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New health care collaboration brings virtual exam kits to Orange County residents

Virtual doctor visits may be more convenient, accurate and cost-effective than ever before, thanks to a new collaboration between MemorialCare and UnitedHealthcare that offers patients the technology to measure and transmit diagnostics directly to their physician or provider.

UnitedHealthcare SignatureValue® Harmony HMO Plan members who select MemorialCare as their primary care provider will receive a virtual exam kit at no additional cost as part of their benefit plan. Designed by TytoCare and roughly the size of a baseball, the exam kit uses Bluetooth® technology to connect with a patient’s smartphone or tablet. The kit comes with a high-definition camera and reusable attachments that allow a physician to examine the patient in real time from the comfort of their home or workplace.

“The quality of the device is absolutely amazing,” said Mark Schafer, MD, CEO of MemorialCare Medical Foundation. “The kit allows us to go beyond just the basic history the patient tells us to actually be able to examine their ears, examine their throat, listen to their lungs and heart, and help us with a more accurate diagnosis for respiratory infections, asthma and other things.”

The kit comes with a thermometer, a tongue depressor, an otoscope and a stethoscope. A blood pressure cuff is available separately. The magnified scopes, coupled with a high-definition camera included with the kit, provide the physician a much better view than a traditional instrument, Dr. Schafer noted.

MemorialCare began offering the UnitedHealthcare SignatureValue Harmony Plan to members earlier this year, adding the virtual exam kit to the package.

“We worked together to package a plan which strives to enhance care delivery, convenience and experience for our members and encourages the continued use of virtual care, which people became familiar with and embraced during the pandemic,” said Elizabeth Soberg, West Region Chief Executive Officer, UnitedHealthcare. “MemorialCare is laser-focused on patient experience and, at Unitedhealthcare, we have the expertise to marry this new technology up to a health coverage plan for our members.”

In these post-pandemic times, maintaining optimal health is all about convenience, Dr. Schafer noted. “We can do these video visits in the evenings; we can do them on weekends. We have 24/7 virtual urgent care with physicians and nurse practitioners trained to do virtual care, and we can also do it during daytime with their primary care physician as well,” he said.

He emphasized the tremendous advantage the device offers young families and working people, as well as older adults who may have difficulty getting to appointments.

“We have a lot of seniors in our community, and it can be an all-day affair and may take one or two family members to help get them to the doctor,” Dr. Schafer said. “With the MemorialCare Virtual Exam Kit, we can do an exam from the comfort of their home.”

Importantly, MemorialCare is the only local health system to offer UnitedHealthcare SignatureValue Harmony HMO members virtual exam kits. The service is supported by an integrated system that delivers information securely to the patient’s primary care physician.

Once the patient receives the kit, they should unbox it and become familiar with it. Detailed instructions are included with the kit, and for those who need assistance, MemorialCare Virtual Ambassadors are available by phone to guide them and will even come to the patient’s home if needed.

UnitedHealthcare seeks to collaborate with physician groups that follow a best-practice model of delivering quality, coordinated, evidence-based care; using and sharing patient data between providers to help coordinate care; and taking advantage of technology that helps make secure, reliable and timely data-sharing possible.

MemorialCare has been an important provider partner in Orange County for UnitedHealthcare, Soberg said. “They participate in all of our commercial products and have been very active and proactive with us in terms of driving affordability. They focus on the right things in terms of the total cost of care and quality and the experience of members, and they have the capabilities to deliver.”

Since the onset of the pandemic, MemorialCare has engaged in more than 400,000 video visits. “Our virtual exam kit is the wave of the future in providing the personalized, quality health care consumers demand while also meeting them where they’re at,” said Anne LaNova, executive director of digital consumer experience at MemorialCare.

“This is a nice combination of technology and a human touch so that you can feel comfortable with the care you’re getting, and you’re connecting face-to-face with your provider,” she said. “I think that’s been our approach to all our digital initiatives. This is still healthcare, and it’s still compassionate. We’re happy to be face to face — we just want it to be as convenient as possible.”

The virtual exam kit is available to UnitedHealthcare SignatureValue Harmony HMO Plan members who select MemorialCare as their primary care provider. Patients and their family members or caregivers can easily and safely perform basic diagnostic tests at home and securely transmit the results to their physicians.


Phone: 1-866-414-1959

for general information

for employer-sponsored plans


Phone (24/7): 877-696-3622

Health plan coverage provided by or through UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company, UHC of California and UnitedHealthcare Benefits Plan of California. Administrative services provided by United Healthcare Services, Inc., OptumRx or OptumHealth Care Solutions, Inc. Behavioral health products are provided by U.S. Behavioral Health Plan, California (USBHPC).



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