by Ceci Connolly
The ongoing COVID-19 public health crisis continues to inject uncertainty into the lives of individuals and families in every community. In a time when public health is the first thing on everyone’s mind, ACHP’s nonprofit member companies are immediately jumping into action to prevent, test and treat COVID-19 and protect the health of the communities they serve.
ACHP plans are leading by example, covering both COVID-19 testing and treatment, ensuring cost and access are not barriers to care.
ACHP members continue to react swiftly with unique efforts and flexible tools to contain and treat the virus, helping secure the health and safety of lives nationwide. For example:
- Kaiser Permanente in Washington state launched the first COVID-19 vaccine trial
- UPMC developed a COVID-19 test, filling a critical gap before other commercial tests were available
- Henry Ford Health System researchers in Michigan are developing a sterilization protocol for masks, which has the potential to help ease the national shortage of these critical items
- Group Health Cooperative of South-Central Wisconsin has developed a desktop droplet barrier to help protect staff and reduce the risk of infection
- Carle Health System, in partnership with the University of Illinois, has produced a prototype emergency ventilator
Members have also significantly expanded telehealth services, waiving out-of-pocket copays and cost-sharing:
- CommunityCare in Tulsa, OK, deployed telemedicine and e-visit options in the wake of the crisis, expanding coverage for all medically necessary services, including behavioral health services
- Dean Health Plan in Madison, WI, expanded access to telehealth services through FaceTime, Skype and Zoom so members have broader means to medical services
- Geisinger Health Plan in Danville, PA, and Priority Health in Grand Rapids, MI, are deploying chatbots to help triage and screen patients remotely
Additionally, numerous member plans, including AvMed, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Health Alliance Plan (HAP) and Security Health Plan are offering early prescription refills and 90-day supplies of maintenance medications.
Together with their provider partners, these organizations are rising to the challenge to combat COVID-19, providing smart and innovative solutions that not only benefit the communities they serve but greater public health.
For a full list of ACHP plans’ action COVID-19, click here.
Ceci Connolly is President & CEO of the Alliance of Community Health Plans, a national leadership organization bringing together innovative health plans and provider groups that are among America’s best at delivering affordable, high-quality coverage and care.