Seeing a primary care physician (PCP) urgently isn't always easy, especially if the practice is not close to where you work, you work long hours that are not conducive to daytime appointments, or you're not an established patient.
At the start of this project, one in five employees at Penn Medicine visited the emergency department (ED) each year, with a significant percentage of those visits qualifying as avoidable.
Self-insured employers like Penn Medicine are interested in reducing avoidable ED visits. Directing employees to higher-value care can improve satisfaction and outcomes, decrease unnecessary utilization, and reduce benefits costs.
Penn Medicine OnDemand (PMOD) is a fully scaled virtual telemedicine practice operated by Penn Medicine’s Center for Connected Care. Providers are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
PMOD makes it easy for users to obtain care when they need it, regardless of physical location, using video visits. When an in-person, office-based appointment with a care provider is required, PMOD providers help users schedule an in-person appointment at a time and location that is convenient for them.
In its first two years serving the 60,000 covered lives under the Penn Medicine insurance plan, PMOD conducted more than 7,200 clinical encounters, saved the health system over $1.5 million in avoidable ED or urgent care visits, saved employees over $425,000 in copays, and substantially increased the number of employees establishing primary care within Penn Medicine.
On January 1, 2020, PMOD began offering service to the general public.
PMOD is a critical tool used by Penn Medicine to keep patients and providers safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. At the outset of the pandemic, the team adapted in real-time to handle the increased volume - with daily calls skyrocketing from 50-60 to more than 400. Individuals who feel their symptoms are concerning for COVID-19 can use PMOD to obtain a virtual evaluation. Patients with upcoming appointments can participate in virtual visits with physicians or advanced practice providers on the platform.