Press release

MetroPlus Health Plan to Receive Award for Launch of Vital 24/7 Telehealth Services Members in Midst of COVID-19 Pandemic

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MetroPlus Health Plan announced the health plan will be the recipient of a special Client Award from national telehealth leader Amwell®at that organization’s virtual Client Forum to be held today. The Client Forum brings together leading stakeholders across health systems, health plans, employers, innovators, and patients, and will recognize MetroPlusHealth with a “Pandemic Activation & Acceleration Award” for the health plan’s achievements in the midst of a public health crisis. Additionally, the telehealth launch is featured in an Amwell case study examining how the health plan and its telehealth partner combined forces to expand 24/7 digital healthcare access to hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers required to shelter in place.

MetroPlusHealth launched its new telehealth program in the middle of a pandemic to its more than 500,000 members, all of whom reside in New York City, the epicenter of the country’s COVID-19 crisis. On March 23, the Plan implemented its urgent care telehealth program, followed quickly by the implementation of its therapy and psychiatry programs on April 1. MetroPlusHealth expedited this rollout to provide critical access to care for its membership, which was greatly impacted by the pandemic. The health plan leveraged an innovative multichannel engagement campaign—which included email, direct mail, SMS text and IVR calls—to swiftly inform members of the new benefit available and provide education on how to utilize telehealth.

“When the COVID-19 pandemic hit New York, MetroPlusHealth rose to the challenge and was committed to doing everything possible to launch a telehealth program ahead of schedule in order to quickly provide care to members in the community who otherwise may not have access,” said Brendan Miller, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Health Plan Solutions, Amwell. “MetroPlusHealth also launched engagement campaigns to educate members on when and how to use telehealth to safely access care and drive patients online. We’re proud to partner with such an innovative health plan who is so dedicated to serving its community.”

“Facing what we now hope was the worst of the COVID-19 outbreak in New York City, it was more critical than ever to help our members – over half a million New Yorkers – connect with a medical professional while still maintaining social distancing,” said Talya Schwartz, MD, President and Chief Executive Officer of MetroPlusHealth. “We were driven to provide this 24/7 service at a time of crisis, but our telehealth program will continue to help connect our members, providers, and staff, enabling them to easily and more quickly share information and address immediate health needs.”

Expanding 24/7 access to telehealth services to its members was one of numerous ways MetroPlusHealth met the many challenges presented by the COVID-19 crisis, including:

  • launching new member and provider websites to radically improve online engagement, enabling members and providers to interact remotely more efficiently with the Plan,
  • outreaching to over 80,000 of the Plan’s most at-risk members with an interactive texting campaign to connect them to medical, social, unemployment, and housing services,
  • delivering food and safety packages to thousands of the Plan’s most vulnerable members,
  • conducting ongoing telephonic outreach to help manage members’ chronic conditions,
  • texting access to important COVID-19 information to members to keep them informed throughout the crisis.

To learn more about MetroPlusHealth’s telehealth launch and how the health plan and its telehealth partner successfully enrolled members in the new program during the pandemic, read Amwell’s case study here.

About MetroPlusHealth

Since 1985, MetroPlus Health Plan has built a reputation for providing access to affordable, quality health care to residents across New York City. A wholly-owned subsidiary of NYC Health + Hospitals, the nation’s largest public health system, MetroPlusHealth is the plan of choice for over half a million New Yorkers and has a five-star rating based on the State’s 2018 Consumer’s Guide to Medicaid and Child Health Plus Managed Care Plans in New York City. The health plan’s robust network of primary care doctors and specialists includes many independent community providers. Culturally sensitive, and fluent in more than 40 languages, MetroPlusHealth’s staff is as diverse as the great city it serves. For more information about MetroPlusHealth plans, benefits, and services, visit and join the conversation at and twitter @metroplushealth.