October 5 2021

Integrated virtual primary care and mental health services

By Accolade

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It’s now a known fact that the pandemic has changed the way we view the world. The most important aspect of this paradigm shift has been the way we experience healthcare. With the rise in healthcare needs to unprecedented levels, the flaws in our healthcare system have come into sharper focus. According to a new study by Reuters [1] , in the past decade the number of people in the U.S. who have an active and ongoing relationship with their primary care physician has dropped by 2%.

We’ve also seen a stark and rapid increase in anxiety, depression, stress, trauma and other mental health needs across all ages and all types of people throughout the country, thereby putting a spotlight on mental health awareness. And most importantly, healthcare inequities that have always been present are still present today.

We recognize that in today’s world human connection is increasingly divided. So it is all the more important to provide healthcare that is not only driven by data and has the advantages of virtual capabilities, but is also holistic and has an inherent human connection. As a result, we created Accolade Care — the future of virtual primary and mental health care.

Our integrated care model ensures happy members, better health outcomes and increased cost savings. In a recent webinar , Accolade experts Umair Khan and Aaron Apodaca explain this solution in detail. Here are some of the important highlights from that webinar.

True primary care for a longitudinal relationship

With true primary care, top primary care doctors build dedicated relationships with members spanning preventive, urgent and chronic care needs​. Our board certified virtual primary care physicians aren’t limited to just an initial engagement and diagnosis. They work in partnership with our care teams and specialists to give you the right care at the right time.

True Primary Care does not stop with actions and outcomes in your healthcare journey. The goal is to build an ongoing virtual relationship so your healthcare needs are met proactively, promoting a willingness in members to engage and keep coming back to improve their health.

Integrated mental health for holistic healthcare

Accolade Care’s integrated mental healthcare support enables our primary care physicians to treat a wide range of mental health conditions, including anxiety and depression. Our virtual primary care physicians do so in consultation with mental health professionals when they need expert input into making a certain diagnosis. We also connect our members with mental health professionals and licensed therapists who work with our members as part of that collaborative care model in both a coach capacity and a traditional talk therapy capacity.

This enables whole person care, allows for integrated physical and mental health services within the same virtual care environment and helps monitor progress among our members over time. The physician, in consultation with a psychiatrist, coach or therapist can make adjustments to the course of treatment for the patient, all within one single model as part of a unified, personalized healthcare experience.

Team-based coordinated support for right care

Accolade Care consists of a multidisciplinary care team that's available to members 24/7 through chat. This care team is connected to the primary care physician and allows members to experience the right balance of critical real-time interactions with a virtual physician and ongoing interactions with another member of the care team regarding other issues . Such follow-up interactions between primary care consultations enable continuous support throughout the healthcare journey.

The care team does this based on a person's individual scenario and individual benefits, guiding them through high-value in-network specialty care facilities when such additional care is needed.

Proactive data-driven care for a personalized experience

Accolade Care enables a comprehensive view of a member before and after virtual care consultations, treatments and other interactions, such as clinical claims, administrative data or activity-based data. This data is then used to form a clinical portrait of the member using advanced risk stratification to analyze clinical burden or clinical risk factors. Dynamics related to their existing or, lack of, primary care relationships are also taken into consideration to come up with the best possible preventive care plan.

We not only understand a member’s clinical history, but also formulate next steps and the next best actions that guide them into specific programs that are sponsored by their employer or their health plan. We also help connect members, if necessary, to high-value specialists or high-value facilities for an in-person visit based on quality and cost metrics that are also in network for their individual health plan.

To learn more about Accolade Care and all it offers, download our on-demand webinar and learn how Accolade can be an integral part of your organization’s healthcare journey.

[1] https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-pcp-trends/declining-numbers-of-americans-have-a-primary-care-provider-idUSKBN1YK1Z4

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