PHOENIX — TriWest Healthcare Alliance today announced its commitment to deliver behavioral health services to military service members and families using American Well™’s Online Care platform in Hawaii. The service will provide individuals with access to Online Care conversations with behavioral health providers, including social workers, psychologists, and psychiatrists. The service is available on August 1, 2009.
"TriWest continues to strive to eliminate the barriers service members can face in receiving access to needed behavioral healthcare," said David J. McIntyre, Jr. President and CEO of TriWest. "With Online Care, we have found a solution that can overcome limited provider availability, geographic distance, scheduling difficulties and the social stigma that sometimes surrounds seeking psychological healthcare. As a result, this technology is being evaluated as a means to increase the ability of our military personnel and their families to access timely and appropriate care."
Recent studies have documented the existence of barriers to effectively delivering behavioral healthcare to Soldiers and Marines returning from combat duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. In addition, differences in behavioral health outcomes have been found between active duty and eligible reserve component members – potentially resulting from the differential accessibility of needed services.
"The members of our armed forces and their families deserve our full support in light of the sacrifices they have made," said McIntyre. "The introduction of Online Care has the potential to make behavioral health more convenient and accessible to these outstanding men and women; accessibility improves prevention and positively impacts outcomes."
As part of the project, TRICARE West Region eligible beneficiaries will gain access to the Online Care system for behavioral health needs. A qualified behavioral health advisor will facilitate the scheduling of 30- or 45-minute conversations with appropriate clinicians that involve two-way videoconferencing, live audio and telephone bridges. Individuals will conduct the conversations from private, secure, convenient locations within originating facilities.
"It is an honor to join forces with TriWest in service of our military families’ health needs," said Ido Schoenberg, MD, CEO of American Well, Inc. "This agreement marks the first time our Online Care technology is enlisted to deliver critical behavioral healthcare services."
About American Well
American Well has created a new healthcare marketplace where consumers and physicians can come together online to acquire and provide convenient and immediate healthcare services. Using the latest technologies in Web communications and digital telephony, American Well extends traditional healthcare services to the home setting. American Well is committed to supporting health plans in meeting consumer and employer demand for affordable, efficient and immediate access to quality care. For more information, please visit www.americanwell.com.