Telehealth MMM

>Anja Schaefer

In response to the needs of older adults for more convenient ways to get healthcare services, MMM announced the launch of Cita Virtual (Virtual Appointment in English). This is the only service for Medicare Advantage (MA) plan members that schedules an appointment with the patient's primary doctor or, if his/her own doctor is not available, it can guarantee an appointment with another provider in MMM’s network.

In contrast to other MA plans, with Cita Virtual, access is easy, direct and achieved through the MMM mobile application; there is no need to connect to another external application to request the service.

This innovative telehealth service, at no cost to members, allows them to get medical care through a video call from the safety and comfort of their homes, something that is particularly convenient as everyone is still dealing with the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Cita Virtual makes it easier as it ensures that patients talk to their doctors via phone, computer or tablet and use the video camera so they can see each other instantly. In addition to follow-up consultations and medical evaluations, members can get medical orders, for example, for lab tests, X-rays, or preventive or diagnostic tests, review clinical documents, and obtain electronic prescriptions for medications,” explained Orlando González, president of MMM.

A member will be able to check the availability of his/her doctor and schedule future appointments. Once an appointment has been made with his/her doctor, the member can receive alerts or notifications to his/her email and/or cell phone about cancellations, confirmations and doctor on hold. This service is in Spanish and has customer service staff to provide assistance.

Telemedicine or telehealth makes it easier for bedridden patients, those without transportation or who live in rural areas far from doctors' offices and hospitals, to get medical care. This is also convenient for all who prefer to hold virtual consultations from home for common symptoms that do not require a face-to-face visit or an emergency room, such as sinusitis, allergies, respiratory conditions, sore throat, influenza or the common cold, nausea, vomiting, indigestion and muscle pain or spasms, among others.

As happens during face-to-face visits to the doctor, Cita Virtual guarantees the protection of the members’ privileged health information, as established by HIPAA law. By the same token, one must ensure that there is privacy from wherever the virtual consultation is taking place.

This service facilitates the work of physicians by giving them the opportunity to perform various basic tasks for their greater convenience and in compliance with HIPAA regulations. Among these tasks are: scheduling appointments on the spot, instant messages, direct connectivity to the portal or application, attachment of documents and electronic prescriptions.

“At MMM, we continue innovating and identifying options for our members to receive the best service and stay in optimal health. The COVID-19 pandemic, difficulties in coordinating transportation or even the not wanting to go to the doctor's office, may keep some members from taking care of their conditions or illnesses. MMM Cita Virtual is an investment that exceeds $5 million and was developed by eVisit, with it, we aim to strengthen the relationship between doctors and patients, and lower health costs,” González said.

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