UnitedHealth, Aetna sign with service bringing medical care to patient

In a move suggesting that old-fashioned house calls are still working their way back into the mainstream, Aetna and UnitedHealthcare have cut a deal with a service that brings primary-care clinicians to the home or workplace of patients.

The WhiteGlove House Call service, which is only available in Texas, already contracts with about 150 employers. Now, anyone who's an Aetna or UnitedHealthcare member in Texas can bring a WhiteGlove physician or nurse practitioner to them for about $35, the cost of a standard specialist co-payment. Their provider may also supply generics or over-the-counter medications, many of which practitioners carry with them.

WhiteGlove providers are available anytime between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., seven days per week. The company typically gets providers to consumers within two hours of their call. Most calls seem to come in the evening during after-work hours, the company reports.

While WhiteGlove providers are typically called to treat minor illnesses such as colds and skin rashes, or to suture minor cuts; they're also available to offer wellness services such as checkups for cholesterol levels, or to test blood pressure.

WhiteGlove already has a similar agreement in place with Humana, which reaches about 400,000 of its members in Central Texas. The new deal brings the service to 400,000 UHC beneficiaries in Austin and San Antonio, while Aetna will offer the service to 2.2 million customers in Texas.

This is a lot of action for a relatively new company like WhiteGlove, which was founded two years ago. It recently raised $3.8 million from 13 investors, bringing its total debt and equity financing to about $8 million.

To learn more about WhiteGlove:
- read this Austin-American Statesman article

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