UnitedHealthcare’s mobile app Health4Me™ now offers several new features including personalized care notifications that automatically alert UnitedHealthcare plan participants about preventive services and if they are missing recommended medical treatments or tests. The app provides a message alert if the user or a covered dependent has missed a recommended medical service, such as an immunization for a child or a blood-sugar test for a diabetic, and enables people to search for health care providers and then schedule appointments to obtain the necessary treatment.
The personalized care notifications are now providing preventive alerts to select UnitedHealthcare plan participants nationwide, including Medicaid beneficiaries in 17 states. Clinically focused notifications based on personalized claims data, such as alerts for prenatal care and support programs for people with back pain, will be introduced later this year. The notifications are based on evidence-based and medical specialty society standards.
As Americans head into open enrollment season, online and mobile resources are becoming increasingly important to help people navigate the health care system and simplify their health care experience. Sixty-five percent of consumers are interested in using a health plan’s website or app to access a physician, and 53 percent are interested in receiving symptom-based treatment suggestions, according to research firm Forrester.
Health4Me is designed to help all consumers make more informed decisions about their care, and anyone can access a guest version of the app to identify local health care providers and comparison shop for care based on quality and cost.
New Health4Me features for UnitedHealthcare plan participants include:
- personalized care notifications that automatically alert plan participants if they are missing recommended medical services, including preventive care reminders, lab tests and immunizations;
- medication management capabilities that enable people to search for pharmacies and estimate drug costs while still at the doctor’s office, refill medications, review prescription claims; and
- several new features make it more convenient for people to access and use their health benefits, including fingerprint-enabled sign-in (TouchID), ApplePay to enable people to pay medical bills, and a button on the app’s main page to help users connect directly with a UnitedHealthcare customer service representative.
“Health4Me helps me better use my health benefits and improve my overall well-being,” said Kristina Barbuto, a Health4Me user in Oak Ridge, Tenn. “The navigation is easy and streamlined, making it simple for me to learn more about my treatment options and costs, and make the most of my health benefits.”
The latest enhancements build on the success of Health4Me, which is available to all consumers on iPhone® and Android® devices and has been downloaded more than 2 million times since its introduction in 2012. The app enables anyone to locate nearby health care providers, and convenience care, urgent care and emergency care facilities, as well as review market average prices for more than 875 medical services across nearly 600 episodes of care, providing a view of what consumers may expect throughout their course of treatment. For UnitedHealthcare plan participants, the estimates take into account a user’s real-time account balances, when applicable, and are based on actual contracted rates with care providers.
There are significant price variations for health care services and procedures at hospitals and doctors’ offices nationwide, even though there is little or no corresponding improvement in health outcomes for services performed by higher-priced care providers. For example, the total cost for an uncomplicated childbirth, including prenatal and postnatal care, at hospitals in the New York City area ranges between $9,699 and $29,076. For back surgery, specifically lumbar fusion, the cost ranges from $59,090 to $77,390 at area health care facilities in San Francisco. Other cities show similarly widespread variation by procedure.
“Health4Me helps consumers conveniently manage their care, more easily navigate the health system and make more informed choices while at home or on the go,” said Sam Ho, M.D., chief medical officer, UnitedHealthcare. “By using technology to help people understand their care options and notify them if they are missing beneficial treatments or preventive care services, we are helping people take charge of their health and make more informed decisions about their care.”
Other features available on Health4Me include the ability to pay medical bills with a credit card, debit card, bank account or health savings account; access to a nurse or virtual physician visits 24 hours a day; a digital identification card; and wellness-related resources such as integration with wearable devices.
Health4Me is available to UnitedHealthcare employer customers of all sizes and their employees. The Medicaid version is available to beneficiaries in 17 states.1