CBC Health News

Employer COVID-19 Testing

October 4, 2020

Photo of Woman using TeleHealth Services on laptop


How COVID-19 accelerated value optimization in comprehensive telehealth care delivery

4 Lessons learned to optimize telehealth in the workplace


Optimized Telehealth CompanyEmployers have been faced with a tremendous return-to-work challenge in COVID-19 pandemic America.  Billions of dollars have been lost in productivity while millions are being spent in return to work strategies.  Large employers have additional layers of liability and logistical issues in maintaining a safe and healthy workforce. 


National commercial laboratories and telemedicine providers have been overlooking a gap in streamlining employer testing solutions.  While testing may be easily scheduled for employees, mass onsite testing remains a challenge.   Telemedicine evaluation of COVID-19 often outstrips the low-acuity care model, leading to inadequate “get tested” guidance.  This deficiency merely diverts risk without delivering value. 


COVID-19 has highlighted the need for telehealth companies to step up the level of care integration and acuity of care delivered.  Cura TeleHealth and Wellness is one such telehealth company. Delivering higher acuity comprehensive care including laboratory services at a value, the bar has been raised, setting new standards of care while in the marketplace.


COVID-19 Optimized Telehealth

One Friday evening, Cura’s CEO received an urgent call from a national trucking company with 1800 employees at the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak.  Employee confidence was at an all-time low and absenteeism as viral as the virus itself.  “With our assessment, test, and safe-to-work strategy, all employees received a telemedicine risk assessment visit over the weekend,” said Dr. Clinton Baird, M.D, Chief of Clinical Operations at Cura TeleHealth.


Telehealth Optimization during COVID-19In this particular scenario, dual testing with rapid antibody and viral testing occurred before the evening that Monday.  Employees identified as high risk during the telemedicine visit were tested and quarantined along with positive IgM results found in asymptomatic individuals.   The remaining low risk employees continued in the workplace awaiting final testing results.  Subsequent visits were delivered as needed.  This quickly identified the value of integrating COVID testing methods with care delivery.    



Paradigm Shift to Provide Comprehensive Care Delivery

COVID-19 has accelerated what many in telemedicine have been preparing for years in advance. “Presently we are only utilizing a fraction of the value telehealth has to offer” says Aymen Elfiky, M.D., MBA.  The pandemic has demonstrated that chronic conditions and acute exacerbations of chronic conditions can be managed over telemedicine visits for an extended period of time.


Telehealth augments chronic care by delivering basic diagnostic sets such as a lung flow meter, pulse oximeter and blood pressure cuff into the patient’s home.  "By deploying telehealth solutions and programs, people who are suffering from other medical ailments … can receive care from home, without entering medical facilities” says Dedi Gilad with Tyto Care.   The swift and broad adoption of telehealth has created a tremendous opportunity to focus attention on the 20% of employees with chronic conditions that utilize 80% of the health care dollar. 


A Smarter PEPM Telehealth Model

COVID-19 has highlighted the missing value in PEPM models for telemedicine coverage as well as the need for a higher level of care.  Even with the higher utilizations we have seen companies spending $171 per visit when normalizing the PEPM across utilization.  Telehealth has demonstrated value when integrating methods such as COVID-19 testing, chronic care management and remote patient monitoring into the service offerings. 


Tremendous value in offering employers integrated delivery models with low acuity and specialist visits offered at a visit fee only can be realized.   Applying a portion of this savings for chronic care management to at-risk employees with diabetes, heart disease, depression, and COPD improves worker productivity, reduces absenteeism, and lessons unexpected costly healthcare visits. 


Telehealth companies that share risk by applying a cap on spending such that it doesn’t go above traditional PEPM cost models support the value of this integrative model.  This model allows significant delivery of care in the home in mild to moderate cases of COVID-19 infection that would otherwise end up with hospitalization. Employers take on financial risk in healthcare and the integrated telehealthcare company should also share in risk of quality care delivery.


Longitudinal Doctor-Patient Relationships

Many components of the health of a patient revolve around a doctor-patient relationship.  Pundits have argued telehealth can’t provide this longitudinal relationship.  Telemedicine has often delivered episodic low acuity care without regard to maintaining the doctor patient relationship.  COVID-19 supported proponents of this longitudinal relationship by proving the validity during the early and mid-stages of the pandemic. 


