CVS Health Launches Senior Medical Alert System, Symphony

CVS Health Launches Senior Medical Alert System, Symphony

What You Should Know:

– Today, CVS Health announced Symphony, a medical alert
system designed to keep seniors safe and connected at home.

– Symphony consists of a collection of in-home and wearable devices that offer a new at-home experience by connecting a suite of sensors that can monitor for falls, motion, and room temperature while also providing a 24/7 personal emergency response platform for use when needed.


CVS Health, today announced the release of Symphony medical
alert system to help caregivers monitor the safety and well-being of loved
ones, even from afar. This collection of in-home and wearable devices offers a
new at-home experience by connecting a suite of sensors that can monitor for
falls, motion, and room temperature while also providing a 24/7 personal
emergency response platform for use when needed. Symphony is designed to support
the growing number of seniors choosing to maintain an independent lifestyle at
home, as well as those involved in their care.

Spurred in part by COVID, as you may know, an increasing
number of seniors are choosing to “age in place.” But COVID has also
highlighted major challenges in staying connected to loved ones while socially
isolated. Enter Symphony…a collection of in-home and wearable devices that
are now available in approx. 650 CVSH HUBs and online. 

Unlike other systems that require a wearable alert device,
Symphony includes a voice-activated Smart Hub that lets seniors call assigned
caregivers or emergency responders hands-free 24/7. Sensors placed around
the house can monitor motion, temperature, and air quality and alert caregivers
of anything out of the ordinary through a free caregiver smartphone app.
Symphony system also provides alerts for falls or other emergencies and can
assist with facilitating care coordination when needed.

Symphony is the latest example of ways in which CVS Health is supporting seniors at home. Organizations like SilverSneakers® are providing virtual exercise classes to help seniors stay active from the comfort of their homes. And Aetna partnered with the companionship benefit company Papa, Inc., to connect Medicare Advantage members with college-age individuals who can provide remote companionship through the telephone. These are in addition to more traditional services, like virtual care, and SDOH resources like grocery delivery, housekeeping, and others.

Bundle Packages

Designed to fit a family’s specific needs and adapt to a variety of homes, two easy-to-use Symphony device options are available: the Basic Bundle and Essential Bundle. While both systems come equipped with the Smart Hub and a wearable care button, the Essential Bundle also includes motion sensors and a voice-activated Fall Sensor to automatically detect falls in the bathroom, where the majority of accidents occur. Complementary devices are available for both bundles if desired, including additional motion sensors to extend the range of coverage in larger homes, and entry sensors for use on doors, cabinets, or windows.

Pricing

Pricing starts at $149.99 for the Symphony Basic Bundle and
$249.99 for the Essential Bundle. A monthly service fee is required, although
no long-term contract is needed to activate. Once activated, each Symphony
bundle can help support safety at home as well as in the event of an emergency.

“We’re committed to helping consumers on their path to better health and new consumer health innovations like Symphony can help give caregivers peace of mind as they monitor a loved one’s safety and well-being through a truly differentiated connected health approach,” said Adam Pellegrini, SVP of Enterprise Virtual Care & Consumer Health at CVS Health.

Information of nearly half a million Aetna members exposed in email hack

An email hacking incident exposed the information of close to 500,000 Aetna health plan members, the payer reported to HHS last week. The incident occurred when an unauthorized person gained access to an email account of Aetna’s vision benefit services provider.

Covid-19, the “Quarantine 15” & Healthcare’s Focus on Weight Management in 2021

By JESSICA DaMASSA, WTF HEALTH

Potential digital health trend for 2021? Weight loss and weight management. Not only has obesity been an “epidemic” of its own for a number of years (40% of U.S. adults are obese, another 32% are overweight) BUT it’s also considered a risk-factor if infected with covid-19 and is a common co-morbidity for a number of chronic conditions. Add to that all the banana bread we’ve been seeing on Instagram and the “quarantine 15” memes that sum up the weight gain brought about by our increasingly sedentary, baked-goods-filled shelter-in-place lifestyles, and you can see where this is likely to go. So, how can health tech help? As healthcare payers and employers look toward weight management as a way to help prevent adverse health outcomes (covid-related or otherwise), we get some advice from Dr. Greg Steinberg, a clinical innovation expert who gained experience piloting novel, health tech solutions for weight management at Aetna. We demystify the relationship between healthcare payers and weight loss solutions, talk about what matters from a cost/value perspective, and, of course, find out what makes for optimal end-user success.

