In our Dec. 2 presentation at the DFWBGH Annual Benefits Forum, “Healthcare Interrupted: Helping Employees Navigate Their Return to Care,” Grand Rounds’ President Mike Matteo and Dr. Todd Thames, Grand Rounds’ Senior Regional Medical Director, spoke about how COVID-19 is calling for a new normal, one where whole person care is implemented virtually as part of a fully integrated, easy-to-navigate experience. Salesforce Director of North America Benefits Gina Hanrahan, who also participated in the webinar, shared her company’s positive experiences partnering with Grand Rounds to achieve this type of complete care for her members throughout the pandemic.
Here are some highlights from our hour-long session.
Rethinking Virtual Care to Address Healthcare Needs and Disparities
The healthcare system is complex, and has become increasingly so due to COVID-19. Faced with this complexity, individuals need help getting through that system—Grand Rounds is a personal healthcare assistant intended to help people in the most difficult times in their lives.
In a way, COVID-19 has served as a catalyst, creating opportunities to reshape the way healthcare is delivered. There were massive disruptions to primary care as access diminished—hospitals and doctors’ offices closed down, or at least canceled a lot of the care that had been planned. Meanwhile, many people deferred care due to fears of venturing out and potentially contracting COVID-19. At this time, it’s estimated that anywhere from 30–50% of deferred medical care in 2020 will be postponed entirely.
That said, acceleration and adoption of telehealth was significant. Virtual care utilization grew by more than 8,000%, year over year, in April 2020. Some health systems went from delivering 6–8% to as much as 70% of their care via telemedicine. As well, the number of Americans reporting that they’d had at least one telehealth visit increased by 57%. For those with chronic illnesses, that number rose as much as 77%. This data is causing a shift in how we think about patient-centered care and meeting the patient where they are.
What we’ve also uncovered is that some members, specifically those in rural regions, aren’t taking advantage of virtual care. Rural members have been 36% less likely to engage in telemedicine for major chronic conditions. In addition, members living in low-income zip codes are 46% less likely to receive virtual care. Applying data and analytics, Grand Rounds is able to target underserved populations in an effort to help bridge some of the gaps in equity around access to care.
Salesforce Grows With Grand Rounds to Help Members Navigate to the Best Care
A strong focus on clinical expertise and innovation to deliver a complete care experience is what attracted Salesforce to Grand Rounds. Starting with expert medical opinions in May 2017, Salesforce has since evolved its partnership with Grand Rounds to include navigation and urgent response services. All with the goal of supporting its members and their families as well as Salesforce’s managers and leaders in obtaining resources to assist employees through a global pandemic.
With this partnership, Salesforce has seen a:
- 2x ROI in 2020
- 56% utilization in the first eight months of the partnership
- 82% member satisfaction
As it looks at its return-to-care strategy, Salesforce wants to make sure that its employees get access to the right care at the right time. This means ensuring members don’t delay getting necessary care, but also avoiding any unnecessary utilization. This is where Grand Rounds’ partnership has proved invaluable. Grand Rounds provides resources and support all in one place to help members fully understand what the best, most affordable options for treatment and medications are available to them.
Creating the Best Healthcare Experience for Our Members
It’s not enough for virtual care to replace in-person care. To ensure the best healthcare experience for our members, we need to also understand social determinants of health—what’s going on in a person’s life outside of this acute episode they may be having, that can help them manage their condition better?
It’s also important to help members become aware of all of the benefits their employer has made available to them. These resources can help them return to health more quickly. And it’s critical that members get referred to the right, high-quality specialists to get the appropriate care. At Grand Rounds, quality is measured at the individual physician level along with the ability to interact in a virtual primary care environment.
What it comes down to is having a simple framework that’s easy to use and is built into members’ daily flow—as easy as a phone call or a click on their app. Offering virtual care and navigation in a fully integrated system can help people make better choices and achieve peace of mind.