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Sutter Health | Aetna to offer house calls and virtual care

Insurers are increasingly getting into provider care as a way to reach members, integrate care, and lower costs.

Susan Morse, Managing Editor

The joint provider and payer venture, Sutter Health | Aetna, is partnering with Heal and 98point6 to offer members both in-person house calls and virtual care.

Heal's board-certified physicians can make visits to the home or office seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., including holidays. A doctor can arrive in two hours in most locations. Scheduling is done through the Heal app, website, or a phone call.

Employers offering their employees a Sutter Health | Aetna plan can also schedule on-site physician visit "Heal Days."

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98point6 offers an on-demand, text-based, virtual primary care app to pair AI and machine learning with physician services. Members can text, video chat or talk with a U.S.-based, board-certified doctor who has the ability to write prescriptions, order labs and suggest in-network referrals for specialists and other healthcare services. In many cases, 98point6 doctors can review a member's medical history in real-time during an appointment.

Access to both Heal and 98point6 for Sutter Health | Aetna members begins January 1, 2020.

WHY THIS MATTERS

Insurers are increasingly getting into provider care as a way to reach members, integrate care, and lower costs.

Sutter Health and Aetna launched their provider and payer venture last year. 

THE LARGER TREND

Aetna was acquired by CVS Health last year in an insurer, pharmacy merger that former Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini said was done as a way to reach consumers where they are.

Sutter Health | Aetna is an affiliate of Sutter Health and the Aetna Life Insurance Company and its affiliates. In September, it announced the launch of a technology-enabled member engagement tool from Boston-based Docent Health for personalized "concierge" service via phone, text, chat, and email.

ON THE RECORD

"Heal's 'doctors to your door' service will increase convenience for members by enabling them to receive primary, preventive, pediatric, and urgent care services from the convenience of their home or office. We want to deliver a differentiated member experience that leads to lower healthcare costs and better outcomes," said Steve Wigginton, CEO of Sutter Health | Aetna.

Twitter: @SusanJMorse
Email the writer: susan.morse@himssmedia.com