Evolving Women+ Healthcare with Virtual Primary Care
March 14, 2023
First Stop Health
A recent Kaiser Family Foundation survey found that 29% of women had a doctor dismiss their health concerns in the past two years.1 Nearly 1 in 10 women also reported they’ve faced discrimination based on their age, gender, race, sexual orientation or other personal characteristics in previous healthcare visits. 1 in 5 women shared that it’s difficult to find a doctor who explains things in a way that is easy to understand.
As this study also found that women are more likely to report negative healthcare experiences with providers, it’s crucial to provide Women+ employees with access to trusted, value-based healthcare. Virtual primary care is one such solution. It can be an important medical home for Women+ populations by developing a strong clinical protocol for the unique health journeys of Women+ individuals. Virtual primary care expands access to clinically and culturally competent doctors who are rigorously trained, board-certified and appropriately licensed.
Women+ Health – An Important Focus Area for Employee Benefits
Women+ health is a key area of focus for employers. According to the US Department of Labor, the labor force is becoming “more diverse, older and more female.” Women+ individuals have a “leading role in the majority of families’ health care” and utilize more healthcare than men.2 Women+ individuals also utilize virtual care at a higher rate than men, according to the CDC.3
Because women now comprise nearly 58% of the U.S. workforce, employers are increasingly investing in more robust benefits related to Women+ health and wellbeing.4 Examples include longer paid parental leave, fertility coverage in major medical plans and digital health solutions that can support Women+ health in virtual settings.
How Virtual Primary Care Supports Women+ Health
Virtual primary care doctors play an integral part in access to affordable general care. Patients who develop a relationship with a virtual primary care doctor will receive tailored clinical guidance to help guide them through their unique healthcare journeys. Doctors also help navigate age- and gender-appropriate screenings and coordinate care received from specialists, including gynecologists or endocrinologists.
Virtual primary care aligns age- and gender-based screenings as recommended by the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF). USPSTF recommendations are proven to boost preventive screenings which are crucial to tracking overall health.5 As a result of the pandemic, overall preventive screenings have decreased, and virtual primary care can help reverse this decline with appropriate referrals and care coordination based on USPSTF guidelines.
Women+ health conditions that virtual PCPs can treat include but are not limited to:
UTIs (Urinary Tract Infection), Yeast Infections, BV and STIs
Other menstrual and sexual health conditions
Contraception management and family planning
Uncomplicated perimenopausal and menopausal guidance, i.e. (HRT)
Screenings and support for domestic violence and safety
Screenings and support for anxiety and depression
Nutrition, weight and metabolic disorder
Polycystic ovary syndrome
Hypertension and high cholesterol
Heart disease risk assessment
Guidance for self- screenings, including breast examinations
Women+ health services that virtual PCPs can help coordinate:
Pap smears and HPV testing
HIV and other STI testing
Bone density scans
Routine and diagnostic mammograms
Specialist referrals for reproductive oncologists, rheumatologists, endocrinologists, gynecologists and other types of providers
Other age- and gender-based screenings recommended by the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF)
First Stop Health (FSH) Virtual Care
FSH virtual care solutions are comprised of Primary Care,Urgent Care and Mental Health, and deliver patient-first care to members where and when they need it. Virtual Primary Care connects members to doctors in less than 5 days on average. It consists of urgent, preventive and chronic care to help coordinate and manage the many touchpoints of members’ healthcare journeys. With Virtual Urgent Care (Telemedicine), members have access to 24/7 urgent care for episodic health concerns. Virtual Mental Health provides counseling to members, and in conjunction with Virtual Primary Care guidance and medication management, leads to better whole-person health. Our digital-first approach expands access to healthcare for our members and provides care that people love.®