CoxHealth Virtual Visits Update
During this challenging time in our community CoxHealth has utilized our Virtual Visits platform in an innovative way, providing free visits to those in our area who believe that they may be suffering from COVID-19 related symptoms. We have offered these visits free to the public to reduce exposure for individuals who visit our facilities, and reduce the exposure to our employees in our clinics. This offer of free visits has been met with a resounding response from the community. CoxHealth has provided approximately 2,500 Virtual Visits in the first few days since extending the free offer, and we continue to see patients at this accelerated pace. We are honored to provide this service to the community because we are convinced it is the right thing to do.
Many of our payer partners, including most commercial payers, Medicare, and Medicaid are doing the right thing as well. We have received communication from most of these payers that during this pandemic they will provide payment for telemedicine visits with patients. Because of this, we want to inform you that as of Monday, March 30th 2020 we will begin submitting charges for these services to insurance payers, including self-funded plan sponsors. In most cases, the national insurance carriers have indicated that they will waive any patient portion of this expense, including copays and other cost sharing that may fall to the individual. In cases where this is not the case, CoxHealth will be reducing any remaining member balance to zero so that for the time being Virtual Visits remain no cost to the individual.
When we launched Virtual Visits some employers set up special plan codes and offered these services to their employees at a discounted cash-pay rate through various arrangements with CoxHealth Network. We will temporarily be suspending those codes and will collect appropriate insurance information from anyone seeking care via Virtual Visits.
I want to be clear that we will follow this process for all Virtual Visits until such time as we can revert back to normal operations. Over the last week more than eighty percent of the visits conducted by Virtual Visits have been COVID related. Maintaining a separate process for those that are not COVID related would not be efficient or effective in seeing as many patients as possible during this time.
Thank you for your understanding during this unprecedented time, and for your flexibility as we seek to provide the best care we can to you and to our community in the safest way possible. You may reach me at (417) 269-7060 if you have any questions.
Vice President, Network Services