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        3 min read

        What "Connected Healthcare Navigation" Means

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        HealthJoy is a connected healthcare navigation platform. But what do terms like connected care and connected healthcare navigation mean? And how can they come together to help drive employee engagement and help them find high-value care?

        In this post, we’ll discuss why a connected healthcare navigation platform is the logical evolution of connected care. 

        What's "Connected Care?"

        In its earliest forms, the term “connected care” referred to a digital connection between patients and providers. That concept extended to virtual care services, like telehealth provided by hospital systems or individual services. It also included connected care technology platforms that allow healthcare providers to communicate directly with patients. 

        The concept of “connected care” has since evolved, and in 2022, can be said to more broadly encompass the connection between people and healthcare. 

        For instance, Aetna defines it this way: ”Connected care is quality healthcare that is personalized, accessible through technology (from home rather than a hospital or the doctor’s office) and centered around the person — their needs and goals.”

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        Why Does the Current Healthcare Landscape Need Connected Navigation? 

        As costs continue to rise, employers are playing a greater role in helping their employees find care. To solve the problems that healthcare providers and insurance carriers haven’t, they’ve purchased more virtual care solutions, cost-containment tools, and wellness programs for their employees.

        Unfortunately, these siloed solutions don’t talk to one another. This has led to a fragmented care experience, not only between the virtual and physical care delivery models, but among virtual care solutions. 

        For HR leaders seeking solutions, things have gotten complicated. The average number of virtual care offerings in a benefits package grew from one in 2011 to five or more in 2021. These solutions don’t talk to each other, don’t work on similar platforms, and may not use the same measures of success. 

        That means that, though employees may have more accessible benefits than ever before, they have to juggle five more websites, apps, or services to navigate their benefits. Employees who need care might need to navigate to an insurance site to find a provider, download an app to access Virtual Urgent Care, or call their TPA for information about billing. To find high-value care — care that balances cost and quality and leads to positive health outcomes — they must deeply understand all their benefits. And we know they don’t: in our 2021 Employee Benefits Insights Report, 40% of employer-insured respondents told us they’d delayed or avoided care over the last year because they were unsure what was covered. 

        Without navigation support that connects all their benefits, employees are left in the dark.

        What Is a “Connected Healthcare Navigation Platform?” 

        So, how does a connected healthcare navigation platform align with the concept of connected care?

        For one, it connects the dots between employees and their company-provided healthcare benefits, including virtual care. As the number of virtual care offerings grows, so does the level of complication employees must juggle. The alternative is a single, connected platform that works as a “front door” for all their healthcare needs — both virtual, and in-person. By integrating with a company’s healthcare benefits, including virtual care vendors, pharmacy discount plans, wellness programs, financial benefits, mental healthcare, and more, a connected healthcare navigation platform engages employees, pushes them toward high-value care, and links them with everything they need to see improved health outcomes.

        A connected healthcare navigation platform also creates a connection between HR and employees. In our 2021 State of the Benefits Experience Report, HR professionals told us they spend an average of nine hours per week — nearly 468 hours per year — answering benefits questions. It’s an enormous investment of time and resources, and yet employee understanding remains low. A connected healthcare navigation platform improves communication and provides support for employee questions. When it’s enabled with communication tools like custom messages and push notifications, it helps HR reach their people with timely reminders and announcements. When they have questions, they can connect to live support and expert help on the platform, rather than bringing billing questions or provider needs to HR’s desk. That time savings means HR can focus on what matters most: their people. 

        For self-funded companies, connected outreach opens the door to an even deeper level of integration using data available to third-party administrators (TPAs). A connected healthcare navigation platform that integrates TPA data can proactively reach employees who might be planning for a costly healthcare event and redirect them to high-value care — saving a company money while delivering better care.

        In short, a connected navigation platform surfaces the right benefits at the right moment in the employees’ healthcare journey to positively influence healthcare costs and outcomes. 

        How Does HealthJoy Work?

        HealthJoy is a connected healthcare navigation platform simplifying the process of being healthy and well. Our mobile application integrates with every benefit in your package, making them accessible through a single, connected and centralized platform. We also give employees access to healthcare concierge support and on-demand tools to help them find the high-value care they need when they need it. 

        When you connect to our expanding virtual clinical suite, you help employees access even more on-demand, virtual support. They can meet with a coach who provides virtual exercise therapy, chat with a healthcare provider after-hours, or schedule a virtual therapy session. These premium products are deeply connected to our core app experience, allowing for a seamless flow from our “front door” to high-value care. Our connected suite of virtual care products tightens the connection between employees and their healthcare, helping us pursue our mission of making it easier to be healthy and well.

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