UPMC Health Plan launches a telehealth service

UPMC AnywhereCare

UPMC Health Plan recently launched the new smartphone-enabled UPMC AnywhereCare platform, which allows patients to receive high-quality care from emergency room professionals 24 hours a day and with reduced copays.

The service uses your device’s built-in camera to enable face-to-face conversation with a healthcare professional who will assess the symptoms and recommend a personal treatment plan, just like a traditional in-office visit. However, unlike most doctor’s offices, AnywhereCare is available anytime and anywhere, without the typical time needed to schedule a health care appointment or the additional hassles of traffic or parking.

“Consumers are seeking convenient and high quality care, when and where they need it. Using AnywhereCare, patients can initiate a visit with a UPMC physician without traveling to an office or taking time off of work,” Kim Jacobs, VP of consumer innovation at UPMC Health Plan, said in a statement. “AnywhereCare visits are low cost, typically about half the cost of a health care plan copay, and they allow patients within Pennsylvania to be cared for by UPMC clinicians in their homes, at work, or on the road.”

Following each patient evaluation, if needed, health care professionals are able to send prescriptions directly to the patient’s pharmacy so that treatment can begin immediately.

The smartphone-enabled app originally launched in November 2016, and has received overall patient experience rating of 4.8 out of 5. The short average wait time of just six-and-a-half minutes certainly has something to do with that.

“Patients couldn’t be more pleased with this very convenient, personal and high-quality health care option available to them,” Dr. Bruce Rosenthal, medical director of AnywhereCare, said in a statement. “Patients receive care similar to the house calls physicians made years ago except that they don’t have to make an appointment and the provider can see patients at any time. We recommend downloading the app and registering for AnywhereCare ahead of time and while you’re feeling healthy, for added convenience the next time you need care.”

UPMC AnywhereCare is available for all patients within Pennsylvania, regardless of whether they are UPMC Health Plan members. The cost of an AnywhereCare visit is between $10 and $49, depending on insurance coverage. Medically-appropriate prescriptions, if needed, must be paid separately by the patient.

The UPMC AnywhereCare app is available on iOS and Android devices. A desktop version is also available from the web.