Highmark hits the road with mobile medical care

Highmark unveiled a new mobile clinic--part RV, part doctor's office--aimed at improving access to members in rural areas of West Virginia and Pennsylvania, according to TribLive.

The insurer is testing the waters of the new approach to care, emphasizing preventive services for patients that often forgo doctor's visits. The 40-foot renovated truck houses two exam rooms, a waiting area and a laboratory. Highmark officials expect to see as many as 20 to 30 patients each day for checkups, immunizations, screenings and blood draws, the article says.

"This is a longer-term play," Barbara Gray, senior vice president of clinical services at Highmark, told TribLive. "Frankly, from the business side, we want to see what the value is and uptake is from our members. That is why we are initially launching small with one mobile clinic. Then we will determine where to take the program next."

More insurers are turning to mobile clinics as a way to manage sicker, costlier patients that have coverage under the Affordable Care Act. Harvard Medical School researcher Caterina Hill told TribLive there are 2,000 mobile clinics in the U.S. that service 6 million visitors each year.

Medica, an insurer the covers the Midwest, deployed its RV last year as a way to enhance customer engagement and improve enrollment.

To learn more:
- read the TribLive article