Essentia Health receives Blue Cross Blue Shield award


Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota recently recognized Essentia Health with the Trailblazer Award for its efforts to improve access to virtual care during the coronavirus pandemic.

The COVID-19 crisis encouraged Essentia Health teams to provide a way for its patients to receive care from their health care provider virtually using a phone, tablet, laptop or personal computer, and to do so from the comfort of their home.

With the need to keep people safe from the coronavirus, virtual visits were unveiled March 18 — a month ahead of a planned launch — and featured more than 1,200 primary care providers, physicians and advanced care providers within as many as 60 specialties.

“We literally went from zero to about 3,000 virtual visits per day in less than three weeks, and we ramped up more quickly and have done more volume than just about anyone in the country,” Dr. David Herman, Essentia CEO, stated in a news release.

According to Essentia officials, analytics indicate as many as 69% of total Essentia Health visits were conducted using virtual visits, E-Visits and video visits between facilities.


An early May survey of 1,500 patients found more than 90% said they received the care they needed and would consider virtual visits in the future, according to the news release, and almost 100% of patients said they had a great experience seeing their provider virtually.

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