ConsejoSano was recognized as a healthcare innovation worth adopting at the Commonwealth Fund’s 18th Annual International Symposium on Health Care Policy, the premier conference in the US for healthcare policy makers. ConsejoSano is the first company in the US to provide a telehealth solution explicitly designed to help payers and providers increase engagement and lower costs related to care for Spanish-speakers – a challenge that thus far has lacked culturally tailored solutions.
Telehealth, or medical support delivered remotely via telephone and video conferencing, has been hailed as a breakthrough development for increasing access to healthcare and is rapidly being adopted in the US. ConsejoSano instantly connects Spanish-speakers to native Spanish-speaking doctors for support with general medical issues, emotional or stress support, and chronic disease management for issues like diabetes and obesity.
The service can be accessed instantly from any phone, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with unlimited calls. Critically, ConsejoSano’s solution is designed completely for use via mobile phones, recognizing that the Hispanic community uses mobile phones more than any other demographic. It is also the only telehealth service in the US that connects callers to native Spanish speaking doctors with a shared cultural background, rather than translator services or doctors who speak Spanish as a second language. This cultural connection is highlighted as increasing trust and ultimately improving health outcomes.
The 2015 symposium brought together health ministers, senior government officials and leading policy thinkers from Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Israel, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United Statesaround the theme of improving healthcare through innovative services that can be quickly and affordably be adopted by a wide range of healthcare actors – goals that ConsejoSano says it was expressly designed to achieve. Its confidence comes from a track record of success across the border; its sister organization, Medicall Home, is based in Mexico and the leading telehealth provider in Latin America.
“ConsejoSano is part of a solution to the generational challenge of the US healthcare system evolving to become bilingual,” said Abner Mason, CEO of ConsejoSano. “We have been overwhelmed by the enthusiasm and response from our early clients and their members, and appreciate the recognition by the Commonwealth Fund that we are uniquely positioned to help payers and providers improve their offering to be more inclusive while immediately lowering expenses.”
The company expects to reduce costs to health plan payers, employers, and health systems, as well as to the patients themselves. The cost savings are primarily driven by more efficient use of healthcare resources, including the reduction in unnecessary ER and primary care visits and from earlier identification of health issues before they become costly.
Several enabling factors in the US have supported the implementation and growth of ConsejoSano. Along with its unique focus on the Hispanic community, its growth has been accelerated by its selection by Mercer, the global employer benefit consulting leader, as a Preferred Vendor for its employers. “The concerns for our clients to address the needs of their Spanish-speaking employees are real, and growing,” said Mercer’s Dr. David Kaplan, Senior Partner and Global Clinical Leader. “These issues go beyond the expenditures tied to medical costs and speak to the human toll of poorer employee health, higher absenteeism and lower productivity. We believe that ConsejoSano’s telehealth solution is groundbreaking start to help our clients create a diverse and inclusive workforce.”
Although ConsejoSano provides its service primarily through large employers and health plans, the company has also designed its service to meet the needs of undocumented people. This corporate commitment to serving the entire US Hispanic community regardless of legal status makes ConsejoSano unique in the marketplace, and one that the company says remains at the heart of its mission.
“ConsejoSano is committed to the vision of every person in America having access to high quality healthcare,” says Mason. “In 2015, we are ready to leverage cutting-edge technology and creativity to leap past the old barriers to care.”