3 takeaways from Oscar Health's work in 2018

Doctors look at scan
Oscar's telemedicine program has received 96% positive feedback from users. (Getty/DragonImages)

Six years in, the technology-driven insurance company Oscar has seen its personalized concierge teams, virtual care and in-house platforms bear fruit, according to its annual year-end report.

The company’s concierge teams answered more than 1.2 million questions generated by 77% of membership, according to the report. And for older adults, that number is even higher (83%). In addition, 92% of members with clinically complex needs used the program.

“We are proud of the progress that Oscar has made over the past year to improve our members' health care experience, and of the high level of trust our members have in us,” a spokesperson for Oscar told FierceHealthcare. 

RELATED: Oscar seeks preliminary injunction against Florida Blue

Oscar also secured a $375 million investment from Google parent company Alphabet, which it is using to invest in growing its membership and developing new products. Here are three more takeaways from Oscar's work in 2018:

Conference

2019 Drug Pricing and Reimbursement Stakeholder Summit

Given federal and state pricing requirements arising, press releases from industry leading pharma companies, and the new Drug Transparency Act, it is important to stay ahead of news headlines and anticipated requirements in order to hit company profit targets, maintain value to patients and promote strong, multi-beneficial relationships with manufacturers, providers, payers, and all other stakeholders within the pricing landscape. This conference will provide a platform to encourage a dialogue among such stakeholders in the pricing and reimbursement space so that they can receive a current state of the union regarding regulatory changes while providing actionable insights in anticipation of the future.

Members use telemedicine more than average

One of the initiatives offered to Oscar’s members is the Doctor on Call service, which provides access to telemedicine any time of the day. Members can text or call a primary care physician, send photos to help with a diagnosis, or have prescriptions refilled. 

“Our Doctor on Call program is integrated holistically into the rest of the Oscar experience, so it is easy for our members to access telemedicine when they need it, free and 24/7,” the spokesperson said. 

In 2018, Oscar reported five times more telemedicine usage per member than the industry average. The company attributed this attrition to its easy-to-establish web profile, which 82% of members have used. 

And new to 2018, an updated landing page increased the number of members moving forward with their telemedicine consultation by 37%.

Member engagement on the rise

Member engagement with the Oscar app in 2018 increased visit feedback by 35%. In turn, members increased customer feedback by 30% for telemedicine operations.

Plus, the company made real cost estimates available for procedures rather than price ranges in 2018, according to the report. The idea behind the data was to help members feel comfortable choosing lower-cost providers.

“We are a full-stack insurer—what that means is that we have built all of our technology, including our own claims system, in-house, so that we can constantly work to improve the member experience without being slowed down by legacy systems,” the spokesperson said.

Embracing automation

In 2018, Oscar introduced a management platform within the claims system to help the Clinical Review Team process authorization requests. The program includes an automation system to filter and flag all claims that require review and can trigger communication via a subset of members.

Last year Oscar generated more than 1.75 million actions for more than 400 different reasons through this automated system, including sending more than 140,000 secure messages.

Plus, the company’s provider portal was revamped in 2018, resulting in doubling the number of provider offices with an account.

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