Cigna To Offer Telehealth Consultations

Cigna will begin offering telehealth consultations to  some of its members next year after reaching a deal with MDLive, a Florida-based  telehealth company.

Under the agreement, members of Cigna’s self-insured employer groups will  have access to 24/7 consultations, whether through online video, phone or email,  with more than 2,000 internal medicine, family practice and pediatric doctors  who work for MDLive. The consultations can address non-emergency issues,  including colds, rashes and headaches, MobiHealthNews reported.

“We are committed to offering our customers services that help improve their  health and make their lives easier – and MDLive represents anytime, anywhere  access to quality care,” Jackie Aube, head of product development at Cigna, said  in a statement, according to mHIMSS. “It’s a cost-effective and  convenient alternative to an office visit with your primary care physician.”

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 If a self-insured business offers the MDLive service to its employees, the  consults will be part of Cigna’s regular network’s negotiated rates and  co-pays–which means the consult costs could be less expensive than a typical  office or urgent care center visit, reported the South Florida Business Journal.

Any medical advice or information occurring during these consults will be  transferred to the member’s records to ensure continuity of care. “Whatever  takes place during an MDLive visit is captured and transferred securely to the  patient’s primary care provider,” MDLive CEO Randy Parker told  MobiHealthNews. “We find that more than 70 percent of the patients who go  to the ER could have avoided that visit or at least resolved their problems  through a solution and a platform like MDLive.”