Telemedicine, pharmacogenetics among services in Medcan’s new health program

Toronto-based health company Medcan is introducing a health benefits program that includes telemedicine, pharmacogenetics and online health modules.

More than 100 plan sponsors are currently using the program, which will continue to be rolled out to employers throughout 2018, according to the company’s president, Ashim Khemani. He notes it’s open to all employees, even though Medcan has typically tailored its offerings to executive staff.

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“Medcan’s focus on serving the executive population with personalized medicine, evidence-based medicine that is outcomes-focused and also driving behaviour change, we haven’t for a moment deviated from that,” says Khemani.

“We’ve continued to broaden and deepen that capability, but what we have done is leveraged the learning, the experience and by layering on a digital and virtual component to our offer, we’re now able to bring it to the entire employee population in a client’s organization and not just in a given market, but actually go coast to coast.”

The health program includes a web-based portal that allows physicians and employees to access medical records and tests; same-day and next-day booking for video or face-to-face appointments; and the ability to engage with health practitioners via telephone coaching, online health modules or metric tracking to achieve goals set by health professionals. It also includes services around genetics and pharmacogenomics in relation to weight management and nutrition, as well as fitness and mental health.

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Human resources software provider Ceridian HCM Inc. launched the health program for its employees in Canada and the United States. “It allows us to offer a digital, medical-first care approach to health and wellness, enhancing the employee experience for our people,” wrote Lisa Sterling, chief people and culture officer at Ceridian, in a statement to Benefits Canada.

Khemani says  there are currently three ways employers are offering the new program: as a core benefit, where some services are available as a core benefit and others are optional and where the whole program is available on an optional basis.

The first two models are the most common, adds Khemani, noting that where employees are paying out of pocket, they’re typically using health-care spending accounts or payroll deductions to cover the cost.

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