Highmark Inc., one of the largest Blue health insurers in the nation, has launched a telehealth service for 10,000 of its members allowing them to conduct long-distance virtual visits over the Internet with a physician using Teledoc.
Officials at Highmark, the Blue Cross and Blue Shield licensee in western Pennsylvania, said they are hoping the pilot reduces the need for members to visit hospital emergency rooms with minor illnesses such as the common cold, coughs, scrapes, bruises, strep throat, and nausea.
Instead, Highmark members can call a U.S.-based, board-certified physician via phone or arrange for a video consultation online through the Teladoc website. Upon requesting a consultation, members receive a call back from a doctor licensed in their state within an average of 22 minutes. There is no time limit for the consultation, which costs $38.
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