For many Americans, navigating the country’s healthcare system ends up being a Kafkaesque experience. Should a patient receive a new diagnosis for a chronic or high-risk condition, they usually experience a wave of stress and anxiety about their health — the last thing they want to deal with is the hassle of coordinating an appointment for a second opinion.
The Clinic is a joint venture from Cleveland Clinic and telehealth company Amwell. Through The Clinic’s platform, users have access to 3,500 Cleveland Clinic specialists across more than 550 advanced subspecialties. Through video consultations, these experts give second opinions on diagnoses and confirm treatment plans.
Transcarent provides benefits for more than 1.2 million members who are commercially insured through employer-sponsored plans. Now Transcarent members can access The Clinic’s services as a benefit, which means they won’t face any out-of-pocket costs in most cases.
“Expert medical opinions have always been around, but the accessibility of them for the everyday care consumer in the United States was not always available,” Transcarent COO Snezana Mahon said in an interview. “With the advancement of technology and the ability of integrated care experiences — and having a partner like The Clinic, with world renowned physicians and subspecialties — we are now able to bring those two worlds together in real time on behalf of the consumer and most importantly, in an affordable fashion.”
This partnership promises affordability not only for patients, but also employers.
The Clinic specializes in second opinions for high risk and chronic conditions — which often require costly care journeys. However, The Clinic delivers an average cost savings of $13,000 per patient case for employers, said Kelly Keegan, The Clinic’s senior vice president of sales.
These savings usually come from identifying different treatment plans or medication regimens, Keegan said. For example, a Cleveland Clinic expert might step in so that a patient can avoid an unnecessary surgery and instead receive physical therapy.
This is not the first time Transcarent has struck a partnership to democratize access to medical specialists. In August, the company partnered with Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) to give its members access to HSS’ orthopedic and musculoskeletal specialists. For its partnership with HSS, Transcarent handles all member referrals and coordinates travel when necessary. The company also covers the cost of certain orthopedic surgeries, as well as travel costs.
“Transcarent is also on a mission to continue to expand partnerships with local health systems because today’s consumers are expecting us to meet them where they’re at — whether it’s in the virtual world, the local world or in the home,” Mahon said. “As we continue to expand our partnerships — whether it’s in the pharmacy space, the behavioral space or the expert medical opinion space, you’re going to see us with that lens. We want to be able to drive that connectivity across all sites of care where that member may be, and expanding access to expert medical opinion is a great gateway.”
Photo: elenabs, Getty Images