After four years of contracting with local health plans and businesses, eMD Access is now available to everyone. Developed by Austin Regional Clinic (ARC) in 2016, the 24/7 on-demand telemedicine service connects patients with trusted local family medicine and pediatric doctors, anytime and anywhere, on any smartphone, tablet, or computer.
Homegrown telemedicine app built by local health experts
Both the desktop portal and mobile app are homegrown applications, tailored to how people like to communicate. The platform is built by Austin Regional Clinic, a group that has been part of the fabric of Central Texas communities for over 40 years, actively enhancing access to care, reducing fragmentation of care, and providing connected care that reduces the total cost of care.
Several features set eMD Access apart from other telemedicine plans, including:
• 24/7 on-demand televisits by local doctors
• Access to both family medicine and pediatric doctors
• Televisits by secure texting with the ability to add images or switch to voice or video
• Sharing visit summaries with a patient’s primary care physician
“Our telemedicine care has been used by thousands of people in Central Texas over the past four years, and those visits have helped shape and refine the software design,” says Ana Vela, eMD Access Program Manager. “In fact, our best source of user experience feedback has come from ARC doctors and staff and their families, and we believe our platform is friendlier and easier to use than many others out there.”
Individual plans are priced at $9.95/month and families can purchase a subscription for a family of four and up to 50 visits a month for $19.95/month. Additional family members can be added for $4.95/month.
Proven to lower health costs and add value
The service has expanded access to individuals via subscriptions because it has proven to be successful among employees whose employers encourage its use. For employers that may be too small to offer health insurance plans for their employees, eMD Access can be a valuable benefit that helps retain staff. For larger companies, adding eMD Access as an adjacent benefit to a health plan can result in increased health savings and improved employee satisfaction.
“… 99% satisfaction rate with employees and health plan members.”
eMD Access has helped local employers lower overall cost of care for their employees and see a positive return on investment within 12-18 months of enrolling in the service. In addition, it has maintained a 99% satisfaction rate with employees and health plan members.
Increased utilization of the eMD Access telemedicine service means fewer avoidable visits to ERs or urgent care centers and a lower cost of health care for both the employee and employer. Two local employers saw a positive return on investment within the first four months of using eMD Access. When employees do not have to take additional time off for medical treatment of minor issues or additional in-clinic appointments, absenteeism drops and productivity increases along with employee peace of mind.
“… positive return on investment within the first four months of using eMD Access.”
“By offering patients quality medical advice when they need it, we’re helping patients avoid unnecessary and costly ER or urgent care visits — and the monthly cost is about the same that you would pay for Netflix,” said Jacob Childers, MD, ARC Family Medicine physician and Medical Director for eMD Access.
Texans treating Texans
eMD Access is staffed by ARC physicians who can treat common maladies such as colds, infections, allergies and minor injuries. When patients call with symptoms of COVID-19, flu, or strep, the doctor can order a test at any ARC location with on-site lab or drive-up testing. Patients receive results directly from the doctor. Doctors can also recommend the best over-the-counter drugs and even prescribe medications when appropriate. They can also expertly tell you if you need to go to a doctor’s office or an emergency room immediately.
In addition, the doctors communicate and share visit summaries with each patient’s primary care physician.
Available for businesses and individuals
Businesses interested in making eMD Access available to their employees can learn more on the eMD Access business page. Anyone interested in individual or family plans beginning as low as $9.95/month, read more here.
About eMD Access from Austin Regional Clinic
eMD Access is a telemedicine service from Austin Regional Clinic that provides on-demand 24/7 urgent care by local ARC doctors. The service is available to employers, health plans, or by subscription to individuals and families. Plan members or subscribers do not need an appointment to access 24/7 chat and video with a doctor. Since 2016, eMD Access has provided services for all ARC doctors and employees, employees of other local employers, and members of local health plans. For 40 years, Austin Regional Clinic has provided comprehensive healthcare services throughout the greater Austin area. As a multispecialty medical group founded by three physicians in 1980, ARC now provides health care to over 525,000 area residents in 29 locations in 12 Central Texas cities, including both primary and specialty care. For more information on eMD Access, ARC’s new telemedicine subscription service, visit eMDAccess.com.
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