NEW YORK, June 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Mayor Bill de Blasio and Zocdoc today announced a new partnership as part of WorkWell NYC, the City's new comprehensive initiative aimed at helping its approximately 1.2 million employees, retirees and their dependents get healthy and stay healthy. This partnership will leverage Zocdoc's digital health platform to empower individuals on the City's healthcare plan to quickly and seamlessly access in-network primary and preventive care providers across all five boroughs. As part of this same initiative, starting July 1 2016, all EmblemHealth preventive care visits and procedures will be reduced to a $0 copay.
"WorkWell NYC aims to bring our healthcare plans into the 21st century - and this partnership helps us do just that. By working together with Zocdoc, we are ensuring easier and faster access to healthcare through a modern service for finding in-network doctors, while also allowing us to better understand healthcare utilization and access. This sort of public-private partnership is a win-win, providing our employees with a simple and seamless healthcare experience, while furthering WorkWell NYC's goal of better use of healthcare to ensure healthier employees and taxpayer savings," said Mayor Bill de Blasio.
"We are proud to partner with Mayor de Blasio and WorkWell NYC to empower past and present City employees and their families to get the care they need and deserve," said Zocdoc Founder and CEO Oliver Kharraz, M.D. "Far too often, antiquated systems get in the way of good care, and we applaud the City for embracing innovative solutions that modernize the healthcare experience."
WorkWell NYC stems from the City's health savings agreement with the Municipal Labor Committee and includes the first significant structural changes to the City's health plans in decades. This program focuses on utilizing data to incentivize primary care and expand access to preventative care – good for employees' health as well as City taxpayers. To help achieve the goals of this program, the City looked in its own backyard for innovative solutions that will empower this community to take care of their health and partnered with NYC tech leader Zocdoc, the country's leading digital health marketplace.
In partnership with EmblemHealth and the City, Zocdoc's free service will power seamless, simple access to healthcare for City workers, retirees and dependents. This digital experience helps them find nearby, in-network healthcare providers (including doctors that have $0 copays under changes to the plan that go into effect July 1), read reviews from other patients, see these doctors' real-time availability, instantly book appointments online (24/7, even when the office is closed), and more. City workers, retirees and dependents can access this service via Zocdoc.com/NYC.
The City's EmblemHealth plan will also include medical and mental health screenings, and $0 copays for preventive services like well-woman exams, contraceptives, breastfeeding supplies, mammograms, colonoscopies, and more. Primary care and mental health copays will remain flat while some copays will increase to disincentivize the use of costly, over-utilized services, such as emergency room visits (in cases when a patient is not admitted to the hospital) and high-cost radiology.
"Emblem's partnership with the City of New York highlights the City's innovative leadership that embraces value-based strategies to deliver best-in-class care, and recognizes the importance of providing employees and their families with access to high-quality care at the right time and place," said EmblemHealth President and Chief Executive Officer Karen Ignagni. "The City's partnership with Zocdoc provides patients another strong option to increase accessibility to care."
With more than 50 different specialties available, Zocdoc is a simple, one-stop shop for patients on City-offered health plans seeking care. Not only does this service remove the friction from the traditional healthcare experience, it also facilitates faster access to care. The average wait time to see a doctor in NYC is 16.8 days; the typical Zocdoc appointment takes place within 24 hours. This accelerated near-term access will help busy workers better find the time they need to dedicate to their health. City employees are already taking advantage of this partnership. Since this service soft-launched to City workers, there have already been thousands of in-network appointments facilitated via Zocdoc - a strong early indicator.
"Today's announcement is one of a number of wellness programs that labor and management have created together. Through our partnership with the Municipal Labor Committee, we are able to secure unprecedented improvements to our healthcare system that will help ensure healthier employees while saving taxpayers' dollars. As we continue to introduce initiatives, we look forward to additional savings," said Labor Relations Commissioner Bob Linn.
"Good healthcare options are just a click or a swipe away for City employees, thanks to this new partnership with Zocdoc. We're thrilled to unlock the civic potential of a Made In NY tech company and put access to care at the fingertips of millions of New Yorkers," said NYC Chief Digital Officer Jessica Singleton.
This announcement marks the next in a suite of initiatives the City has launched as part of WorkWell NYC. Most recently, the Administration launched a partnership with Weight Watchers, which is providing employees access to the program at a discounted rate. The City has also created a cross-agency team focused on promoting a healthier workforce and developing a "Culture of Health," with a number of programs in place and much more to come, focused on fitness, nutrition and obesity, smoking cessation, and stress reduction. These programs are not only the right thing to do for City employees – they also can result in long-term cost savings, as many employees work for the City for years and continue their coverage as retirees.
In February, Mayor de Blasio announced a new, unprecedented agreement with the Municipal Labor Committee (MLC) that resulted in the first significant changes to the City's employee health plans in over 30 years, marking major progress toward the City and MLC's commitment to $3.4 billion in guaranteed health care savings through FY2018 and $1.3 billion recurring every year after. Working collaboratively with the City's workforce, the administration undertook a data-driven approach to understanding and improving the employee health care system – resulting in significant, long sought-after changes that will benefit employee health and taxpayers alike.
About WorkWell NYC
WorkWell NYC is a comprehensive initiative aimed at helping New York City employees, retirees and their dependents get healthy and stay healthy. WorkWell NYC includes the first significant structural changes to the City's health plans in decades, with a focus on utilizing data to incentivize primary care and expand access to preventative care – good for both employees' health and City taxpayers.
Zocdoc is the tech company at the beginning of a better healthcare experience. Each month, millions of patients use Zocdoc to find in-network neighborhood doctors, instantly book appointments online, see what other real patients have to say, get reminders for upcoming appointments and preventive check-ups, fill out their paperwork online, and more. With a mission to give power to the patient, Zocdoc's online marketplace delivers the accessible, seamless, and simple experience patients expect and deserve. Zocdoc is free for patients and available across the United States via Zocdoc.com or the Zocdoc app for iPhone and Android.
Jessica Aptman / email@example.com / 212.715.8647
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