$0 Virtual Care Integrated Product Expands Access to Affordable Healthcare
CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield (CareFirst), the largest not-for-profit health plan in the mid-Atlantic region, announced launching Virtual Connect, a $0 virtual first primary care and mental health benefit available starting January 1, 2023, for all fully insured large group plans.
The new integrated benefit – is offered through CloseKnit, a virtual first primary care practice comprised of full-time, dedicated and highly credentialled providers offering the same level of care virtually as they would in a doctor’s office. CloseKnit was launched in 2021 by Healthworx, the innovation and investment arm of CareFirst, to address the increasing demand for a modern consumer experience and virtual first primary and urgent care for adults providing a modern consumer experience.
“We are investing in virtual care because we’ve listened to our members, customers and our community – flexible, affordable, comprehensive care is what they need and want,” said Dave Corkum, EVP, Chief Growth Officer, CareFirst. “Consumers want to have access to care when and where they need it with the ability to chat with their primary care team 24/7/365. Virtual Connect using the CloseKnit provider practice meets that need.”
CloseKnit enables individuals to connect with a physician via their smartphone or device through an easy-to-use app to access primary or urgent care, behavioral and mental health resources, care coordination, care navigation and more. 40% of CareFirst members don’t have a primary care doctor. Whether these individuals have yet to find a physician they connect with, or they can’t make the operating hours of a clinic, CloseKnit helps to fill these gaps. By adopting a virtual-first, technology-enabled care delivery method, CloseKnit removes barriers to care and increases the accessibility of primary care.
“Aligning incentives to support meeting individuals, families, and small and large employer groups where they are helps us reduce gaps in equitable, affordable, accessible healthcare,” shared Mary Jane Favazza, CEO of CloseKnit. “Virtual Connect represents the convergence of employer and consumer demand and unlocks the power of value-based care. We are excited to remove an important financial barrier and look forward to how it will impact community health and the overall cost of care.”
About CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield
In its 85th year of service, CareFirst, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, is a not-for-profit healthcare company which, through its affiliates and subsidiaries, offers a comprehensive portfolio of health insurance products and administrative services to 3.6 million individuals and employers in Maryland, the District of Columbia and Northern Virginia. In 2021, CareFirst invested $26.2 million to improve overall health, and increase the accessibility, affordability, safety and quality of healthcare throughout its market areas. To learn more about CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, visit our website at www.carefirst.com.
Headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland, CloseKnit is an innovative and advanced primary care practice that operates virtually and is conveniently accessed through an easy-to-use app. Our virtual-first delivery model offers a breadth of care services, including preventive and urgent care, behavioral and mental health, care coordination and more. Our dedicated, patient-centric provider teams deliver continuous and connected care that’s transparent, affordable and easily accessible. To learn more visit: https://www.closeknithealth.com/.