Blue Cross NC Expands Telehealth Offerings, Launches Online Visits with MDLIVE

Thousands of North Carolinians can see a doctor from home, work or on the go

DURHAM, N.C. – Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC) has collaborated with virtual medical and behavioral healthcare provider MDLIVE, to offer easy, secure medical visits online. MDLIVE online doctor consultations are now a standard telehealth benefit for many of Blue Cross NC’s employer-sponsored group health plans.

Members who receive health insurance through their employer and qualify for this benefit can speak with a board certified doctor or pediatrician through secure, online video chats using the MDLIVE app on a mobile phone, tablet or computer. MDLIVE’s doctors diagnose common health problems, prescribe certain medications and send prescriptions to the patient’s pharmacy of choice.

“We have supported telemedicine since its infancy in North Carolina. We recognize the potential of telehealth to help providers deliver their services in a more cost efficient setting, provide greater access to urban and rural residents, and facilitate value-driven care for patients,” said Dr. Janet McCauley, senior medical director for Blue Cross NC.

Today, nearly 64 percent of employers offer telehealth services — compared with just 11 percent in 2012[1]. Seventy percent of consumers say they are interested in telehealth, with convenience listed as the top reason.

“As health care costs continue to rise, employers are seeking new and innovative ways to help keep their employees healthy and curb costs. Virtual care has proven to be a cost-effective care delivery method employers can include in their benefits packages supporting employees in better managing their health care,” said Scott Decker, chief executive officer of MDLIVE. “We are proud to be partnering with Blue Cross NC in supporting thousands of members with 24/7/365 access to care. For a state like North Carolina with many rural areas, virtual care is an invaluable resource, allowing individuals to get care when they need it.”

Secure video consultations are a good option for minor health issues and non-emergencies when members can’t get in to see their regular doctor. MDLIVE’s HIPAA-compliant virtual care technology ensures private, secure and confidential connections, with the ability to integrate with electronic health records (EHRs).

  • Video consults available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • Average wait time is less than 10 minutes
  • No appointment required
  • Pediatricians available

Telehealth with MDLIVE can be more cost effective than urgent care, because telehealth visits are billed the same as an office visit with a primary care doctor. For health plans with a co-pay for primary care, members pay the usual co-pay for a telehealth visit. For health plans with a deductible and co-insurance, members will pay no more than $45 for their telehealth visit. Most major credit and debit cards are accepted, and it’s a qualified expense for HSAs, HRAs and FSAs.

Customers with Blue Cross NC coverage through their employer are encouraged to contact their HR representative to see if telehealth visits through MDLIVE are available through their insurance plan.

Blue Cross NC’s coverage for other telehealth services
Blue Cross NC has covered telehealth visits for more than 20 years. Providers across North Carolina are adopting secure video technology and integrating it into their offerings for patients.

The company currently covers over fifty telemedicine and telehealth services through secure, HIPAA-compliant video consultations for all Blue Cross NC customers. Examples of covered services include online evaluations of many common health concerns, mental health, psychiatry, diabetic training and other consultative services.

About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina improves the health and well-being of our customers and communities through innovative health care products, insurance, services and information to more than 3.9 million members, including approximately 1 million served on behalf of other Blue Cross and/or Blue Shield plans. Since 1933, we have worked to make North Carolina a better place to live through our support of community organizations, programs and events that promote good health. Blue Cross NC is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Visit Blue Cross NC online at bcbsnc.com. All other marks are the property of their respective owners.

About MDLIVE
Founded in 2009, MDLIVE is a visionary and pioneer in the digital delivery of high-quality, convenient, cost-efficient virtual care for medical and behavioral health conditions. The company provides consumers, health plans, health systems and self-insured employers with 24/7/365 access to its network of board-certified doctors and licensed therapists via secure online video, and phone through the MDLIVE service and technology platform. Registered users can receive a virtual consultation through the company’s HIPAA and PHI-compliant secure, cloud-based platform from home or on the go. To learn more about how MDLIVE is using telehealth innovations to improve the delivery of healthcare, visit www.MDLIVE.com.

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[1] 2016 21st Annual Willis Towers Watson Best Practices in Health Care Employer Survey. Willis Towers Watson: 2017.