Cigna Adds Wellness Screenings to Expanding Suite of Virtual Care

Article | September 2020

Cigna Adds Wellness Screenings to Expanding Suite of Virtual Care

Customers can now access primary care from anywhere

When it comes to taking care of yourself, wellness screenings should be considered the first line of defense. Doctors often use these visits as a time to ask about health concerns, review personal and family health history, and identify early warning signs of silent health risks that may lead to the onset of chronic and acute diseases. Even those who feel that their physical and mental health is in good shape should make the time for preventive care. 

Barriers exist that prohibit individuals from accessing care. Long wait times for appointments, travel for in-person visits, cost for after-hours care, and more recently, fear of exposure to COVID-19, can get in the way of routine healthcare visits. In fact, 65% of Cigna members did not get their annual check-up in the first half of 2020 according to Cigna medical claims data. 

To help remove these barriers, Cigna now offers virtual wellness screenings in partnership with MDLIVE.  

“At Cigna, virtual care helps us deliver affordable, predictable, and simple health care in a convenient way focused on connecting customers to the best care, in the best place, at the best time,” said Julie McCarter, Vice President, Product Solutions, Cigna. “As a company, we’ve continued to push and embrace innovation in the virtual care space as it is a critical component to increase access to care and reduce total cost of care. By partnering with companies like MDLIVE, we’re able to provide virtual services to help many of our customers take the first step on their health care journey.” 

Virtual wellness screenings incorporate components of a brick-and-mortar wellness appointment with added convenience. Customers can connect with Board-certified primary care physicians through MDLIVE from anywhere via video or phone on a secure HIPAA compliant platform after completing required labs at LabCorp or Quest Diagnostics Incorporated. 

Virtual wellness screenings include discussion of social and familial health risk factors, emotional and psychological well-being, as well as of the lab work and biometric screening results, which the provider would have reviewed prior to the appointment. This information will be used to create an action plan that includes lifestyle education, referrals and other relevant advice, and can also help connect customers with specialists or other follow-up care. 

"Virtual primary care is the next transformational step for improving health care quality and cost," said MDLIVE Chief Medical Officer Cynthia Zelis, MD. “The convenience of connecting with a PCP from the comfort of home while avoiding sick people in a doctor’s office, especially since the onset of COVID-19, removes key barriers to patients doing regular wellness screenings. We know from our own research that 74 percent of consumers say they would use telehealth for primary care. And, with this partnership with Cigna, we look forward to continuing advancing health care delivery and quality.”  

Commitment to Virtual Care 

Cigna was one of the first to introduce minor medical/urgent care virtual visits with MDLIVE back in 2014. As technology evolved and customer demand elevated over the years, Cigna has continued to make advancements by introducing innovative digital solutions to the market. 

Cigna recently launched virtual behavioral visits with MDLIVE enabling customers to connect with therapists and psychiatrists. Cigna also partnered with Talkspace, connecting Cigna customers to dedicated licensed therapists who engage daily through a secure app. Customers can also schedule live video sessions based on personal preference.  

Cigna Ventures also recently invested in Buoy Health, which is an AI-powered engine to triage customers to effective care paths based on COVID-19 risk. This tool continues to help many customers experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. 

“We’re excited about the solutions we have now and even more excited about how we can continue to create greater access to care to help our customers live healthier lives.” said McCarter.

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