Dermatology Services Now Available via Telehealth Technology to UnitedHealthcare Medicaid Beneficiaries in Hawaii

“Teledermatology” using online technology gives patients better access to care, and quicker diagnosis and treatment

HONOLULU--()--People enrolled in UnitedHealthcare’s Medicaid plan in Hawaii can now receive faster diagnosis and treatment of skin disorders using remote imaging and telemedicine technology.

Primary care physicians will be able to deliver more timely diagnosis and treatment through a new service that connects them to dermatologists online through a secure telemedicine application.

Using UnitedHealthcare’s new service, primary care physicians can capture digital images of the area of concern during the patient exam. They can then transmit the images to a dermatologist through a secure, online application using their computer, tablet or smartphone. This enables physicians to more quickly diagnose and treat skin disorders, benefiting patients – especially people who live in rural areas and lack access to dermatologists or other specialists. Patients can receive treatment faster, and save time and money.

“Sharing patient data and images remotely reduces the wait for real-time results, which can be critically important for patients – especially when it concerns conditions like skin cancer,” said Dr. Ron Fujimoto, chief medical officer of UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Hawaii.

Skin cancer and other skin-related issues are a significant concern in Hawaii due to constant sunshine and the state’s close proximity to the equator. The rate of new melanoma diagnoses in Maui, Hawaii and Kauai counties is higher than the national average; in Maui County, the rate is nearly double the national average. Although melanoma is not the most common type of skin cancer, it is the most deadly, responsible for about 75 percent of all deaths from skin cancer.1

For many people in Hawaii, the nearest dermatologist may be hours away. Arranging to see a specialist could take weeks to confirm an appointment and require additional time off work to travel to the appointment.

“Telemedicine now gives Medicaid beneficiaries in Hawaii access to more timely care and treatment,” said David Heywood, CEO of UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Hawaii, UnitedHealthcare’s Medicaid business in the state. “This technology helps save time and costs, and gives patients better access to care no matter where they live.”

UnitedHealthcare, a UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) company, is using telemedicine technology, care provider networks and benefit plan/reimbursement programs to improve access and health outcomes, and reduce costs. UnitedHealthcare offers a broad portfolio of telemedicine programs, including consumer-directed, telepsychiatry, remote home monitoring, specialty consultation and other services to assist care providers in evaluating their patients’ clinical needs.

UnitedHealthcare serves 235,000 people in Hawaii with a network of 23 hospitals and more than 5,700 physicians and other care providers statewide.

About UnitedHealthcare
UnitedHealthcare is dedicated to helping people nationwide live healthier lives by simplifying the health care experience, meeting consumer health and wellness needs, and sustaining trusted relationships with care providers. The company offers the full spectrum of health benefit programs for individuals, employers, military service members, retirees and their families, and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and contracts directly with more than 800,000 physicians and care professionals, and 6,000 hospitals and other care facilities nationwide. UnitedHealthcare is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), a diversified Fortune 50 health and well-being company. For more information, visit UnitedHealthcare at or follow @myUHC on Twitter.


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Molly McMillen, 612-353-7778


Molly McMillen, 612-353-7778