Mercer last week announced a new partnership with Hispanic health platform ConsejoSano to provide employers, employees and their dependents a telehealth platform that directly connects with Spanish-speaking doctors.
San Francisco-based ConsejoSano, which helps connect employees to Spanish-speaking doctors, is designed to help employers simplify care, increase engagement and lower costs related to Spanish-speaking employees. It can be accessed by phone or mobile app and is available 24/7, according to Mercer.
While telemedicine options have become much more popular among employers in recent years, adoption rate among employees still remains rather low.
Employers reported greater resolve to improve health outcomes per dollar spent, with two-thirds planning to use data extensively to evaluate plan performance and employee behavior changes in lifestyle and health management, according to recent data from Willis Towers Watson. The use of telemedicine services in place of in-person physician visits, when appropriate, will continue to be rapidly adopted, having expanded by 35% in 2015 over 2014.
QuoteAs the diverse health needs of the U.S. population grow, so does the need for doctors who can understand and empathize with the language and cultural context of their patients.
Employers can educate employees about the program directly through customized communication campaigns such as direct mailing, SMS, email and videos, through internal champions, employee groups or specific departments/locations with Spanish-language interests, says Bruce Lee, a spokesman with Mercer.
“The second [way] is to leverage the external brand that ConsejoSano has created to establish themselves directly in the community, whether that’s through traditional media channels like Telemundo or Univision, or new media like ConsejoSano TV on YouTube,” he says. “ConsejoSano has also partnered with J&J/BabyCenter, Dignity, the American Red Cross and large healthcare systems to work with these populations as well.”
“As the diverse health needs of the U.S. population grow, so does the need for doctors who can understand and empathize with the language and cultural context of their patients,” adds Mercer’s David Kaplan, leader of Mercer Health Innovation LABS. “The introduction of ConsejoSano comes at a critical time for U.S. employers. The Spanish-speaking population represents nearly 54 million people and of those, 22 million are actively part of the U.S. workforce.”
And as technology continues to evolve, additional partnerships with programs in other languages could be coming. As part of the company’s Health Innovation LABS’ mandate, partnerships with other language platforms may be an option. “We certainly are not crossing [that] off the list,” says Lee.
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