“Teledermatology” using online technology gives patients better
access to care, and quicker diagnosis and treatment
PHOENIX–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Arizonans enrolled in UnitedHealthcare’s Medicaid plan can now receive
faster diagnosis and treatment of skin disorders using remote imaging
and telemedicine technology.
Primary care physicians will be able to deliver more timely diagnosis
and treatment through a new service that connects them to dermatologists
online through a secure telemedicine application.
Using UnitedHealthcare’s new service, primary care physicians can
capture digital images of the area of concern during the patient exam.
They can then transmit the images to a dermatologist through a secure,
online application using their computer, tablet or smartphone. This
enables physicians to more quickly diagnose and treat skin disorders,
benefiting patients – especially people who live in rural areas and lack
access to dermatologists or other specialists. Patients can receive
treatment faster, and save time and money.
Skin cancer and other skin-related issues are a significant concern in
Arizona due to constant sunshine. About 1,000 Arizonans are diagnosed
with melanoma – the most dangerous form of skin cancer – every year, and
170 of them will die from it. In some parts of the state, the melanoma
death rate is about 70 percent higher than the national average,
according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
For many people in Arizona, the nearest dermatologist may be hours away
by car or bus. Arranging to see a specialist could take weeks to confirm
an appointment and then a day or more of missed work to travel to the
“Telemedicine now gives Medicaid beneficiaries in Arizona access to more
timely care and treatment,” said Jeri Jones, regional vice president of
UnitedHealthcare’s Medicaid business in Arizona. “This technology helps
save time and costs, and gives patients better access to care no matter
where they live.”
UnitedHealthcare is using telemedicine technology, care provider
networks and benefit plan/reimbursement programs to improve access and
health outcomes and reduce costs. UnitedHealthcare offers a broad
portfolio of telemedicine programs, including consumer-directed,
telepsychiatry, remote home monitoring, specialty consultation and other
services to assist care providers in evaluating their patients’ clinical
UnitedHealthcare serves nearly 1.8 million people in Arizona with a
network of 95 hospitals and more than 24,000 physicians and other care
is dedicated to helping people nationwide live healthier lives by
simplifying the health care experience, meeting consumer health and
wellness needs, and sustaining trusted relationships with care
providers. The company offers the full spectrum of health benefit
programs for individuals, employers, military service members, retirees
and their families, and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and
contracts directly with more than 850,000 physicians and care
professionals, and 6,000 hospitals and other care facilities nationwide.
UnitedHealthcare is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:
UNH), a diversified Fortune 50 health and well-being company. For more
information, visit UnitedHealthcare at www.uhc.com
or follow @myUHC on Twitter.
Molly McMillen, 612-353-7778