98point6 Lands $118M to Expand Text-Based Primary Care Platform

98point6 Lands $119M to Expand Text-Based Primary Care Platform
98point6 App

What You Should Know:

– On-demand text-based primary care platform 98point6
raises $118M in Series E funding to further invest in research and development
and expand its robust medical practice.

– 98point6 offers patients easy access to primary care in the same way they’ve grown accustomed to receiving the majority of services today—on their schedule and via a mobile app.


98point6, an on-demand digital primary care service that delivers personalized consultation, diagnosis, and treatment to patients across the country, today announced a $118 million Series E fundraising round to further invest in its success. Funding was led by L Catterton and Activant Capital, with additional investment from new and returning investors, including Goldman Sachs.


Get-Text-Based Primary Care Anywhere

Primary care is a necessity for all, serving as the front
line for healthcare and disease prevention. However, seeing a doctor is
increasingly difficult with an average wait time of 24 days just for an
appointment. 98point6 offers patients easy access to primary care in the same
way they’ve grown accustomed to receiving the majority of services today—on
their schedule and via a mobile app. Pairing artificial
intelligence (AI)
and machine learning with the expertise of
board-certified physicians, its patient-focused and technology-augmented
solution makes primary care more accessible and affordable, leading to better
health and total cost-of-care savings.

Rather than having doctors ask administrative questions, gather patient history, or chart information, 98point6’s AI technology does it for them. Patient profiles are automatically built and the 98point6 system learns from each visit, avoiding redundancy.


Recent Traction/Milestones

In just the past year, the company has grown 274 percent and serves more than three million members through more than 240 commercial partnerships with brands like Premera, Banner|Aetna, Boeing, Circle K, Sam’s Club, and others. The platform continues to see usage across age groups: pediatrics ages 1–17 (7%), 18–35 (47%), 36–50 (28%) and 50+ (18%), and 90% of patients surveyed say they would use the service again.

On average, 98point6’s commercial partners report 8x higher utilization than traditional telemedicine solutions as more people are choosing the convenience of on-demand care over higher-cost options like urgent care or the emergency room—or delaying care altogether. The round allows 98point6 to further invest in research and development and expand its robust medical practice. Last month the company announced a national rollout of its platform available to every Sam’s Club member.


“We’ve created an experience that patients use and love,” said Robbie Cape, chief executive officer and co-founder of 98point6. “98point6 has experienced accelerated growth over the last year, due in part to the pandemic, as more organizations recognized the existing and undeniable desire for on-demand, digitally enabled care. The increased interest in 98point6 put us in a unique position to serve many in a time of need. Our approach to care replaces the high cost and complexities of navigating the healthcare system while meeting the expectations and preferences of today’s healthcare consumer. This investment is a testament to the strength of our platform, and I am confident we will benefit from the deep expertise of both the L Catterton and Activant teams.”


In-Home Primary Care Investments Likely to Trickle Down to Home-Based Care Agencies

Medicare Advantage plan Aetna and primary care provider WellBe Senior Medical are teaming up in the Chicagoland area to serve about 2,000 patients in their homes. The partnership further highlights the growing momentum behind in-home primary care models, which often enlist the services of home health and home care providers to care for vulnerable populations. 

Aetna and WellBe had already launched a partnership in July in Atlanta, where they are serving about 5,000 patients in the home.

Chicago-based WellBe Senior Medical has a vision of bringing the culture of “house calls” back onto the forefront of care. Broadly, its latest in-home primary care initiative is something that benefits all three parties: WellBe, Aetna and the patient, according to company leaders.

“Our goal is to help people age in their homes with dignity and respect. … Our model goes all the way from prevention to end of life,” Jeff Kang, the CEO of WellBe Senior Medical, told Home Health Care News. “In many ways, it’s a return to what I think is the essence of medicine.”

WellBe’s model is built to care for patients throughout their aging journey — whether that be through chronic disease care, acute care, palliative care or end-of-life care.

WellBe’s in-home care model can do about 90% of what a doctor can do at a traditional office in the home, Kang said. 

