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Can’t Get into the Doctor’s Office, but Need to be Seen? There’s an App for That

CONTACT: Kathleen Makela
617-246-7725
kathleen.makela@bcbsma.com

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts expands telehealth benefit

BOSTON —March 28, 2016— Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts' (Blue Cross) members can now use their smartphone, tablet, or computer for a real-time, secure telehealth visit with a doctor or therapist. For eligible members, telehealth is offered through the Blue Cross provider network and through the national medical network associated with its technology partner, American Well, an independent company.


“We live in an on-demand world. Many people are used to using their phones for just about anything. The new telehealth benefit helps members see a doctor when they want, where they want and receive the expert information they need,” said Pat Gilligan, Executive Vice President of Sales, Marketing and Product at Blue Cross. “We are trying to make the health care experience easy, convenient, and affordable. It’s all about putting our members first.”

How It Works

Whether it’s after hours or you don’t feel like getting out of bed, members can see a doctor from the comfort of their own home. It’s easy as well as convenient and can help avoid unnecessary trips to the emergency room. A telehealth visit is simple and secure. Members can:

Check with their clinician to see if they use telehealth or use Blue Cross’ Find a Doctor tool to see which of providers offer telehealth.

Common conditions treated through telehealth include:

  • Cough
  • Sinus infection
  • Sore throat
  • Pinkeye
  • Cold
  • Flu
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • In-home medication management (local providers only)
  • Post-surgical follow ups (local providers only)
Visit www.bluecrossma.com/telehealth to connect to the national network of online doctors and therapists, powered by American Well’s consumer service Amwell.

“As the largest Massachusetts state health plan to offer telehealth, Blue Cross joins a growing list of national healthcare leaders partnering with American Well to extend care and enable member access more easily,” said Danielle Russella, President, Customer Solutions, American Well. “Even in Massachusetts, where we are surrounded by world-renowned hospitals, there are still barriers that place limitations on care delivery – such as the inability to see a doctor quickly, travel costs, time off from work, illness, and disability. We are proud to support Blue Cross of Massachusetts in its efforts to make high-quality medical care more convenient and accessible.”

Telehealth Expansion
This innovative new benefit expands Blue Cross’ use of telehealth. Earlier this year, Blue Cross began offering telehealth through a pilot with several physician practices, as well as Blue Cross nurse care managers. The program resulted in rave reviews from both members and clinicians.

Lisa Johnson, a Blue Cross member, uses telehealth with the nurse care management team. The team works with her to regulate her blood sugar and improve her diet. She uses Blue Cross’ application on her cell phone to connect with the team every few weeks to update them on her doctor visits and labs. “Telehealth makes it easy for me to connect with my care team, who have caring hearts and are concerned about my health. They are encouraging and uplifting - they make me feel like extended family. My condition has definitely improved since I began using telehealth, and I would definitely recommend it to friends and family.”

More Information
Direct pay members and all employers who are insured by Blue Cross will have this benefit automatically and it will be an option that self-insured employers can choose for their employees. For more information about the benefit, visit www.bluecrossma.com/telehealth, or call the member services number on your insurance card.

About Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (www.bluecrossma.com) is a community-focused, tax-paying, not-for-profit health plan headquartered in Boston. We are the trusted health plan for more than 30,000 Massachusetts employers and are committed to working with others in a spirit of shared responsibility to make quality health care affordable. Consistent with our corporate promise to always put our 2.8 million members first, we are rated among the nation's best health plans for member satisfaction and quality. Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn.

About American Well
American Well is transforming the way healthcare is delivered through telehealth. We make online doctor visits accessible to everyone for one-off care issues like colds or infections, and chronic condition management, such as diabetes or depression. We deliver healthcare into people’s homes and workplaces through our work with top health plans, health systems and employers, as well as our telehealth app, Amwell. A patient using Amwell can be connected to a board-certified doctor of their choosing in just minutes for a visit carried out over smartphone, tablet, kiosk, phone, or desktop.

American Well and Amwell are trademarks of American Well Corporation in the United States and other countries. All other trademarks used herein are the property of their respective owners. For more information on our services, visit www.americanwell.com.

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