Anthem signs on with Cleveland Clinic's, Amwell's virtual 2nd opinions service

young woman consulting with doctor using smartphone for telehealth visit
Anthem will offer The Clinic's virtual second opinion services. (Geber86/GettyImages)

Anthem is teaming up with The Clinic by Cleveland Clinic to offer virtual second opinions to members.

The Clinic is a digital health joint venture from Cleveland Clinic and Amwell that provides video consultations, digital record collection and concierge service to insurers, providers, employers and patients. Through the partnership, eligible members can seek online second opinions from the health system's 3,500 physicians.

Anthem will initially make these consults available to its large employer clients, with the potential to expand to other employers and other insurance programs, according to the announcement.

“When it comes to complex and potentially life-threatening illness, we want to help ensure that our members are receiving the care and information they need and having access to second opinions from the top experts in the world, regardless of their location, promotes this,” said Manish Oza, M.D., vice president of product development and account management at Anthem, in a statement.

RELATED: Cleveland Clinic, Amwell joint venture launches virtual 2nd opinions service

“The Clinic’s use of best-in-class technology combined with Cleveland Clinic’s depth of expertise across more than 550 advanced subspecialties, allows us to offer our members access to the information they need," Oza said. "When a member has access to this program they are able to engage with leading providers and this type of enhanced access to care can only strengthen the health outcomes of those who need it.”

Cleveland Clinic and Amwell announced their partnership on virtual second opinions in February. The Clinic joint venture initially launched in October 2019.

Virtual second opinions are in demand, the companies said, with the market expected to reach $7 billion by 2024, up from $2.7 billion in 2019. Cleveland Clinic studies have found that when patients seek second opinions for life-altering diagnoses, 28% receive a change in diagnosis.

In addition, 72% of treatment plans were modified after a second opinion, Cleveland Clinic found.

“This is just the start of our work with Anthem. In the coming months and years, we’ll continue to collaborate to innovate and improve on the overall quality of care delivered to patients with complex conditions, ultimately lowering costs,” said Frank McGillin, CEO of The Clinic, in a statement. “Our partnership is further proof of the value of virtual second opinions for patients and health plans alike.  We expect to see an increased demand for routine expert second opinions when dealing with significant and life-changing health conditions.”