SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Liz McMillan, AppDynamics Blog, Skytap Blog, Carmen Gonzalez, Pat Romanski

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The Doctor Will See You Now… On Your Computer, Smart Phone or Tablet

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield members now have a fast, more convenient way to see a doctor for non-emergency needs when their own doctor is not readily available.

Members can now use their smart phone, tablet or computer to have a live video visit with a board certified doctor of their choice to discuss non-emergency health issues from home, work or wherever they happen to be as long as they have a wi-fi signal or Internet access.

This new online care service, LiveHealth Online, launched in 2013 first to large-local and national employers. It has now been expanded to the majority of Anthem’s health plan customers, including health exchange members. Doctors are available 24 hours, 365 days a year, including holidays.

“Our members and employer groups are telling us they need access, convenience and affordability in healthcare. LiveHealth Online is one of several ways we are able to meet these needs,” said Karen Remley, M.D., Anthem’s chief medical director. “We understand and continually promote the importance of the physician-patient relationship for our members. However, there are instances when it’s after hours or difficult to get to a doctor’s office. With the launch of LiveHealth Online, we offer a secure means to help our members get the care they need by providing access to board-certified, primary care doctors around the clock.”

Consumers that do not have Anthem as a health plan can also use LiveHealth Online, simply by registering and paying for the visit with a credit card. The charge is typically $49 per visit.

Online care, for non-urgent medical conditions, is more convenient and affordable than a visit to the emergency room or an urgent-care clinic. Members can initiate video visits from their home or workplace at any time through a computer, smart phone or tablet.

Patients use online care typically to communicate with a doctor about colds, aches, sore throats, allergies, infections, as well as wellness and nutrition advice. A summary of each visit is created, and with the patient’s permission, can be forwarded to their primary care doctor -- supporting continuity of care and collaboration among providers.

“LiveHealth Online represents a true shift in the delivery of healthcare by using technology to make it easier and more consumer friendly,” said Dr. Remley. “At this critical juncture in our nation’s healthcare transformation, Anthem is taking a lead in improving access to care and bringing a better healthcare experience to our members.”

Telehealth is a widely accepted mode of health communication, especially in rural areas where many people have to drive hours to visit a doctor.

As doctors participate in accountable care organizations and patient-centered medical homes, LiveHealth Online can offer their patients an alternative to unnecessary and costly ER and urgent care visits. It can also lessen the burden on primary care doctors who are increasingly feeling the pressure from the growing doctor shortage.

About Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Virginia

Anthem Health Plans of Virginia, Inc. trades as Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Virginia, and its service area is all of Virginia except for the City of Fairfax, the Town of Vienna, and the area east of State Route 123. Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield and its affiliated HMO HealthKeepers, Inc. are independent licensees of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. ®ANTHEM is a registered trademark of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Additional information about Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Virginia is available at www.anthem.com. Also, follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/healthjoinin, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/HealthJoinIn, or visit our YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/healthjoinin.

About LiveHealth Online

LiveHealth Online is a telehealth tool that provides consumers with a convenient way to have live video conversations with doctor, get a diagnosis, and receive treatment for common urgent care-type health conditions. Consumers can access board certified doctors through livehealthonline.com or on an iOS or Android smartphone or tablet using the free app. It is secure, private, easy-to-use and affordable. LiveHealth Online is the trade name of Health management Corporation, a separate company, providing telehealth services on behalf of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield.

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