An interdisciplinary team approach dictates the workflow of the licensed clinicians on WellBe Senior Medical’s staff. It is formed by physicians, nurse practitioners, social workers, paramedics and other health care professionals.

On its end, Aetna is a managed health care company that sells traditional and consumer directed health care insurance. It includes medical, pharmaceutical, dental, behavioral health, disability and long-term care plans, and it works primarily through employer-paid insurance, benefit programs and Medicare.

It has been a subsidiary of CVS Health since late 2018, another company that has shown it’s on board with moving care to the home.

In order to ease the burden of COVID-19 on hospitals, for example, CVS Health’s Coram enhanced its capabilities to treat more infusion patients in home-based settings during the early months of the outbreak in the U.S.

“Aetna is proud to collaborate with WellBe Senior Medical to deliver care to patients in the most convenient way possible,” Gregg Kimmer, Aetna’s chief Medicare officer for the Great Lakes market, said in a press release. “By seeing patients in the comfort of their own home, we can improve their health care experience.”

The house call concept seems simple and efficient enough, but it’s the efficiency that has actually plagued the model for years, at least under the traditional Medicare fee-for-service framework. 

Where a house call company can see four to eight patients per day, office-based doctors can see over 20 because patients are coming to them. Even if in-home primary care has always been a better option for certain populations, it didn’t fit within a quantity-driven reimbursement model. 

That’s why Aetna’s Medicare Advantage capabilities makes the partnership work, Kang said.

“Aetna is a Medicare Advantage plan. And in this model, if we can help them improve the outcomes and lower costs, we have a reimbursement mechanism where they’ll pay us to do that,” Kang said. “We actually make more money if we keep people healthy and out of the hospital, so it’s completely flipped from fee-for-service.”

In a fee-for-service arrangement, the lower volume of visits would hinder WellBe Senior Medical’s ability to stay afloat financially. The partnership with Aetna, however, incentivizes better care.

It’s also an especially useful partnership during COVID-19, when the most at-risk patients on a health plan need care most, but are also unable to get to — or are refusing — primary care more than ever.

“There has been a lot of interest in the health plan community around models like these,” Kang said. “I would say Aetna had the foresight to do something about it earlier rather than [later] — other plans are kind of a little slower to get there. … Interest in these models has been dramatically accelerated now because of COVID-19.”

WellBe will also work with home care and home health providers for physical therapy and skilled nursing needs. It also teams up with them for help with activities of daily living (ADLs).

“Right now, those home health agencies are calling the doctor in the office for orders,” Kang said. “Now, there is really a doctor in the home that they can work with to get orders done. And I think it’s an opportunity for better coordination and integration with a home-based medical group, rather than an office.

VillageMD, which just received a $1 billion investment from Walgreens Boots Alliance (Nasdaq: WBA), is another primary care provider moving further into the home that recently made headlines.

The primary care provider will be heavily relying on home care and home health providers as they do so, VillageMD CMO and co-founder Dr. Clive Fields recently told HHCN.

WellBe Senior Medical is hoping to continue to grow itself. It just signed on with another Medicare Advantage plan out of Chicago — MoreCare — which is based out of Cook County, Illinois.

Although Kang couldn’t unveil specifics yet, WellBe is on its way to a few more partnerships in Chicago and elsewhere, too.

“The system is set up with the convenience of the doctor,” Kang said. “It needs to be set up for what’s right for the patient.”

The post In-Home Primary Care Investments Likely to Trickle Down to Home-Based Care Agencies appeared first on Home Health Care News.

$5M Research Grant Launches to Evaluate Efficacy of Virtual Diabetes Care

diabetes management qualcomm medtronic diabetes

What You Should Know:

– DreaMed Diabetes, the developer of personalized,
AI-based diabetes management solutions, will participate in a clinical study,
led by Jaeb Center for Health Research Foundation, to evaluate the efficacy of virtual
treatment for diabetes patients. The research is funded by a $5 million grant
from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust. 

– DreaMed uses AI-powered technology to seamlessly treat
patients remotely with its virtual diabetes management service by providing
personalized recommendations on insulin dosage for people with type 1 diabetes.

