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10 Considerations for Brokers Choosing a Telehealth Partner

TelehealthbrokersMeMD NewsIndustry News • 3 min read • May 8, 2019 12:00:00 AM • Written by: Ali Cassidy

By Ali Cassidy, Senior Account Manager, MeMD

The telehealth market is chock-full of options. From independent companies and value-added services to telehealth programs built into major medical plans, there is no shortage of providers. They all claim the same basic benefits, so how does a broker choose the right telehealth partner in this sea of sameness?

More importantly, how can brokers leverage telehealth to improve client relationships?

MeMD offers 10 considerations for brokers seeking out the best telehealth options for their clients:

      1. Broker support: It’s important to choose a telehealth company that will provide you with reliable, timely service for the lifecycle of the relationship. This should include assistance throughout the sales cycle – like helping you customize a package to meet the needs of your individual clients – along with the marketing, sales, enrollment, and other materials and tools needed for a successful client launch.

      2. Customer service for groups: Customer service is important to your groups, too – in fact, it’s critical for maintaining and strengthening client relationships – but how do you choose the right provider among all of the options? MeMD has built its reputation on customer service, earning a ranking of “Great or Excellent” by 93% of patients who have used the platform – the highest of any telehealth provider.

      3. High-quality care: Even more important, you want to ensure your telehealth provider has a proven track record of high-quality care. You can start by looking at the telehealth company’s network to ensure providers are U.S. board-certified, state-licensed, and have sufficient clinical experience. In addition, a telehealth partner that’s committed to quality will monitor patient outcomes and satisfaction on an ongoing basis to ensure providers are offering the best care.

      4. Standalone telehealth service: It’s common for telehealth to be embedded into a company health plan, but members typically don’t know (or don’t remember) they have access to virtual care through their plan. With a standalone solution, combined with strong marketing and educational resources, utilization is much higher. The higher the utilization, the greater the benefits for employers.

      5. Ease of use: Telehealth utilization is closely tied to ease of use. You want a partner whose interface is simple to navigate, quick, efficient and user-friendly – even for non-techie types. If your client’s workforce is Spanish-speaking, you may also want to find a provider that offers a Spanish language portal.

      6. Dependent benefits: Unlike most health plan benefits, some telehealth services (including MeMD) are available to an employee’s dependents.

      7. Competitive pricing: There’s a lot of variability among telehealth companies when it comes to broker margins and sales packages. How will telehealth services affect your income as a broker?

      8. The eligibility process: Eligibility can be a big headache for you and your groups alike. We recommend seeking out a partner that puts you and your clients in control of eligibility – which may even include an on-demand eligibility option.

      9. Ease of implementation: Once your group has signed off on a partner, they will be anxious to get moving. Choose a company that will get your program up and running easily, quickly, and without adding an extra burden for HR.

      10. The telebehavioral health opportunity: Employers are keenly aware that mental health challenges affect productivity, morale and the bottom line. Today, more businesses than ever are eager to provide employees with quality behavioral healthcare – but they’re faced with the same cost and access issues that plague the rest of the nation. MeMD’s telebehavioral health services have emerged as a much-needed solution. Help your clients calculate the bottom-line impact of mental health issues and learn how they can boost profitability while improving employee health and wellbeing.

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Ali Cassidy