A virtual care company is looking to distinguish itself in a crowded market by rolling out concierge services for communities that face high levels of discrimination in healthcare.
Months after care navigation company Grand Rounds and telehealth provider Doctors on Demand announced plans to merge, the combined entity acquired Included Health and later adopted its name.
That latter decision underscores how important the Included Health division is to the parent company’s business plans. The former startup now operates as the company’s “communities” division, which partners with employers to manage health benefits for special populations within their workforces. Its flagship offering caters to the LGBTQ community and the company plans to debut a program for Black employees later this year. The Included Health unit’s services can work in conjunction with Grand Rounds and Doctors on Demand offerings.
Included Health uses algorithms to match patients with providers that score high on its clinical and cultural competency metrics. The company rates clinicians on factors such as their ability to understand pronouns, the frequency with which they see LGBTQ patients and their experience with interventions such as hormone therapy and gender-affirming surgery. In addition, the company uses the Doctors on Demand telehealth network to facilitate access in areas with provider shortages.
The communities division partners with human resource departments to provide lifestyle and wellness resources for LGBTQ employees and their families, such as how to come out among peer groups or how to support family members who identify as LGBTQ. Employees may remain anonymous to protect those who may not be out in their workplaces, said Colin Quinn, Included Health’s president of health communities.
The navigation team is led mainly by queer and transgender people, and more than 90% of the care team identifies as LGBTQ, Quinn said.
“It’s really helpful whenever you’re talking to somebody who has lived a day in the life or shared in those similar experiences,” Quinn said. “Oftentimes, our care coordinators have already been through many of the challenges that our members are going to be calling about.”
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