March 25, 2020

PlushCare Partnership

By Shantanu Nundy, Chief Medical Officer, Accolade


The Accolade platform is built to securely flex and scale, making it possible to integrate partner solutions that benefit employers and their people at critical times. Supporting employees with clinical solutions from home is an important option for easing overburdened healthcare facilities and supporting social distancing requirements.

COVID-19 drive-thru test centers. Potential at-home testing options. Symptom checkers. Refills for chronic medications. Accessing care. Our members ask Accolade a range of questions about their health and benefits, and today, many of their questions pertain to testing for COVID-19 – if, how, where, when, and what if…

Accolade supports 1.5 million members with their health and benefits needs – from getting a new insurance card and finding the right doctor, to paying for prescription medicine and accessing telemedicine when social distancing is in place. Today, our member questions are intensified, as clinical options for diagnosing and treating COVID-19 are complex and changing daily, and people’s concerns and anxiety are at their peak.

Working families turn to Accolade for expertise and empathy. Our Health Assistants and clinicians understand member benefits and health conditions, and listen and support with compassion so people can make sound decisions about their health. Accolade purpose built its platform to enhance and expand its services, and to support our Health Assistants and clinicians in providing new clinical pathways for our members in these unprecedented times. Our new relationship with PlushCare highlights this capability and shows its clear importance.

“Working families around the country are anxious and overwhelmed by the coronavirus epidemic, and it is our role as advocates and care navigators to provide professional guidance, flexibility and compassion,” said Accolade Chief Medical Officer Dr. Shantanu Nundy. “We’re a strategic health and benefits partner for employers, and our partnership with PlushCare gives their families primary care consults at home while reducing crowding and over-burdening our clinics and hospitals. It’s the right service at the right time.”

-- Accolade Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Shantanu Nundy

Today, Accolade introduces a new virtual primary care option with PlushCare, which offers primary care doctors ready to assist with COVID-19 questions, symptoms, testing needs and ongoing care support – with Accolade side-by-side. The combined Accolade and PlushCare COVID-19 rapid response blends virtual care navigation, virtual clinical assessment, and referrals to local testing options , including drive-thru testing and potentially at-home testing (when and if approved), for Accolade members. The evidence-based solution gives employers and their families access to PlushCare virtual primary care providers who can recommend and order COVID-19 tests for patients and the latest on-the-ground personalized testing options. Additionally, the solution enables members to get urgent care, preventative care and chronic care all from home, following CDC guidelines of social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Because clinical guidance is needed to help people make informed and timely decisions about their health, Accolade provides its COVID-19 response around three core functions:

  • First, Accolade provides clinical support that uses evidence-based techniques to help members understand whether they could benefit from a PlushCare consultation for COVID-19. Accolade nurses introduce those members to PlushCare virtual primary care doctors as an additional option. PlushCare providers can consult members, remotely diagnose and assess members based on their symptoms, and decide the best course of action. If PlushCare doctors determine that a COVID-19 test is appropriate, they will provide a recommendation for testing.
  • Second, Accolade integrates and updates the national daily map of local test centers, including drive-thru testing facilities, and will locate the closest center for its members. Accolade’s nurse-led clinical services will continue to provide ongoing benefit and care coordination support to assist with positive test results and wholistic member needs.
  • Third, Accolade has introduced a new COVID-19 response initiative for employers, which includes:
    • Enhanced Accolade clinical plan that follows CDC guidelines and supports members with any COVID-19 concern, helping them find the right care in the most efficient way possible.
    • Accolade member awareness campaigns across mobile, online, email and on-site to educate members about COVID-19 and offer resources, guidance and live support from Accolade Health Assistants and nurses.
    • Accolade workforce enhancements support a full remote work-from-home model and management of increased member interaction volume across all channels and all health needs.

With a secure and flexible platform that can quickly adapt to integrate complementary solutions, Accolade is able to expand its telemedicine benefit options for employers. With rapid lifestyle changes that keep people working from – and staying – home in order to control the virus, working families can turn to Accolade and PlushCare for professional guidance, testing referrals and care support.

The PlushCare virtual primary care service provides access to physicians from around the country, follows CDC guidelines, and works with national certified testing labs to prescribe testing as needed. PlushCare CEO and Co-founder Ryan McQuaid said, "Now more than ever with COVID-19, telehealth is helping keep people safe, assured, and informed and we are excited to partner with Accolade to help patients with increasing health concerns. Virtual healthcare is proving its integral role in healthcare as a whole, and our mission has always been to bring high-quality healthcare to everyone.”

Accolade provides access to compassionate Health Assistants and clinicians who help people better understand, navigate and use the healthcare system and their workplace benefits. The COVID-19 telemedicine solution is available to employers for their employees and family members as an extended healthcare benefit.

Employers can contact Accolade at [email protected] for more information on its COVID-19 solution.