Providing the best value to employee health offering must include the ability for employees to choose a single primary care, behavioral health or other provider in which they see regularly.  Utilizing the value of telemedicine visit-fee-only models of longitudinal care creates a cost-effective solution as compared to placeholder PEPM models.  In at-risk patients this relationship fosters the value of the in person visit while maintaining the value of digital delivery.


The Future of Telehealth

One day we will differentiate far less between telehealth and other forms of healthcare delivery models.  Employers should seek this value now.  Telehealth companies should see themselves as caring for populations in all aspects of health—urgent care, chronic care, behavioral health, preventative medicine and more.  These relationships should offer what we expect from any brick and mortar solution at an improved cost and efficiency—a comprehensive care plan.  For example, does your telehealth company offer onsite COVID-19 testing and flu vaccinations, annual diabetic retinopathy screening and at-home lab testing?   It’s time for a better telemedicine. 


Resource Links
Cura TeleHealth & Wellness


Blog Tags:

Telehealth, COVID-19, employee testing, antibody testing



Recent Blog Posts:


How Does Dental Insurance Work

Read More »

How to Get Affordable Health Insurance: What You Need to Know

Read More »
Corporate leaders shaking hands through transparent glass

2024 ACA Affordability Updates: Compliance and Strategy Insights

Read More »
Corporate leaders shaking hands through transparent glass

Compliance Excellence: Strategies for ACA Penalties and Mandates in 2024

Read More »
Corporate leaders shaking hands through transparent glass

Dental Insurance Evolution: Affordable Care Act Impact in 2023

Read More »
Corporate leaders shaking hands through transparent glass

Key Updates for 2024 Open Enrollment: What Employers Need to Know

Read More »
Corporate leaders shaking hands through transparent glass

What Employers Should Know About Popular Weight Loss Drugs

Read More »
Corporate leaders shaking hands through transparent glass

Health Care Costs Projected to Grow 7% in

Read More »
Corporate leaders shaking hands through transparent glass

Small Business Health Insurance: Navigating the Basics, Challenges, and Benefits for 2023.

Read More »
Corporate leaders shaking hands through transparent glass

Corporate Health Insurance: Maximizing Employee Well-being and Business Success

Read More »
chalkboard saying Together Everyone Achieves More

Transparency in the Workplace

Read More »
chalkboard saying Together Everyone Achieves More

Team Building Activities

Read More »
Picture of a scale with money on one side and a household family on the other

Pay or Play Affordability

Read More »
art of celebrating employees in front of the word team

Employee Recognition

Read More »
Statistic trends chart with magnifying glass

2022 Voluntary Benefit Trends

Read More »
Blog Archives »




Copyright © 2024 CBC. All Rights Reserved. | Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | Data Requests
| FAQs

Language Assistance:

Spanish / Español
Russian / русский

Polish / Polskie

Japanese / 日本語

Chinese / 中文

French Creole-Haitian Creole / Franse - Kreyòl

Portuguese / Português

German / Deutsche

Vietnamese / Tiếng Việt

Arabic / العربية

French / Français

Persian-Farsi / فارسی

Korean / 한국어


Italian / italiano

More Languages...



Attention: This website is operated by Custom Benefit Consultants, Inc. (CBC), Ken Bahl, NPN: 4579133 and is not the public Health Insurance Marketplace website available under the federal Affordable Care Act and related state laws. In offering this website, CBC is required to comply with all applicable federal laws, including the standards established under 45 CFR 155.220(c) and (d) and standards established under 45 CFR 155.260 to protect the privacy and security of personally identifiable information. This website may not display all data on Qualified Health Plans being offered in your state through the government's Health Insurance Marketplace website. To see all available data on Qualified Health Plan options in your state, go to the government's Health Insurance Marketplace website at HealthCare.gov.


Custom Benefit Consultants, Inc./CBC Benefit & Insurance Services are licensed insurance agents. Insurance plans are offered by licensed insurance companies or health maintenance organizations. Health insurance plans on the CBC Marketplace are brokered and /or serviced by CBC Benefit & Insurance Services; CA License #: 0D75486


If you would like assistance in another language, please visit Healthcare.gov or contact us at (855) 332-3821 to access our language line.


All insurance products are issued by licensed insurance companies and made available to applicants through Custom Benefit Consultants, Inc./CBC Benefit & Insurance Services, which receives a commission from insurers to distribute these products. Your insurance policy, not the information on this site, determine the applicable terms and conditions of the insurance product. Neither Custom Benefit Consultants, Inc./CBC Benefit & Insurance Services nor its affiliates guarantee the services of any insurance company.


Read more