What You Should Know:
– Doctor On Demand and CareLinx, one of the largest professional networks for in-home care, have announced a collaboration to bring in-home virtual care services to CareLinx clients.
– At a time when seniors have been encouraged to stay home to avoid exposure to COVID, Doctor On Demand’s partnership with CareLinx will vastly improve their opportunity to receive comprehensive healthcare while remaining safe.
After being the first and only telemedicine provider to roll out medical care for Medicare Part B beneficiaries, Doctor On Demand is doubling down on their efforts to support seniors in their homes. Doctor On Demand, the nation’s leading virtual care provider, and CareLinx, a nationwide, professional network for in-home care, today announced a partnership to bring in-home virtual care services to CareLinx clients.
Supporting High-Risk Patients at Home
The partnership aims to expand CareLinx’s in-home care offerings and improve health outcomes for their clients, geriatric and high-risk patients who need support at home. Today, CareLinx tech-enabled caregivers have digital care plans on their smartphones — enabling quality delivery of everyday care services such as bathing and meal prep, as well as direct communication to a patient’s family.
Doctor On Demand will augment these existing services by connecting CareLinx clients with virtual care providers in real-time. CareLinx caregivers will support the Doctor On Demand registration process and assist with in-home follow-ups and care coordination recommended by Doctor On Demand’s board-certified physicians as well.
CareLinx Clients Receive Access to Virtual Visits, Powered by Doctor on Demand
Eligible CareLinx clients will receive initial visits with board-certified physicians through Doctor On Demand at no cost. These virtual visits can be used to treat a spectrum of health issues, including diagnosis and testing of COVID-19, typical ailments like infections, rashes, cold and flu, and ongoing chronic diseases like asthma, diabetes, high blood pressure, and thyroid issues. Doctor On Demand physicians can also fill prescriptions and order lab work, and patients can see the same physician time and time again, building a trusted, personal relationship via video.
Why It Matters
“Now more than ever, finding high-quality, in-home care is pivotal during a time when seniors and high-risk patients are being encouraged to stay at home to minimize risk and exposure to COVID-19. Our partnership with Doctor On Demand enables CareLinx to continue equipping caregivers with digital tools and technologies to make caregiving easier, more transparent, and higher quality,” said Sherwin Sheik, CEO, CareLinx. “Additionally, this partnership is helping to supplement in-home activities of daily living with a telehealth option for our clients, who may not otherwise realize they have the option to see a provider virtually for medical ailments. Combined with the in-home care they are receiving, these services can help provide an expanded continuum of care to help them stay healthy and safe where they want to be — at home.”
Burlingame, California-based CareLinx is a tech-enabled home care platform that connects seniors and their families to its nationwide network of 400,000 caregivers. The company was acquired by Generali Global Assistance in 2017.
Under terms of the partnership, CareLinx clients with high levels of functional needs will receive free initial visits with physicians through Doctor On Demand. In part, the move is a response to the COVID-19 emergency, Robin Glass, president of Doctor On Demand, told Home Health Care News in an email.
“As we all know by now, seniors are at highest risk of contracting and dying from COVID-19, given their age and likelihood of having at least one pre-existing chronic condition,” Glass said. “We believe that by offering high-quality, personal care in their homes, where they can remain safe, we can have a profound impact on their immediate well-being and longer-term health.”
Doctor On Demand is a San Francisco-based health care platform that gives users virtual access to physicians, psychiatrists, therapists and a care coordination team. In July, the company raised a funding round of $75 million, led by private equity firm General Atlantic.
Since the start of the public health emergency, Doctor On Demand has seen a sharp increase in its business.
In March, when the COVID-19 emergency began, Doctor on Demand recorded a 154% year-over-year increase in its new member registrations among the 65-and-older age group.
“COVID showed us all — providers and patients alike — that we can put much of the front-line, day-to-day traditional brick-and-mortar primary care online,” Glass said. “We’ve already seen that once patients try virtual care, they are likely to come back time and time again – even prefer the experience to in-person care.”
While some have predicted telehealth utilization to level off, Glass said she believes that virtual care can sustain its surge if companies focus on forging relationships with patients.
CareLinx’s desire to partner with Doctor On Demand stemmed from the company’s recent move to make its services available to Medicare Part B beneficiaries, Sherwin Sheik, CEO of CareLinx, told HHCN in an email.
“[Doctor On Demand] has done an amazing job building out their capabilities to address the needs of Medicare Part B beneficiaries,” Sheik said. “A large portion of CareLinx customers have Medicare Part B, and we have seen great interest from our clients to be able to access a doctor on demand safely at home amid COVID. We are continuing to explore additional ways our partnership can better serve geriatric and high-risk patients with functional needs at home.”
As a home care operator, Sheik believes the combined efforts with a primary care organization strengthens its services.
“CareLinx’s innovative approach amplifies the effectiveness of remote telehealth clinical teams by using tech-enabled caregivers who serve as their eyes, ears and arms in the homes of patients,” he said. “This partnership of telehealth coupled with tech-enabled home care, we believe, will become the future of health care, as it safely keeps patients at home, thereby reducing the cost of care and improving outcomes.”
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