– As part of Helmsley’s research, the study will
determine if the virtual clinic model improves clinical and psychological
outcomes for people with diabetes. DreaMed, together with Aetna and Cecilia
Health, will provide a multi-faceted platform to fully evaluate the
effectiveness of virtual clinics using DreaMed’s technology. 


DreaMed Diabetes Ltd., the developer of personalized, AI-based diabetes management solutions, announces it will be serving as a subcontractor on a $5,025,099 grant from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust to the Jaeb Center for Health Research Foundation.  DreaMed’s technology will include a comprehensive data system that can pull information from CGM, SMBG, insulin pumps, and connected insulin pens. It will visualize this information for the healthcare provider and for the participants through web and mobile applications as well as operate decision support algorithms to optimize insulin treatment plans for people with type 1/type 2 on insulin pumps or multiple daily injections therapy. 

Growing Need for Virtual Diabetes Care

Due to the sheer size of the United States, many people with
diabetes lack the necessary medical support required, particularly access to
endocrinologists who provide them with critical guidance and information. This
includes the overseeing of continuous glucose monitoring (CGM), insulin-dosing
support, and pertinent mental health support. The lack of support alongside
today’s social distancing guidelines has encouraged a host of remote medical
initiatives, many of which aim to provide people with diabetes a comprehensive
virtual solution. While virtual solutions have proved exciting, questions
remain as to whether virtual care, including CGM, provides better outcomes than
traditional methods.

Jaeb Center’s Pilot Study

In January 2019, the Jaeb Center’s pilot study assessed
whether CGM could be successfully introduced outside of a clinic over a
three-month period. The results found participants using CGM received
personalized support, enabling them to improve their glycemic outcomes and
quality of life. While the study proved invaluable, there was a need for a
larger study that truly evaluates the efficacy of remote diabetes care, which
will be accomplished within the scope of this new grant from the Helmsley
Charitable Trust to the Jaeb Center.

New Study Explores the Efficacy of Virtual Diabetes Care

The new study represents a more rigorous model for analyzing
virtual diabetes management, because it will evaluate CGM use over time,
glycemic- and participant-reported outcomes, healthcare utilization and cost,
the use of decision support tools, and the impact of mental health support.

Jaeb will evaluate the efficacy of a virtual specialty
clinic model for improving clinical and psycho-social outcomes for people with
diabetes. This evaluation will include 300 patients who don’t currently utilize
CGM, with type 1 and type 2 diabetes nationwide over the course of a six-month
period. To integrate the virtual management of insulin dosage, the initiative
will utilize the DreaMed Advisor Platform, which gives providers a way to view
and manage recommendations.

For the first time, DreaMed Advisor’s state-of-the-art
cloud-based technology will provide, in this study, personalized
recommendations on insulin dosage for people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes
treated with insulin pumps or multiple daily injections. The investigational
version of DreaMed Advisor will also manage the virtual presentation of
data  derived from CGM, glucometers, insulin pumps, and connected insulin
pens. Furthermore, the platform supports virtual communications of new
treatment plans as well as a virtual clinic team, which provides behavioral
health coaching to help participants address certain diabetes-related
challenges.

“We are thrilled to be involved in Jaeb’s VDiSC study,” says Eran Agmon, Chief Product Officer of DreaMed Diabetes. “Virtual care is the future of medicine, and the technology is ripe for deployment in diabetes. We are confident in the model and proud that our technology is providing the support necessary to enable its implementation”

Ginger Lands $50M to Expand On-Demand Mental Health Support Platform

Ginger Lands $50M to Expand On-Demand Mental Health Support Platform

What You Should Know:

– Ginger announces $50 Million in Series D funding to expand
access to its on-demand mental healthcare system led by Advance Venture
Partners and Bessemer Venture Partners; joined by Cigna Ventures and existing
investors.

– Company has more than tripled revenue over the past year, now brings access to on-demand mental healthcare to millions around the world through 200+ employer clients and leading health plans.


Ginger, a San Francisco, CA-based provider of on-demand
mental healthcare, today announced a $50 million Series D funding round led by
Advance Venture Partners and Bessemer Venture Partners. Additional participants
include Cigna Ventures and existing investors such as Jeff Weiner, Executive
Chairman of LinkedIn, and Kaiser Permanente Ventures. This latest round of
investment brings the company’s total funding to over $120 million. 

