Innovations to make care and coverage simple and affordable

In a time of great complexity and uncertainty in health care, we strive to make all that we do simple and affordable. Clear and certain. We’ve worked to realize our vision of health as it could be, affordability as it must be, through relationships built on trust. The following examples highlight our continued focus on making care and coverage simple and affordable.

About 50 percent of adults in the U.S. have a musculoskeletal (MSK) disorder, an injury or condition that affects the body’s bones, joints or muscles. The most common MSK disorders are arthritis-related conditions, back and neck pain, injuries and osteoporosis.

To help our members manage these issues and simplify their experience, HealthPartners now offers virtual physical therapy through Omada Health’s Musculoskeletal Program for Joint and Muscle Health. Members schedule appointments with physical therapists, who use technology to assess movement and range of motion. HealthPartners also offers virtual physical therapy for patients through TRIA and other rehabilitation clinics.

“Options like this make care and coverage simpler and more affordable for our members and give them the flexibility to receive care that works for them.”

Colorectal cancer screenings save lives – but unfortunately, they often get missed or delayed. HealthPartners gives members a choice of simple, affordable options to act on overdue colorectal cancer screenings.

Since 2017, we’ve proactively sent easy-to-use, at-home stool sample tests to members who were past due on their screening. This at-home test, called a FIT kit, is less invasive than a colonoscopy and requires no prep.

In 2021, we took steps to make the process even simpler.

  • We identified more than 45,000 members overdue for their colorectal cancer screening.
  • Our online clinic, Virtuwell, offered those members a chance to order a FIT kit.
  • More than 2,000 members ordered a kit, and 1,345 were returned.
  • Of those, 53 had positive results and were referred for further testing.

The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the use of telemedicine to care for our patients, especially for those seeking mental health care. Expanded telehealth options removed scheduling barriers, reduced travel time and led to fewer cancellations. 

As a result, in 2020: 

  • HealthPartners saw a 7 percent increase in completed mental health appointments.
  • Psychiatrists and therapists saw nearly 80 percent of their patients virtually.
  • Patient experience remained high, with 85 percent patient satisfaction rates.

“Without hesitation, our clinicians, therapists and staff stepped up to create new workflows and rapidly established an entirely new way of providing care.”

Pandemic response focused on supporting members and patients

When the pandemic began, one thing was clear – we needed to adapt quickly and use all of our capabilities to care for our members and patients and support their health.

  • Early April 2020, HealthPartners voluntarily waived cost-sharing for all fully insured, individual and group health plan members, providing full coverage of in-network COVID-related testing and treatment. This was extended multiple times throughout 2020 and 2021.
  • In May 2020, HealthPartners added drive-up COVID-19 testing locations and increased our testing capacity to more than 2,000 COVID-19 tests a day. To date, we’ve collected more than 1.2 million COVID-19 diagnostic tests.
  • Since the start of the pandemic, our care group has cared for more than 9,000 patients who were sick enough to be admitted to the hospital with COVID-19. In addition, we treated tens of thousands more in clinics.
  • We’ve covered more than 1.5 million vaccine doses and boosters across our membership.
  • And since the pandemic began, we’ve spent nearly $300 million for COVID treatment, with most of that occurring in 2021.