INDIANAPOLIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield members in Indiana now have a fast, more convenient way to see a doctor for non-emergency needs when their own doctor is not readily available.
Under a change in Indiana law effective July 1, Anthem members can use their smart phone, tablet or computer to have a live video visit with a U.S.-based, board certified doctor of their choice to discuss non-emergency health issues from home, work or wherever they happen to be with internet access. Doctors using LiveHealth Online are available 24 hours a day, 365 days, including holidays and can provide a diagnosis, treatment, and even a prescription if needed.
Online care for non-emergency medical conditions is more convenient and costs the same or less than an office visit or trip to urgent care. Consumers who don’t have Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield as a health plan can also use LiveHealth Online, simply by signing up and paying for the visit with a credit card. Doctors using LiveHealth Online typically charge $49 per medical visit.
“LiveHealth Online is one of the ways we are trying to make health care easier and more convenient for our members,” said Rob Hillman, president of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Indiana. “It’s a secure way to reach a doctor anytime, anywhere, especially when the consumer can’t get away from work or home and get to a doctor’s office. Hillman says, “In states where LiveHealth Online has been available, Anthem members tell us they’ve saved two to three hours compared to a traditional office visit. LiveHealth Online can make our lives easier, whether you’re a college student, a young professional, a parent with kids, or an empty nester who likes to travel.”
Patients use online care typically to communicate face-to-face with a doctor about colds, aches, sore throats, allergies, infections, rashes, as well as routine prescription refills. Doctors do not prescribe for controlled substances or lifestyle drugs. A summary of each visit is created, and at the patient’s request, can be forwarded to their primary care doctor -- supporting continuity of care and collaboration among providers.
“LiveHealth Online represents a true shift in healthcare delivery by using technology to make healthcare easier and more consumer friendly,” said John Jesser, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield vice president of provider engagement strategy. “At this critical juncture in our nation’s healthcare transformation, we are taking a lead in improving access to care and bringing a better healthcare experience to our members.”
Telehealth, such as LiveHealth Online, is a widely accepted mode of health communication, especially in rural areas where many people have to drive hours to visit a doctor.
A November 2012 study from the University of Pittsburgh published in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that e-visits—using e-mail and electronic patient health records only—had similar outcomes to in-person visits for treating sinus and urinary tract infections.
LiveHealth Online can also lessen the burden on primary care doctors who are increasingly feeling the pressure from the growing doctor shortage. The Association of American Medical Colleges estimates that in 2015 the country will have 62,900 fewer doctors than it needs.
About Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield
Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield is the trade name of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc., an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and 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 Blue Shield Association. Additional information about Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Indiana is available at www.anthem.com. Also, follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/AskAnthem, www.twitter.com/AnthemPR_IN and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AskAnthem.
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. Consumers can have live, instant or planned visits with their choice of doctors seven days a week, 24 hours a day, using two-way video conferencing, along with instant messaging. 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.