CONTACT: Rebecca Normington, 715-221-9726, [email protected]
MARSHFIELD — Throughout the spring of this year most Wisconsinites found themselves restricted to their homes when Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers issued a Safer at Home order, urging residents to limit going out to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
For those at an increased risk for COVID-19 – the elderly, immunocompromised, or people with a chronic condition like cardiovascular disease or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease – it was even more important to stay home to avoid contracting the virus.
That meant many found themselves unable to see their health care providers or get to the pharmacy to refill needed prescriptions.
Wisconsin-based health care insurance provider, Security Health Plan, wanted to fulfill its self-imposed duty to help their neighbors. Security Health Plan Chief Clinical Officer Melissa DeGoede said Security went into action connecting with those in need.
“Our members are our friends, our neighbors. Their communities are our communities, so reaching out during a pandemic such as this wasn’t a business obligation, it was our obligation – the right thing to do,” DeGoede said.
Not only did Security Health Plan update its coverage for telehealth services, and testing and treatment related to COVID-19, she said Health Plan employees took action to ensure the health and safety of its members during the pandemic. Some examples included:
- Nurse care managers engaged in outreach to members to provide additional education about the virus as well as continue to offer support to ensure members were having their needs met, whether than was transportation to appointments, or basic needs like food and shelter. They also contacted immunosuppressed members to ensure they were educated about their condition, medications and safety as it relates to COVID-19.
- The wellness team contacted members who completed a voluntary health assessment and rated their health as “poor” or were at high risk for emotional health issues to provide education and resources. They also continued to support members working to quit nicotine products such as tobacco and vaping, knowing those with lung conditions are at a higher risk for complications if the contract COVID-19.
- The pharmacy department worked with members with questions about their medications and provided medication reviews.
- The customer service team called members to help them place online orders for over-the-counter supplies not only as a provided convenience, but also to limit the number of orders through the mail. They also fielded calls and placed outgoing calls to members to be sure they understood how Security will cover testing and treatment for COVID-19.
- Sales representatives are hosting webinars to provide timely information about COVID-19 to employers, and are reaching out to employers to help them ensure the safety of their workplaces for employees and customers.
DeGoede said registered nurse case managers on staff at the Health Plan took calls on the Marshfield Clinic Health System 24-hour Nurse Line as call volumes swelled.
“As a health plan we took it upon ourselves to connect with our most vulnerable populations to ensure they were supported through the pandemic – and the work isn’t over,” DeGoede said. “As we see Wisconsin open back up, it is just as important as ever that those at a higher risk take the steps necessary to protect themselves.”