Founded in 2000, Carena has been a pioneer in using house calls to reduce healthcare costs for large employers. In 2009 the company began developing clinical standards for delivering care virtually by phone or webcam. Carena expanded their employer benefit services to include virtual care in 2010. With CareSimple, Carena is making it available for the first time to individuals and families in Washington and California. CareSimple beta has been available to friends and family since October of 2012. Introductory pricing during the public beta test period is just $10 per visit.
Available at www.CareSimple.com, CareSimple is available 24/7 to help people when they aren’t sure what to do about a health concern or don’t know where to turn. CareSimple fills the gap when a visit to a primary care provider isn’t available or it doesn’t make sense to go in, such as nights, weekends or holidays. Typically patients speak with a provider within 15 minutes of requesting a visit. And, in most cases, people can get resolution and avoid a costly trip to the ER – 98 percent of patients report they had their issue resolved with Carena and more than 50 percent state they avoided a trip to the ER. CareSimple provides peace of mind and quality care, whenever a patient needs it most.
“In all healthcare scenarios moving forward two things are certain: healthcare costs paid by individuals and families are going up; and it will be harder to get an appointment when you need it,” said Carena CEORalph Derrickson. “We are using well accepted internet technologies to make high-quality, affordable care available on the patients’ terms,” Derrickson added. “CareSimple brings peace of mind and resolution to common medical issues in a world where Skyping with the grandparents happens every day.”
CareSimple’s launch comes on the heels of a recent $14 million round of financing for Carena, led by Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI), a national nonprofit health system. In addition, CEO Ralph Derricksonwas recently recognized with an Industry Innovator Award from the Institute for Healthcare Consumerism. The award highlights Carena’s success in creating and delivering innovative healthcare solutions for businesses and consumers.
The doctors and nurse practitioners that deliver care are employed by CareSimple’s medical group and live and work in the Seattle area. Each provider is board-certified and trained specifically to diagnose and deliver care using phones and webcams. If necessary, CareSimple’s providers can conduct house calls as well. They provide personalized treatment plans and prescriptions, if appropriate. And, they deliver a visit summary to a patient’s regular provider, to ensure continuity of care.
“Consumers are paying more out of pocket for care than ever – through higher co-pays and deductibles, reduced benefits, and in the rising costs of goods and services,” continued Derrickson. “Taken together, healthcare has become more expensive and less accessible. CareSimple makes healthcare more affordable by providing the right care at the right time for the right cost.”
Pricing is transparent and straightforward, and patients will always know up front what the cost of care will be. Affordability, 24/7 access, and taking the time to help people live healthier lives are core tenets of CareSimple – and this commitment to the patient is reflected in a 98 percent satisfaction rating. The bottom line: CareSimple allows patients to make better-informed, cost-effective healthcare decisions for themselves and their families. [24×7]