On-Demand Mental Health Support

Founded in 2011, Ginger’s on-demand mental healthcare system
brings together behavioral health coaches, therapists, and psychiatrists, who
work as a team to deliver personalized care, right through your smartphone. The
Ginger app provides members with access to the support they need within
seconds, 24/7, 365 days a year. Millions of people have access to Ginger
through leading employers, health plans, and its network of partners.

By delivering evidence-based behavioral health coaching,
therapy and psychiatry right from a smartphone, Ginger is the only end-to-end
telemental health provider designed to meet this skyrocketing demand at a
fraction of the cost of traditional care.

Key benefits of Ginger’s on-demand mental health platform
include:

On-demand, anywhere: On average, members in 30
countries around the world can text with a Ginger behavioral health coach
within 44 seconds, 24/7, 365 days per year; first available video appointments
with a therapist or psychiatrist are available on average within 10.5
hours. 

Measurement-based: The company’s proprietary
collaborative care model has been proven to be more than twice as effective as
standard therapeutic interventions; 70 percent of people using Ginger
experience an improvement in their depression symptoms within 10-14
weeks. 

Loved by members: Ginger members give an average
rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars after each session.  


COVID-19 Underscores Record Demand for Mental Health
Support

This announcement comes at a time when the world’s mental
health crisis has reached an all-time high following the onset of the COVID-19
pandemic. According to Ginger’s 2020
Workforce Attitudes Toward Mental Health Report
, nearly 70 percent of U.S.
workers believe this is the most stressful period of their careers, including
major events like the September 11 terror attacks, the 2008 Great Recession and
others. Ginger has observed record-high demand for mental health support;
during July 2020, weekly utilization rates were 125% higher for coaching and
265% higher for therapy and psychiatry when compared to pre-COVID-19 averages.

Recent Traction/Milestones

Millions of people have access to Ginger through the
company’s partnerships with innovative employers, health plans, and strategic
partners. Today, over 200 companies ranging from startups to Fortune 100s,
including Delta Air Lines, Sanofi, Chegg, Domino’s, SurveyMonkey, and Sephora,
partner with Ginger to cost-efficiently provide employees with high-quality
mental healthcare. Ginger members can also access virtual therapy and
psychiatry sessions as an in-network benefit through the company’s
relationships with leading regional and national health plans, including Optum
Behavioral Health, Anthem California, and Aetna Resources for Living.  

The company recently announced the formation of the Ginger Advisory Board, bringing together world-renowned experts from MIT, Massachusetts General Hospital, and the University of Washington to advance mental health research and innovation. 

“Our mental healthcare system has long been inadequate. But in the midst of a worldwide pandemic and a tumultuous sociopolitical climate, we’re facing uncharted territory,” said Russell Glass, CEO, Ginger, “People are demanding better care, and the largest payers of healthcare are recognizing the need to respond. Ginger is uniquely able to reverse the course of this crisis at scale. With this investment, we can accelerate our work to deliver incredible mental healthcare at a fraction of the cost to the hundreds of millions of people around the world who deserve it.”

Coronavirus: 5 Ways You Can Use Social Media and Digital Marketing to Help the Public During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Today I am going to share some important ways that doctors, hospitals and healthcare marketers can use social media to inform the public during the COVID-19 crisis.

  1. Priority One: Use social media to convince people to comply with social distancing, and consequently help us all, “flatten the curve!”

The US Surgeon General, Dr. Jerome Adams, understands the power of social media to help get information out about the COVID-19 crisis. He was recently asked during a Good Morning America interview how to get younger Americans to take the coronavirus crisis seriously. Dr. Adams responded: “Well, I have a fifteen and a fourteen-year-old, and the more I tell them not to do something, the more they really want to do it.”

“We need to get Kylie Jenner, we need to get our social media influencers out there, in helping folks understand that look, this is serious, this is absolutely serious…People are dying.”

Hours later, Jenner responded by exposing myths and sharing the importance of social distancing with her 166 million Instagram followers. “The coronavirus is a real thing…Please stay inside you guys: practice social distancing, self-quarantine. If you live with your parents, you don’t want to home and get your parents sick. You might have it, and not even know and be infecting other people… It’s serious, and, the only way we’re going to slow this down is if we do this since there’s not a cure right now. Nobody is immune to this. Millennials are not immune to this. New evidence actually shows that a large percentage of people in the hospital right now are young adults.”

