KentuckyOne is partnering with Seattle-based Carena, a telemedicine and home healthcare service. Carena is also offering the same service with Franciscan Health System, a Catholic Health Initiatives affiliate based in Tacoma, Wash.
Carena piloted the services with Franciscan Health employees before officially launching its telemedicine business (PDF) this past May.
Franciscan Health spokesman Scott Thompson said the service was well-received and garnered a 92% satisfaction rate. He added that it was estimated that, over the course of about two years, 276 emergency department visits were avoided among the system's then 8,500 employees. (Due to recent growth, Thompson said Franciscan now has about 12,000 employees.)
Patients are charged a $35 fee for the virtual visit, but if they are referred to the emergency room or to a primary-care doctor, the fee is waived, Thompson said.
Thompson added that the service is currently available in Franciscan's established service area, but there are plans to expand it to include new service areas and beyond.
“It provides our system with another access point,” he said. “Our hope is we'll get those folks who don't have a primary-care doctor.”
Follow Andis Robeznieks on Twitter: @MHARobeznieks