Doctor On Demand, Community Health Choice launch virtual primary care plan in Texas

Virtual care company Doctor On Demand has joined forces with Texas-based managed care organization Community Health Choice to launch a new HMO plan. The plan, which is centered on virtual primary care, will be available on the Texas health insurance exchange.

Called Virtual Bronze, the plan is the first-of-its-kind available in Texas. It is designed to give those who do not qualify for Medicaid or Medicare a comprehensive coverage option at a lower price point, said Lisa Wright, president and CEO of Community Health Choice, in an email.

According to the latest data from the Kaiser Family Foundation, 18.4% of Texans are uninsured — the largest percentage among all U.S. states. In addition, 15.9% of Texans are on Medicaid and 10.9% are on Medicare. Community Health Choice is a nonprofit that develops coverage and care solutions, particularly for underserved people, and the new plan aims to address gaps in coverage, Wright said.

The plan is a “virtual first” insurance product that provides primary care, urgent care, therapy and psychiatry visits to plan members at no additional charge, she said. Members will have a dedicated virtual primary care provider as well as a care team. In addition, they will receive referrals to in-network providers, specialists, in-person facilities and other Community Health Choice programs. Members will be able to select Doctor on Demand as their primary care physician.

“At Community Health Choice, we want all Texans to have access to high quality, convenient and affordable healthcare,” Wright said. “We believe a virtual medical home where members access care on their schedules is a smart solution and can lead to better health management.”

Virtual primary care has exploded over the course of the Covid-19 pandemic. Nearly half of Medicare primary care visits were provided via telehealth in April 2020, compared with less than 1 percent the month prior, a July report from the Department of Health and Human Services shows. Further, virtual care providers, like Teladoc and AmericanWell, saw sharp increases in demand for their primary care services, according to the American Hospital Association.

Doctor On Demand has also seen interest in its virtual primary care offering grow over the last six months, said David Deane, head of growth and strategy for the company, in an email.

The company has several other health plan partnerships, including with Priority Health in Michigan and Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare in New England. In addition, it recently partnered with ArcBest, a provider of supply chain solutions, to offer virtual primary care to its employees nationwide, Deane said.

Photo: elenabs, Getty Images





By Health News

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