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Fallon Health


For months, the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the normal patterns of our professional and personal lives, and forced all of us in the business community to look at new ways of defining and achieving success. As we adapt, it’s essential to communicate openly and clearly—so all stakeholders understand how you’re managing the current situation and what steps you’re taking to anticipate and prepare for the possibilities on the horizon.

Communication initiatives

At Fallon, frequent updates have been a hallmark of how we’ve managed the crisis. We recognized early that this would be essential to mitigating the stress and uncertainty so many are feeling. For example, we’ve increased communications to our business partners, including insurance brokers, employers and health care providers.

We also launched “Operation Stay Connected.” I’m very proud of this organization-wide effort to call thousands of our subscribers to see how they’re doing. We’ve shared information by phone and letter on important topics, including telehealth coverage, COVID-19 treatment and testing, and early refills on prescriptions.

Care innovation

A health plan can have a positive influence on members’ decisions to seek the care they need, and we take that role seriously. To encourage members to keep up with their preventive care, we’re covering telehealth well visits along with medically necessary telehealth services with no copay. Continuing this type of care can help members manage chronic diseases, such as diabetes and asthma, or prevent potential future illness.

Different approaches to care have also figured into our Summit ElderCare program—a Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE). While our six PACE centers have stayed open, we moved much of the care, including clinical visits and social activities, into the community. Our providers, nurses and health aides have been seeing participants in their homes, dropping off medication, supplying activity packets and checking in by phone or video chat. We also temporarily transformed our PACE site at 288 Grove St., Worcester, into a 24/7 infirmary to care for eligible participants who tested positive for coronavirus, were actively symptomatic and needed sub-acute care.

Employee well-being

As an essential business, Fallon has been operating at full capacity throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. At the start of the crisis, we put safeguards in place for employees who couldn’t work from home and shifted more than 90% of our employees off-site. I’m proud of the resiliency our employees have shown—and their clear dedication to serving Fallon members and working toward the organization’s success. We’ll continue remote work arrangements while we make plans to have more of our workers return to the office, following federal, state and local health guidelines.

Our managers meet regularly with their teams via phone and video calls. We also want to make sure staff have time away from the “office” and gave them a paid day off in May. We know employees have different stressors now, and we are providing ongoing wellness resources and employee assistance programming to them.

Moving forward

As we begin on the path to a “new normal,” Fallon will continue to focus on connecting with members, providers and business partners regularly, and maintaining open communication with our employees. Together, we’ll move forward to the recovery that I know lies ahead.

Richard Burke
President and CEO
Fallon Health