Anthem piloting new COVID-19 recovery tool

Anthem has launched a new pilot that aims to offer a digital concierge care experience to members recovering from COVID-19.

Through COVID Concierge Care, eligible members can access an app and fill out a questionnaire that tracks their symptoms on a daily basis. They can connect with a clinician via secure, two-way text-based messages in the app or via text or email.

In addition, based on their reported symptoms, members can access evidence-based educational tools and wellness content to help them self-manage their conditions. For example, members can connect with breathing exercise guides to manage stress or health articles about their symptoms.

The pilot will launch initially for Medicare Advantage members in Connecticut and New York, said Eugene Hsu, M.D., regional vice president for group retiree solutions at Anthem's Medicare business.

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Hsu told Fierce Healthcare that patients who are diagnosed with COVID-19 may experience lingering symptoms even after recovering from the infection and may not want to go to the emergency department or urgent care, risking further exposure, to address those symptoms.

One of the goals of the program, he said, is to improve their experience as they navigate their COVID-19 recovery.

"In response to that, really, is why we're piloting this COVID Concierge program," Hsu said.

The app offers a "command center" for the members that allows them and the clinical team to triage symptoms and potential concerns as they crop up, he said.

The pilot is designed in partnership with Sidekick Health. Anthem has teamed with the tech startup on other concierge pilots, such as one for members with Crohn's disease. While the COVID-19 program launched earlier this week, response to the Crohn's disease platform has been positive.

For example, members told Anthem that they appreciated being able to resolve questions when they emerged as well as the sense of personalization provided by the app.