BCBS extend telehealth coverage through 2021

Minneapolis/St Paul Business Journal reports

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota announced Monday it would extend its modified virtual-care coverage through the end of 2021.

The covered services include behavioral health, physical and speech therapy, and medication management. The changes apply to people with fully insured commercial plans, individuals who purchase Blue Cross insurance and seniors with Medicare plans. Self-insured employers can choose to make the changes for their plans as well.

It’s a COVID silver lining if it helps more people get to the healthcare services they need. Although increased telehealth may accelerate closure of local hospitals…

The growth of telehealth is one of the major results of the Covid-19 pandemic. Health care executives have spoken for months about the growth of video visits and other tech tools that connect doctors and patients outside of hospitals or clinics. HealthPartners Inc., for example, closed seven clinics in part because they believed telehealth would make them redundant.

In May of 2020, Samitt told the Business Journal he thought a wider adoption of virtual health services could have helped to buffer some of the pain health care organizations felt during the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Maybe the next step is finding a way to meet people where they are with telehealth, yet maintain a physical presence in the community to meet the need for in-person treatment. (It’s tough to have a baby via telehealth.) Maybe the answer is collocating healthcare facilities with places with increased need – be that a college, communal housing or even a sports facility.

This entry was posted in Funding, 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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