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Moving Beyond Telemedicine: The Virtual Checkup

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Moving Beyond Telemedicine: The Virtual Checkup

Annual wellness visits are getting a boost from Dallas-based Catapult Health with the release of its VirtualCheckup, which allows employers to offer preventive care to their employees and families. 

 The checkup can be offered to employees as a stand-alone service or a hybrid model complemented by onsite clinics, which is part of Catapult’s model. Employers are leaning into healthcare spending as costs go up, and onsite clinics and direct contracting are some of the solutions being used to address health problems before they become costly hospitalizations.  Employers are, of course, looking to avoid those; they often pick up most of the tab. Employers are adding onsite and near-site clinics, but with so many employees now working from home, a virtual and at-home option provides more convenience. 

“Preventive care is key, especially as many in our team have recently experienced transitions in their lives, and more people are remote and caring for family members,” said Ryan Murry, senior director of benefits at Dallas-based eyeglass lens company Essilor of America, Inc. “Catapult Health does preventive care right with clinical accuracy, and the onsite clinics have been valuable in engaging our employees with their health. We are excited to also offer Virtual Checkups to our team.”

Virtual care is a growing practice, but there are limitations to telehealth. Without equipment and someone to operate it, only so much can be done through a video call. Catapult’s solution augments the video call. More than 40 organizations representing 80,000 covered individuals have signed up for Catapult, and 1,100 individuals signed up for the check-up the first day it was available. Participants are mailed a kit with a blood pressure monitor, a finger-stick blood testing device, and a measuring tape. 

“Virtual care has greatly expanded in the past six months as we’ve all adjusted to working and connecting remotely,” said David Michel, CEO of Catapult Health via release. “We are leveraging our telehealth expertise to bring preventive care to people anytime, anywhere.”

Catapult couples the kit with a virtual visit with a nurse practitioner, who helps interpret the blood test results and blood pressure measurements. The visit may include mental health and COVID-19 screenings, and create a plan of action moving forward. According to Catapult patient data from this summer, uncontrolled hypertension is up 9.4 percent, newly-assessed hypertension is up 6.1 percent, unchecked diabetes is up 19.7 percent, and newly-assessed diabetes is up 13.1 percent compared to the year before.

“Early response has been enthusiastic as employers look to meet the expectations of a more digitally engaged member base,” Michel said via release.



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