Castlight’s mission to help make it as easy as humanly possible for everyone to navigate the healthcare landscape has never been more important. For the last several weeks, we have been working closely with our customers to understand the challenges they are facing as they respond to COVID-19 and provide meaningful support as we all work together to combat this disease.
Along the way, here is what we have learned for how we can best support individuals during this pandemic:
How to stay healthy and when to get care
The amount of information surrounding COVID-19 can be overwhelming, and it shifts constantly. Knowing which sources are the most up to date and accurate is a major challenge.
For instance, coronavirus-related inquiries are making up about a quarter of the searches on Castlight’s platform, which is why we created a resource center for users to house evidence-based information about COVID-19, employer communications and benefits information, and other materials to help users stay updated as the pandemic continues to evolve. Castlight will continue to add resources to this information hub to assist with COVID-19 response.
Castlight has also created a self-assessment tool (see image, left) that includes a symptom checker and care guidance for COVID-19. This tool asks users relevant questions and provides appropriate guidance, based on CDC policy, on whether to stay at home and self-monitor or seek care from a primary care provider, urgent care center, or the emergency room.
Additionally, our one-on-one high-touch service, Castlight Care Guides, provides human support for high-risk users so that they can navigate their health and find answers to their specific questions.
Where to seek care and availability of care resources
Castlight has created the first directory of COVID-19 testing sites (see image, right) to cover all fifty states, available on our corporate website free of charge to the public. It includes more than 1,300 testing sites, their contact information, and their requirements for seeking a test. We are continuously updating this resource.
With the high utilization of intensive care resources, there is a need for coordination among local public health officials and hospital administrators to support individuals with severe cases of coronavirus. Our new report found that more than a quarter—28.4 percent—of high-risk Americans would likely have challenges accessing critical care resources during the COVID-19 pandemic. Results of the study have been shared with local governments to inform plans for coordination of resources across areas of potential need. Castlight also shared heat maps with enterprise customers leveraging their own claims data to help identify hot spots in their employee communities, enabling these companies to prepare mitigation strategies for these vulnerable populations.
How much care costs
We have also released a cost analysis of typical services associated with seeking care for COVID-19. While the diagnostic test for COVID-19 will in most cases be provided at no cost, it is likely that other diagnostic tests will be needed to understand the severity of symptoms and rule out conditions like influenza and pneumonia. We found that costs for those tests vary widely, even within the same city. We also found that beginning the healthcare journey at the right site of care can save individuals money in the long run.
Enhanced search capabilities for accurate and up-to-date local information
Users who have performed a search related to COVID-19 in the Castlight platform will see a banner with information specific to their state about coronavirus testing, such as state-specific resources with URL and contact number, a link to the test site directory on Castlight’s corporate website, and a link to the COVID-19 resource center, so that they are well informed about state guidelines and have clear next steps.
We’re all in this together
To help support our customers during this difficult time, Castlight is making Community, an in-app social tool that engages employees, available at no additional cost.
Castlight is also proud to announce that users will be able to redeem the points they have earned within the app to donate to No Kid Hungry, an organization helping schools and community groups across the U.S. find new ways to feed the 20 million children who have lost access to their health meals due to recent school closings. Castlight now also offers UberEats, DoorDash and GrubHub gift cards in the Rewards Center, giving users the opportunity to order meal delivery and support local businesses.
As the battle against COVID-19 continues, we will work with our customers to implement benefits plan design changes, communicate important information to users, and support their employees and their families.