What are the healthcare providers doing for COVID19 – and what is it doing for them?

We’re more than a month into coronavirus. In all walks of life, people seem to have finally exhaled and are trying to plan for and address a new normal. Over the weekend, a few healthcare providers and insurers seemed poised to take control and technology is a big part of this transition. BCBS recognizes that coronavirus is pushing telehealth forward at an escalated pace and they outline their three-stage plan to deploy…


Today involves managing the immediate risk COVID-19 brings to plan members and employees, Dr. Samitt said. Priorities include:

  • Minimize the spread of COVID-19

  • Cover members’ costs for COVID-19 testing and treatment

  • Remove bureaucracy between payers and providers

  • Revamp prior authorization processes

  • Eliminate barriers to telehealth

  • Coordinate care for chronically ill members

  • Keep social determinants of health top of mind


The tomorrow phase considers the immediate after-effects of COVID-19. According to Dr. Samitt, BCBS of Minnesota’s priorities include:

  • Help providers get payments that would come later in the year

  • Prepare for new surges of COVID-19

  • Create more at-home care opportunities for members with chronic diseases

  • Ensure when elective procedures open, patients can see their providers quickly

  • Reliable immunity testing for caregivers

  • Safely bring remote BCBS of Minnesota employees back on-site

  • Consider if more employees, up to 40 percent of the workforce (or 1,600 employees), can work remotely in the future

The day after tomorrow

The day after tomorrow phase considers what the pandemic could mean for the underlying fabric of the U.S. healthcare system, and what changes could be made as a result of the weaknesses exposed by COVID-19. Dr. Samitt said priorities include:

  • Consider what new expectations members will have

  • Build public and private partnerships to expand coverage universally

  • Transition to relations that hold payers and providers accountable

  • Reinvent care delivery model to focus on population health

  • Recognize new models may be in the home, community and cloud

  • Recognize healthcare companies need to be social companies, too

For its part, HealthPartners Is doing what they can to encourage patients to embrace the new technology…

HealthPartners on Thursday announced that it is waiving member costs for all Virtuwell visits through the end of May to provide members with a safe, cost-free option to get care.

The company says starting April 20, all Virtuwell visit costs through May 31 will be waived. A standard Virtuwell visit costs $49.

While Mille Lacs Health System lets patients know that they are working on all needs, coronavirus and beyond…

Some Mille Lacs County residents have recently expressed concern over local hospitals prioritizing healthy individuals over patients with other health conditions should they come to the hospital to be treated for COVID-19. Another concern expressed was when the hospitals would be opened up for elective surgeries and treatments.

Mille Lacs Health System has addressed these concerns.

In regards to the claim that hospitals will only treat patients with COVID-19 who do not have health issues or place them in a priority position, the hospital stated that every patient is a priority.

This entry was posted in Healthcare, MN and tagged by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

Librarian who follows rural broadband in MN and good uses of new technology (blandinonbroadband.org), hosts a radio show on MN music (mostlyminnesota.com), supports people experiencing homelessness in Minnesota (elimstrongtowershelters.org) and helps with social justice issues through Women’s March MN.

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