News and Information

March 8, 2011

Franciscan Offers After-hours Virtual House Calls For Employees

Franciscan Health System announced today that it has partnered with Carena, Inc. to provide Franciscan employees access to after-hours medical advice and treatment for minor illnesses and injuries with Virtual House CallsSM and In-Home Care.

The program, called Franciscan Anytime, delivers care by telephone, webcam or in-person with a house call – and saves employees money at the same time.

Franciscan’s benefit-eligible employees in Pierce, King and Kitsap counties who need after-hours medical attention can contact Franciscan Anytime to speak with board-certified Carena nurse practitioners who assess, diagnose and provide the most appropriate treatment options available.

A range of issues can be addressed during a virtual house call via phone or webcam. When necessary, prescriptions are called in to the nearest pharmacy for the employee to pick up. For more-serious medical concerns that do not require a visit to a hospital emergency department or urgent-care clinic, an in-person house call to the employee’s residence is an option.

Following all Franciscan Anytime encounters, medical records are electronically transferred to the patient’s primary care provider.

"Franciscan Anytime reflects our ongoing commitment to providing our employees with the best benefit options available," said Franciscan Chief Operating Officer Cliff Robertson, MD. "With health care costs on the rise, Franciscan Anytime offers our employees a lower cost, higher quality after-hours care solution than a trip to the emergency room.

"The time is right for this important, additional benefit for members of the Franciscan family," he added. "Our employees are our organization’s most valuable resource."

Employees’ out-of-pocket co-payments for Franciscan Anytime visits are a fraction of the cost of a typical trip to a hospital emergency department where visits can cost hundreds of dollars. Through this partnership, Franciscan and Carena are ensuring that employees of the health system receive cost-effective care and that their primary care providers remain connected with their patients’ overall health.

"We are proud to partner with Franciscan Health System and to improve access to care, filling the gaps in care that add avoidable costs," said Carena President and CEO Ralph C. Derrickson. "We are excited by this first step with Franciscan and look forward to a partnership of innovation as we seek to provide the best health care possible."

Franciscan Anytime is the newest in an array of programs and benefits that the non-profit, self-insured Franciscan Health System offers its 8,100 employees to help them lead healthier lives and control medical costs. These offerings include CHI Healthy Spirit. In this program, Franciscan and Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI), the national organization that Franciscan is a part of, provide printed and online resources that offer employees a wealth of information about preventive care, disease management, and other tips for physical, mental and spiritual well-being.

Carena, Inc. is a team of medical, consumer service, and technology professionals committed to delivering the best health care experience possible. Carena provides health care solutions for self-insured organizations, health insurance companies, and health systems resulting in lower medical costs and high patient satisfaction. More information is available at

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