Doctor sitting at desk with cell phone in hand

Healthcare social media and healthcare digital marketing during the COVID-19 crisis.

Jenner’s video was, of course, a step in the right direction, which leads me to ask you…

If the US Surgeon General trusted Kylie Jenner to help get the word out about how we can fight the Coronavirus, don’t you think healthcare clinicians and medical professionals should use their social media accounts to help too?

Let’s face it. There’s a lot of misinformation out there, and millions of Americans nationwide still wildly underestimate the seriousness of coronavirus. You have the opportunity – I would argue responsibility – to use your social media accounts to influence others positively.

If you are a doctor or nurse, I recognize that you probably do not have a vast social media following. That doesn’t matter. Clinicians often forget how much influence they have upon the people they do know. When my kids were little, whenever they got hurt or sick, the first person we usually turned to was our neighbor Denise, who was also a critical care nurse. “Miss Pumpkin” (as our daughters called her), wasn’t just a friend; she was a healthcare thought leader for our family and our neighborhood.

Medical clinicians and other concerned healthcare professionals can share information with friends and family on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media channels. Also, don’t forget you can simply email friends and family as well. I know a biologist who copies me (and all his friends) on relevant COVID-19 updates via his personal email.

If you are a professional healthcare marketer, you have enormous potential to educate your community through scale. Your first step will be to convince your hospital or practice leadership that your organization not only can, but should, take a leadership role during this crisis, and “join the fight.”

As I mentioned in last week’s blog about how you should adjust your marketing efforts during COVID-19, now is a fantastic time to build your organization’s thought leadership and brand by doing the right thing.

Certainly, you can start by updating all your organization’s website and various organic social media properties [e.g., Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube (see a Healthcare Success Healthcare Marketing and COVID webinar on YouTube), LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc.] with important updates and tips.

You can also work with your leadership (e.g., Healthcare CEO, Pharmaceutical CMO, Medical Director) to encourage your doctors and medical practice staff likewise to share info on their personal social media accounts.

Beyond that, if you want to reach your community, you can significantly expand your reach via paid social media advertising. Remember, Facebook and Instagram favor personal accounts over business Pages, and as little as 4% of your hospital’s followers will have the opportunity to see your “organic” (“free”) posts there.

By contrast, you can reach tens of thousands (or millions) of people cost-effectively through paid social media advertising. You have nearly limitless options to influence people through paid social media, whether you use boosted posts, video ads, or other formats. You can create and buy social media campaigns yourself or enlist the help of an agency like ours.

We’ll expand on the benefits of social media advertising in future posts – stay tuned for that.

  1. Use social media to help guide people in your community who fear they may have the virus.

Due to a lot of missteps and mixed messages, people are confused about what they should do if they think they have COVID-19. What’s more, beyond the general advice that is available everywhere (e.g., wash your hands, do not go out if you are sick, avoid people who look ill), the appropriate course of action can vary by community. Here are some of the questions people want answers to:

  • “What are COVID-19 symptoms, and should I get tested?”
  • “Where in our community can I get tested?”
  • “Should I see my primary care doctor, an Urgent Care, or the local hospital?”
  • “Is telemedicine an appropriate first step?”
  • “Should I stay home if my symptoms are minor?”
  • “How will I know when it is time to seek help at a hospital?”
  • “How do I avoid infecting others?”
  • “Which hospitals in my area are able and ready to take new COVID-19 patients?”
  • “What are the risks of the transmission of coronavirus infectious disease at home?”
  • “Is there anything else should I know about coronavirus disease diagnosis and transmission?”

If you represent a hospital or other larger healthcare organization, you may already have answers to some of these questions on your website. If so, great—utilize social media to drive people in your community to your appropriate website pages or posts.

If you do not have coronavirus content on your website, you can add whatever information makes sense. Anything you post must be medically accurate, and you’ll need to ensure appropriate legal and ethical safeguards in place.

Alternatively, you can of course simply share information from trusted sources (such as HHS/CDC Coronavirus/COVID-19 website, the CDC.gov, or NIH.gov) on your social media. (See some additional links and resources below.)

