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Carena Launches 24/7 Virtual Care Delivery Service for Hospital Systems and Primary Care Clinics
Date:5/6/2013

SEATTLE, May 6, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Seattle-based Carena announced the launch of an integrated 24/7 virtual medicine service that helps hospital systems and primary care clinics extend hours and access without adding staff or new facilities - a new twist on its services for corporate benefits and consumers. The service provides routine and urgent care healthcare appointments by phone and webcam to patients of hospital systems and primary care clinics around the country. Carena developed the service to help provider groups improve access, increase provider capacity, differentiate in an increasingly competitive healthcare marketplace, and serve the needs of a new breed of tech-savvy consumer healthcare shoppers.

"Virtual medicine is becoming mainstream," said Ralph C. Derrickson , CEO of Carena. "Providing patient care via webcam and phone allows us to efficiently deliver high-quality care on the patient's terms. Carena is a veteran in this industry and has been providing virtual healthcare for years. Our expertise and experience helps hospital systems and clinics make a seamless transition to virtual healthcare delivery, whether they need clinical staff support, software and systems, advice – or all three. Franciscan Health System is a trailblazer in this arena, and we are excited to build on our partnership with them to show how virtual technology is changing healthcare."

The service is modeled after a successful pilot program between Carena and Franciscan Medical Clinic facilities in the Tacoma metro area. When a clinic is closed, patients are assisted by Carena's 24/7 call center, where they are given the option of having their health concern addressed immediately via a phone or webcam virtual visit with a Carena physician or nurse practitioner.

"High quality after-hours care is good for patients and providers," said Cliff Robertson , Chief Operating Officer of Franciscan Health System. "Our pilot initiative with Carena provides appropriate medical care to patients who don't require a visit to the emergency room, but can't wait until their doctor has office hours. With this service we can provide needed and convenient care while reducing the after-hours burden on emergency rooms and urgent care facilities. Our partnership with Carena has been a win-win for us and for our patients."

Carena's 24/7 Urgent Care services are integrated with the health system, so patients encounter a seamless experience. After the visit they are referred back to their primary care provider for follow-up.  Chart notes are entered into the system and shared with the primary care provider to ensure continuity of care, and new patients are escalated to the appropriate clinic to expedite making an appointment with a physician.

"Ensuring a positive patient experience requires a turn-key solution including providers trained in telemedicine protocols, supported by a robust technology platform," continued Derrickson. "Over time, healthcare systems may transition to using their own providers, at which point we are able to provide our technology and clinical platform solutions. Until then, we are there for anything they need."

"As healthcare reform rolls out across the country, new reimbursement models are on the horizon," added Robertson. "Implementing virtual healthcare delivery allows us to be ahead of the curve, providing more efficient and affordable healthcare to our patients. We maintain our role as the primary care provider and patients love using this technology – 100 percent of those surveyed say they are happy that their health system offers this service and have been satisfied with their experience. It doesn't get much better than that."

About Carena, Inc.

Carena, Inc. is a Seattle-based team of medical, consumer service, and technology professionals committed to delivering the best healthcare experience possible. Its technology-enabled care delivery model provides access to healthcare 24 hours a day, 365 days a year via phone, secure video, and the traditional house call. Carena provides healthcare solutions to patients through self-insured organizations, health insurance companies, health systems and via its online service—CareSimple.com. Carena's innovative approach results in lower medical costs and high patient satisfaction. Carena's unique 24/7 services were designed to support the patient/primary care provider relationship by providing care and education when the patient's primary care provider is not available. Carena is redefining healthcare by changing how patients access care and providers deliver it. CareSimple's launch comes on the heels of a recent $14 million round of financing for Carena, led by Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI), a national nonprofit health system. In addition, CEO Ralph Derrickson was recently recognized with an Industry Innovator Award from the Institute for Health Care Consumerism. The award highlights Carena's success in creating and delivering innovative healthcare solutions for businesses and consumers. More information about Carena is available at www.CarenaMD.com.


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SOURCE Carena, Inc.
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