Humana Announces Free Telemedicine for 90 Days in Response to Coronavirus Spread


As part of its response to the coronavirus threat, Humana (HUM) announced Monday a number of measures designed to ensure its customers receive timely and affordable care. 

Humana Chief Medical Officer, Dr. William Shrank, sought to allay financial fears of those who may contract the disease, stating, “Effective immediately, we are waiving the out-of-pocket costs associated with COVID-19 testing and increasing the availability of telemedicine options to reduce additional exposure. We are also implementing some important actions such as early refills of prescription medicines and connecting people with a reassuring voice on the phone” 

Medicare Advantage members, which make up a large portion of Humana’s customer base, have a number of options via telehealth services offered by Humana.

Related: Humana Sees Highest Membership Growth in Medicare Advantage Plan in a Decade

As part of its response the company is offering telemedicine for all urgent care needs for the next 90 days for free. The strategy is to limit the number of individuals visiting health care facilities, in order to limit any exposure to COVID-19. 

Dr. Shrank said Humana’s, “…goal through these actions is to give members additional peace of mind. We will continue to listen to their feedback and explore ways we can support their health through innovative solutions, technology and personalized support.”

Humana’s response to the crisis, which is promoting its telehealth offering, dovetails with a “value-based” approach to health determinants the company announced earlier this month.

Under this value-based approach, the company teams with clinicians to focus on patient screenings; documentation of assessment findings; and connecting the patient to appropriate resources. 

The inaugural participant in the approach is Ochsner Health, Louisiana’s largest non-profit, academic health care system. 

Commenting on the new approach, Philip Oravetz, MD, Chief Population Health Officer at Ochsner Health stated, “This new program considers the impact of important factors that affect the well-being of our patients. It’s an exciting development as we continue to adapt our approach to care to meet the comprehensive and diverse needs of the communities we serve.”

Humana’s holistic approach is designed to engage its customers on a continuing basis, allowing the company and its partners to address health, or potential health impacting, issues on a proactive basis. 

More Reading: Humana Waives Co-pays for Coronavirus Testing

One goal of the program, which would be helpful in a future virus outbreak similar to coronavirus, is to build doctor/patient trust and rapport so a crisis could be addressed more quickly. 

Steven Adams’s personal position in Humana: none.

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