  1. Use email and social media to inform your patient base with additional, important updates and advice.

Beyond educating the wider community, you should guide and inform your patients (or their caregivers) throughout the COVID-19 crisis. Beyond the fact that it is the right thing to do, your valuable information will grow your authority and your relationship with your patients at a time when they need it most.

In addition to some of the topics we’ve already covered above, you can use social media and HIPAA compliant email to help guide patients with additional tips, such as how to:

  • Boost your immune system
  • Care for and speak to small children at home
  • Deal with fear and stay positive
  • Cope with stress or sleeplessness
  • Pass the time
  • Protect their family
  • General information and updates as they become available

Make sure all your communications are informative, relevant, accurate, empathetic, and “in touch” with the current environment. Right now, your tone should generally be serious, but over time as people begin to go stir crazy, you may see an opportunity to mix it up with some lighter content.

My wife’s doctor does a great job of providing this kind of information to patients through email and via Instagram.

Also, for inspiration, here is a helpful email I received from Aetna that describes some COVID-19 benefits they have put into place for members.

Email to Aetna insurance members about COVID-19

Sample Email From Aetna to Patients

  1. Reassure your patients that your hospital or practice has proper safety precautions in place.

A close friend whose husband has colon cancer emailed me last Friday:

So be sure to communicate your safety measures everywhere you can, on your website, social media properties, via email, on the phone, and in-person at the office. You can even post a video on your website, like this example from one of our clients.

  1. To attract new patients now or immediately following the COVID-19 crisis, think digital healthcare marketing first.

Just like virtually every type of business, many hospitals, medical practices, skilled nursing facilities, and other healthcare organizations are suffering economically from the COVID-19 crisis.

Some providers can (or must) wait for the crisis to end before they begin marketing efforts to attract new patients, while others need to generate revenue and new patients now. While we believe strongly in the power of traditional advertising, our favorite “go-to” in times like these is digital.

Take, for example, the leaders of a multi-city, specialty practice who contacted me this past Friday. Due to COVID-19, their physician liaisons cannot get in to see referring doctors. Even worse, recent Medicare reimbursement cuts have severely reduced their revenues.

Their specialty is medically essential, so they must remain open for business even though prospective patients and their families are distracted by COVID-19.

Our recommendations will likely include:

  1. Email and social media campaigns that will reach referring doctors directly, without relying on physician liaisons.
  2. Paid search campaigns on both Google and Bing networks. We did an analysis, and despite COVID-19, there are still thousands of searches each month for the services.
  3. As you might guess, based upon the rest of this post, paid social media to reach patients and their families.
  4. If budget permits, we might test connected TV (CTV) and digital radio.

Remember, due to coronavirus, millions of Americans are staying at home right now, and people are spending more time online than ever. We’ll expand more on that in a forthcoming blog post.

Conclusion: COVID Digital Healthcare Marketing & Social Media

While these are incredibly challenging times for everyone, smart social media and digital marketing strategies can still influence patients in a positive, profound way.

Here are 2 sample emails and some jpegs for your convenience. I am also sharing some credible, “shareable” links below. For more updates on COVID-19 and other important topics, follow me on Twitter, @StewartGandolf.

COVID-19 Prevention Chart

COVID-19 Prevention Chart

COVID-19 Symptoms Chart

COVID-19 Symptoms Chart

Social distancing guidelines from CDC

Maintain 6’/six-foot distance

The following are Healthcare Success COVID-19 campaign images to support social distancing. Out of home and social media are displayed below.
If you would like more information on these, or to use them in a campaign, please give us a call at 800-656-0907.
Out of home alternate COVID accouncement

Healthcare Success Out of Home – Six feet

Instagram spread the word COVID announcement

HS Instagram COVID, “Spread the Word.”

Entire COVID prevention campaign

Healthcare Success COVID prevention campaign

#LetsFlattenTheCurve: Creative to encourage social distancing during COVID-19

The Coronavirus Can Be Stopped, But Only With Harsh Steps

The Doctor Who Helped Defeat Smallpox Explains What’s Coming

Coronavirus: The Hammer and the Dance: What the Next 18 Months Can Look Like, if Leaders Buy Us Time

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