Frequently Asked Questions for Online Care Anywhere®
- Deliver high-quality care online or over the phone
- Choose when you want to see patients
- When you're located in the Twin Cities, treat someone in Greater Minnesota (or vice versa)
- Practice on your terms - from wherever you choose, and as often as you like
Online Care Anywhere is a new, easy way to use the web or the phone to deliver care anytime, from wherever you are in the state of Minnesota.
Online Care Anywhere gives you unprecedented flexibility to practice on your own terms. You can choose when and how many patients you see.
This new channel for delivering care is offered by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota to the entire population of Minnesota, whether or not they are members, and provides a revolutionary benefit to patients seeking quality, convenient care.
Market research nationwide shows strong patient demand for online care services. Several factors are behind this demand:
- Access to care is a concern for a number of underserved communities in our state. For patients especially in those areas, Online Care Anywhere is a welcome way to speak with a provider in a quick, easy and convenient manner.
- Access to care after hours, on weekends and holidays is a concern for many health care consumers - particularly those juggling busy lifestyles at home and work. With Online Care Anywhere, these patients have an alternative to waiting to see a provider during regular office hours, or going to the emergency room, urgent care or retail clinics for a medical consultation.
- Patients can benefit from the convenience of having an online session from their home or workplace without having to schedule an appointment. Patients can also share the record of their visit with their primary care providers, ensuring continuity of care.
Unlike an e-visit, which involves a patient e-mailing a provider with a question or concern and then waiting for a response, Online Care Anywhere happens in real time. Online Care Anywhere makes possible live and immediate conversations between you and the patient. Both the patient and you have a choice of communication modes including webcam, secure chat or telephone.
Online Care Anywhere maintains complete records of all sessions and provides a summary that the patient can forward to his or her primary care provider to enable continuity of care. It also allows you to view patient health information and deliver more informed care (if the patient grants access).
To see patients through Online Care Anywhere, you only need a computer with internet access and a webcam.
When a patient logs on to Online Care Anywhere, he or she indicates a specific medical concern and chooses a provider to speak with. When you are selected, you receive a notification and have time to review the patient's concern and health information before accepting the encounter. Once connected, you can talk to, see and interact with the patient as if you were in your own private exam room.
No pre-scheduling is required. You indicate when you're available to connect online. How - and when - you choose to practice Online Care Anywhere is entirely up to you.
If you have access to a computer, there are no startup costs to become an Online Care Anywhere provider.
Check that you have the following:
- High-speed, broadband internet access (cable, DSL, etc.)
- Microsoft Internet Explorer 7 or later, Firefox 3 or later or Safari 4.0 or later
- Adobe Flash Player 10
- Adobe Reader 7 or later
A webcam is also recommended but not required.
- Go online to OnlineCareAnywheremn.com and indicate you're available
- When a patient requests a conversation, review patient summary and other information to decide if you'll see the patient
- Connect with the patient
- Complete the consultation summary
You must be licensed in the state of Minnesota at the time services are provided. Currently we are focusing on the recruitment of Family Medicine providers, but other specialties will be considered.
Each session lasts up to 10 minutes. If additional time is needed, you can ask the consumer if he or she wants to extend the conversation for up to three minutes at no charge or for five minutes for an additional charge. As we add additional specialties, some sessions may last longer than 10 minutes.
The cost of a ten-minute conversation is $45. If a consumer agrees to a five-minute paid extension, an additional $10 charge will be incurred.
Online Care Anywhere visits are a retail card transaction. No claims need to be submitted to the consumer's health plan. The consumer provides valid credit card or debit card information before beginning the visit. At the conclusion of the visit, the Online Care Anywhere system will charge the consumer's card for the appropriate amount.
You'll have access to the patient complaint, as well as a health summary report that includes a list of their conditions, medications, allergies and medical procedures.
You can use this information to decide whether you should see the patient or gracefully decline and refer the patient to a more appropriate discipline. If you decide to connect with the patient, the information will remain easily accessible to help you provide care and to keep for your records.
Online Care Anywhere gives you a way to see patients without incurring extra overhead or hassles. No additional space is required, because all you need is a private location with a computer, a phone, and whatever time you choose to make available.
Any notes you take during a session are maintained electronically, in addition to prescriptions, patient records, follow-up suggestions and payment information. You can access this information at any time during or after the Online Care Anywhere visit.
This information is also shared with the patient, and when a visit concludes, the patient is encouraged to forward a detailed summary of the visit to his or her primary care physician. This way, the patient can ensure that the care you deliver is part of the comprehensive record maintained by the primary care physician, enabling continuity of care.
What caveats and/or warnings are provided to the consumer to ensure appropriate understanding of care standards and consent to treat?
The system provides consumers with a Patient User Agreement at the time they register and before each visit. Each patient must read and agree to the terms and conditions before proceeding with registration. The system also requires each patient to affirm acceptance of the terms and conditions before each conversation.
Currently, Online Care Anywhere is available from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday-Friday. On weekends and holidays, the hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include the following in your message:
- Your name
- The name of your primary clinic or practice
- Your primary specialty
- Contact information including your preferred e-mail and telephone extension.