AUSTIN, Texas, Oct. 25, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Millions of people are about to tackle open enrollment, the time of year when people can choose a new health plan. It's a task that can seem daunting to many. In fact, many polls show that Americans continue to be dissatisfied with the healthcare system for which insurance plays a major role.
An Austin-based HMO called Vista360health is aiming to turn around this sentiment, focusing on changing the way individuals, entrepreneurs and small businesses think about the health care system. One of the ways they are doing this is by 'going local'.
Vista360health was first incepted in the 1990s in Austin, Texas. They reemerged to take advantage of what is a growing need for both quality coverage and attentive customer service.
"Many individual and business owners find the changing health plan market challenging," explained Vista360health's president, Sharon Alvis. As the national carriers eliminate products or leave the marketplace, people are left with fewer options. And many of the companies who remain in the individual market have responded with double-digit rate increases, higher deductibles, narrower networks and limited plan designs.
Catering to the Entrepreneur, Small Business
It's no secret that Austin has become one of the fastest growing entrepreneur hubs in the U.S. Austin nabbed the top spot in the CNBC Metro 20: America's Best Places to Start a Business. In 2013, Austin had 44,163 small businesses. That translates to 2,342 for every 100,000 residents, according to an American City Business Journals study.
"It made sense to re-launch in Austin to serve this ever expanding population," said Alvis.
Unlike giant national insurance companies, Vista360health is hyper local – they presently serve Central Texans only. All of Vista360health's services are based in Austin, including customer service representatives, claims department, medical providers, telemedicine doctors and medical management.
"People know the name of their coffee shop barista but they barely have a relationship with their health plan," said Alvis. "Our model is simple—offer an extensive network of high quality providers, affordable health plans and focused attention on our members."
Free Telemedicine Adds Convenience, Manages Costs
To help members stay ahead of the curve when it comes to managing their health, Vista360health offers free 24/7 access to a doctor via telemedicine service eMD Access. Members can call anytime and anywhere and always speak to a local physician about their medical concern .
Alvis says often times patients incur unnecessary out of pocket expenses because they needlessly seek highly intensive and expensive emergency room or urgent care visits when a call to a telemedicine physician may resolve the issue at no cost and from the convenience of their office or home.
"Our telemedicine doctors navigate members through the care maze. Should I see my doctor for this problem? Does this need stiches? Do I need a prescription? These are the types of questions our telemedicine doctors would answer," explained Sharon.
These doctors can treat common ailments, write prescriptions and, if needed, refer them to their primary care doctor's office or urgent care center for further medical attention. This is all done through secure messaging, phone calls and/or video chat and there is no copay or charge.
Said Alvis, "A quality health plan also means providing resources that people will actually use. What could be more useful than free 24/7 access to a doctor?"
To learn more about Vista360health, click here.
Vista360health was first incepted in 1994 and has made a resurgence as an Austin home-grown HMO plan. Unlike giant insurance companies, they provide straightforward benefit plans to help meet client's needs and 'right size' an appropriate plan for their budget. Not on the federal exchange, Vista360health's goal is keep their clients healthy and maintain their healthcare in three ways: making quality medical care convenient, personal and simple. For more information about Vista360health, click here.