is to give members access to affordable, quality healthcare. A large provider network, including qualified telehealth providers, is key to achieving that goal. HMSA also strives to make the provider telehealth experience as seamless as possible, which has resulted in long-term provider adoption. HMSA providers are now conducting 98% of the visits on HOC, compared to 85% before the pandemic.
Horizon Health Services
When launching its telehealth program in October 2019, Horizon Health Services, one of the largest providers of mental health and substance use disorder treatment in Western New York, only planned to have a few dozen of its providers use the platform to see existing patients. When the pandemic hit, they mobilized their small but mighty telehealth team to train all of their 500-plus providers, counselors, support staff and therapists to practice virtually utilizing their white label telehealth application. In 2020, Horizon Health Services conducted more than 71,000 virtual visits and plans to continue strategically growing its virtual care program.
New Models, New Normal
Cook County Health
Cook County Health partnered with Amwell to become one of the first Cerner Connect EHR implementations. They succeeded in their goal to have a standardized telehealth platform in place for all providers and staff ahead of the anticipated 2020 winter COVID-19 and flu surge. In so doing, Cook County Health maintained continuity of care while anticipating the technology challenges of their diverse patient population. Cook County rapidly implemented its scheduled visits telehealth platform within their Cerner EHR. Just eight weeks after implementing Cerner Connect EHR, Cook County expanded to include all ambulatory clinics and conducted more than 1,200 weekly virtual visits on the telehealth platform. Today, with most services reopening for in-person care, Cook County continues to have up to 150 providers actively practicing on the platform every day.
From February 2020 to February 2021, Northwell Health saw a 5,031% year-over-year growth in Amwell-powered telehealth visits, with 85 departments successfully conducting visits on the integrated direct-to-patient platform, and more than 130 telemedicine carts deployed across Northwell Health emergency rooms, facilities, and affiliated locations. Northwell Health not only expanded to ambulatory telehealth, but the health system also adapted existing telehealth programs to meet the new needs brought on by COVID-19 restrictions. For example, its TeleSNF program not only helped connect specialty providers to local skilled nursing facility (SNF) care teams, it also virtually brought family visits into the SNF. Northwell’s existing telepsychiatry program supported the COVID-19 transfer center and expanded to cover emergency room psychiatry during the pandemic. Amwell’s C250 telemedicine carts also helped Northwell expand specialty consultations — oncology, toxicology, and PICU/NICU, to name a few — to various hospitals to help limit provider exposure and travel. In 2020 alone, the health system added more than 8,000 individuals — clinicians, nurses, office managers — onto the Amwell system to conduct virtual visits.
AdventHealth‘s emphasis on being a consumer-focused organization is exemplified in its digital front door strategy. Within the AdventHealth app and website, a patient can seamlessly navigate through the patient journey, from checking health documentations and paying a bill, to having a virtual urgent care visit. The on-demand virtual visits, which is powered by Amwell’s software development kit, was part of AdventHealth’s rapid response to COVID-19. As part of this experience, the health system also built and installed Hope, an artificial intelligence bot that helps triage patients by asking them general questions about COVID-19. AdventHealth recognizes that patients need a seamless healthcare path, whether it is digital or in person, and continues to innovate to put the patient at the center of the care experience.
From the beginning, Anthem has been a pioneer in advancing their strategic vision to provide expanded access to quality care for members. Anthem has taken this vision to the next level by elevating the way their members find and connect to the care they need through their digital-first strategy. Traditionally, health plans have pointed consumers to a “find a doctor” tool on their website or mobile app. In 2020, Anthem took a giant leap forward by providing consumers with a unique digital experience that gracefully guides them to the right care option based on their symptoms and health history. By integrating virtual care into its Sydney Health app using Amwell’s software development kit, Anthem easily connects members with a doctor through the modality most appropriate for them and their needs, whether that be video, text chat or phone.
M Health Fairview
During the pandemic, M Health Fairview (MHF) rose to the occasion to ensure their patients and the communities they serve knew how to access care safely and effectively. Thanks to the hard work of their incredible team, MHF launched virtual ambulatory care for scheduled visits in just three days, and scaled the program as in-person services were quickly moved online. Through this integrated program, virtual visits were initiated from within the Epic EHR. Providers at MHF saw patients through video visits, phone visits, and e-visits at an unprecedented scale. In January 2020, the health system conducted 3,500 virtual visits. By April, that number had grown to 120,000 visits. In an eight-month span beginning in March, MHF logged more than 1 million virtual care encounters with patients. Through this program, MHF was also able to expand virtual services to other community locations that were already integrated into the MyChart experience. MHF also developed an Innovations Lab to ensure providers and patients were effectively educated on virtual care visits and had access to resources helping to provide effective communications around virtual care during a time when the COVID-19 situation was evolving on a near-daily basis.
MedStar Health offers telehealth services, including its on-demand urgent care MedStar eVisit program, as a key care delivery channel to help its communities and improve access to care. In early 2020 and 2021, MedStar Health waived all fees for its MedStar eVisit service to further care for its community and to manage the threat of COVID-19. MedStar eVisit patients suspected of having COVID-19 were first offered a telehealth consult and were then directed to the correct care location if testing or additional care was recommended. MedStar eVisit volume climbed from an average of seven visits daily prior to the pandemic to more than 500 visits in one day shortly after the MedStar Health COVID-19 telehealth response began, with the system delivering more than 67,350 MedStar eVisit sessions in the year that followed. Based on zip code analysis, MedStar Health saw a significant increase in MedStar eVisit volumes from low-income neighborhoods in Washington, D.C.where there is limited access to traditional in-person care, also highlighting the positive impact MedStar Health has had in its most vulnerable communities.
National Association of Letter Carriers Health Benefit Plan
National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) Health Benefit Plan launched its virtual care program in January 2020, just before the pandemic hit the United States. As a unionized, not-for-profit health plan in the Federal Employees Health Benefit Program (FEHBP), an important part of NALC’s mission is to improve the health of their members, who are located across the country, by providing accessibility to quality medical care. NALC Health Benefit Plan partnered with Amwell to not only offer a telehealth option for their members, but to ensure they successfully engage their members in using this new benefit. NALC Health Benefit Plan saw high member enrollment and utilization in telehealth, and they were able to meet members’ needs while leveraging outcome data to help with their HEDIS initiatives.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona
Blue Cross® Blue Shield® of Arizona (BCBSAZ) incorporated virtual care into their broader efforts to keep members safe and healthy during the pandemic. In addition to making telehealth available to more members during COVID-19, the health plan also offered telehealth at a zero cost for both medical and behavioral health visits. BCBSAZ conducted behavioral health visits at no cost to members to ensure they had no financial barriers to needed healthcare. BCBSAZ also partnered with the Arizona Department of Health Services and the National Guard to launch a 24/7 COVID-19 vaccination site at State Farm Stadium to help jump-start vaccinations.