Catapult Health launches new virtual program to improve access to preventive care

Register now

As the pandemic has triggered delays in both preventive and elective care, employers are turning totelehealth servicesto keep their workforce healthy and happy, and prevent the development of chronic disease.

Catapult Health, a provider of onsite and virtual preventive healthcare, has launched a new program called VirtualCheckup, through which employers can offer preventive care to their employees and family members anytime and anywhere.

“Over the past months, people are kicking the can on their chronic conditions,” says David Michel, CEO of Catapult Health. “Individuals that we're seeing now have not been to their doctors in several months. They've been scared to go. So we’re able to reach people where they are in this critical time and offer a solution that's very thorough and very simple for them to do.”

See also: Employers expect healthcare costs to jump 5% in 2021 amid coronavirus pandemic

The telehealth experience mimics clinical depth of an office-based annual exam. Prior to each visit, employees will receive a VirtualCheckup home kit through mail that contains a blood pressure monitor, a finger stick blood testing device and a measuring tape. To follow up on the results, employees will have a virtual video meeting with a board-certified Catapult Health nurse practitioner who reviews and discusses results, performs screenings for depression and COVID-19, and delivers a customized personal action plan. This whole process — from the time an employee registers for a kit to the subsequent virtual check up — typically takes about 10 days.

“This is game changing because telemedicine is typically thought of as acute and episodic,” Michel says. “[Until recently], telemedicine companies did not have a solution for that annual checkup preventive exam, because you have to have blood work, blood testing, physical measurements, and a full medical history.”

See also: Mental health and telehealth apps come of age amid coronavirus crisis

Visits to healthcare clinics are trending well below their pre-coronavirus levels, setting the stage for increased future health issues, according to Catapult Health. Data from more than 23,000 of the company's patients seen in June-July 2020 showed uncontrolled hypertension up 9%, newly assessed hypertension up 6%, uncontrolled diabetes up 19% and newly assessed diabetes increased 13%, when compared to the same time period last year.

“When you're not feeling bad, people think they don’t need to get a preventive exam,” Michel says. “So it's no secret why people are not doing it, but that's a real problem for employers because they end up footing the bill, for things that are more serious that could have been caught early.”

The checkups can be implemented as a stand-alone solution, or as a hybrid complemented by onsite clinics. More than 40 organizations — including optical lens maker and distributor Essilor of America — with nearly 80,000 covered participants have signed up for Catapult’s VirtualCheckup program.

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, click here.
Telehealth Chronic care Healthcare innovations HR Technology Benefit Technology Resource Center Health and wellness Health data