News Feature | August 31, 2016

Anthem Blue Cross Members In California Now Have Access To Spanish Language Telehealth

Christine Kern

By Christine Kern, contributing writer

Telehealth Superior To Inconvenient Office Visits

LiveHealth Online launches Cuidado Médico crossing the language barrier for video doctor visits.

Anthem Blue Cross of California has launched its Cuidado Médico service on LiveHealth Online, allowing users to connect with a Spanish-speaking physician to discuss their health issues. Crossing the language barrier for video doctor visits, the service allows healthcare providers to assess a patient’s condition, provide a treatment plan, and send any necessary prescriptions to the pharmacy. LiveHealth Online is a covered benefit under Anthem Blue Cross plans, making the cost of the telehealth visit the same or less than visiting a doctor’s office.

Cuidado Médico is also available to California residents who do not have Anthem or any healthcare coverage at a cost for $49 per visit.

“LiveHealth Online represents a true shift in healthcare delivery by using technology to make healthcare easier and more consumer friendly,” said John Jesser, Anthem Blue Cross vice president of provider engagement strategy. “LiveHealth Online is having an unprecedented impact on the lives of Spanish speaking consumers in California. For the first time, thousands of Latino consumers have at their disposal the ability to visit with a doctor online in Spanish.”

A 2013 Pew study found Latinos are among the most likely population segment to use smartphones to go online. “Cuidado Médico on LiveHealth Online is just one of many ways Anthem is making getting quality healthcare more convenient for our Spanish speaking members,” explained Anthem Blue Cross president Brian Ternan in a statement. “We all know how important it is to talk to a doctor in the language in which you’re most comfortable. Cuidado Médico on LiveHealth Online offers a secure way for our members to use their insurance plan and contact a Spanish speaking board-certified doctor via your smartphone or tablet.”

As Health IT Outcomes reported, telemedicine is becoming a viable treatment option that helps bring healthcare to underserved populations and reduce overall healthcare costs. Language barriers have also been a hurdle for healthcare, with providers searching for new ways to understand their patients’ conditions and needs to effectively diagnose and treat them.

One technology that was introduced in 2013, the Canopy Translator app, allows providers to access a library of routine medical terminology in 150 different languages at the touch of a button. And last year, Telemedicine provider Carena partnered with UleCare, an affiliate of University of Iowa Health Care, to launch a new virtual clinic for Spanish-speaking patients to meet the needs of Iowa’s growing Latino population.