Partnership Background

Lafayette General Health (LGH), the region’s largest non-profit, community-owned regional health system, has been providing telehealth in the Acadiana community for over eight years. Previous offerings involved placing physical booths and video systems within schools and employers. Faced with a persistent challenge of seeing a high volume of minor acute patients in their emergency department (ED), LGH turned to its long-standing partner, SCP Health (SCP) to help implement LGH Health Anywhere, an on-demand e-health program for minor-acute care needs staffed by a team of dedicated SCP providers.

Goals

  • Decrease unnecessary ED visits resulting in savings to health plan spend (pilot)
  • Decrease average wait times
  • Improve patient satisfaction
  • Expand LGH’s market reach
  • Provide innovative solution to the identified need

SCP Strategy

The existing multi-year partnership between LGH and SCP, combined with both organizations’ experience with telehealth, set this program up for success. LGH chose to first pilot this program to employees of their health plan, with a goal of expansion to the community following a successful launch. The choice to partner with SCP helped LGH establish a 24/7 network of providers, alleviating challenges related to e-provider network coverage, staffing after-hours/weekends and ramping-up to volume. To prepare for implementation, SCP’s recruiters worked quickly to hire quality, Louisiana licensed providers trained to assess, diagnose, triage, and prescribe medications to virtual visit patients. Importantly, these providers were onboarded, trained and white-labeled into the LGH network and brand—creating a seamless Health Anywhere experience for both patients and providers. The successful launch and expansion was driven by a two-phase marketing plan. Phase one of the plan was designed to promote awareness and use of the LGH Health Anywhere as a “Virtual Urgent Care”, while phase two expanded the effort using Facebook dynamic advertisements and FAQs.

Impact

Only 10 months into the program, the LGH and SCP telehealth partnership has welcomed 750 virtual patients, far exceeding the projection of 500 set at launch. LGH and SCP quickly saw high engagement, successful outcomes, and positive feedback from LGH staff and the surrounding community. The program was also able to fully accomplish its targeted goals:

  • Improved patient access and community health by providing virtual care that is:
    • Affordable – maximum of $45/visit
    • Timely – usually no wait time and an average visit time of five minutes
    • Reliable – 24/7/365 availability
  • Decreased health plan spend
  • Increased patient satisfaction