If you are experiencing any gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms or already have an established diagnosis, you may benefit from easy access to a specialized GI care team. No one likes the discomfort, stress, and anxiety of having pain, nausea, or other GI symptoms. We understand how difficult it can be to be nervous about what you eat or making sure there is always a restroom nearby. Having your own dedicated GI care team will help provide you with the assurance that your wellbeing is the number one priority, that your questions will be answered, and that your symptoms will be diagnosed and treated by a team of US-based, board-certified, GI specialists (including nurse practitioners and gastroenterologists).
Here’s what you can expect to receive with your Oshi Health as part of this program:
- Access to highly qualified care team members, including GI-specialized Nurse Practitioners, Gastroenterologists, Registered Dietitians, Psychologists and GI Health Coaches, all working together to deliver integrated care aimed at helping you achieve symptom control
- GI Health Coaches to help you implement lifestyle changes, in accordance with your care plan, with the goal of helping improve your symptoms
- The ease and convenience of using telehealth. Have video visits from the comfort of your home or office, after-hours, and on weekends. Enjoy convenient in-app messaging with your care team.
- Convenient access to prescription medications and diagnostic tests (including labs, imaging, and procedures) if deemed necessary by your care team
- Personalized care plans and educational content that is tailored to your health goals and lifestyle preferences
- Access to a care coordinator to help you navigate your health journey, including medical record retrieval, external referrals, and procedural needs
This program is nine (9) months long, starting from the date of your first virtual appointment with Oshi Health.
To be eligible, you must be:
- 18 –64 years of age
- A UnitedHealth Care member residing in Pennsylvania, Texas or Florida
- Diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) and/or experiencing gut symptoms such as constipation, abdominal pain, bloating, or diarrhea.
You can tell family and friends about this program if you think they might benefit from it; however, they will still need to meet the above eligibility criteria.
To participate, you must:
- Have access to a cell phone which can download and use the mobile Oshi Health application
- Be willing to discuss your health conditions with a virtual provider, which might be a nurse practitioner, physician, psychologist, dietitian, or health coach
- Have access to transportation should lab tests or physical exams be needed
- Be willing to answer surveys sent monthly to your cell phone through the Oshi Health application
You are free to leave the program at any time for any reason you wish.
No. If you are enrolled in the program, you will not need to pay for any services you receive through Oshi Health (including virtual visits, symptom tracking, instant messaging with care providers, etc.) for the duration of the 9-month program. If you receive care outside of Oshi Health, such as necessary lab tests, in-person physical exams, or medications from your pharmacy, your standard insurance copays or deductibles will apply.
Can my GI Provider prescribe medications and order lab tests or diagnostics?Yes, your Oshi Health GI Provider can prescribe medications, just like any other medical practice. Your GI Provider can also order labs, radiological imaging studies, and order studies when necessary.
What if I need in-person care?For many patients, telehealth will be enough to handle their needs. Through telehealth, your providers can order medications, labs, imaging, or other diagnostic tests. There are some cases where in-person care is required for patient safety. In this case, Oshi Health will help you make an appointment for that specific need. Patient safety is our top priority.
I already have a [gastroenterologist, psychologist, etc.], so can I just work with a [psychologist, dietitian, etc.]?Yes, Oshi Health provides additional support beyond traditional GI practices. We can share records with your existing clinician(s) to support ongoing care.
What is the difference between virtual and in-person care?Oshi Health believes people suffering from digestive health issues should not have to wait to see a specialist and should have access to an integrated care team in one place. We built our model to be digital-first, to ensure that members have quick, convenient access to a GI-specialized care team when they need it. In situations where an in-person procedure is required, our care coordinators will work to identify a local provider and help schedule your appointment.
What type of healthcare professionals will I work with?
- Your US-based care team includes board-certified physicians and nurse practitioners, registered dietitians, licensed psychologists, and health coaches. The entire care team is specialized in GI care and works together to deliver coordinated care.
- Too often, traditional GI clinics require you to schedule and coordinate appointments with various offices (dietitians, psychologists, etc.). This can be difficult, especially when you aren’t feeling your best. Our dedicated team of GI-specialized professionals work together to take the burden off you, so you can focus on your health and achieving your healthcare goals. Your Oshi care coordinator will help you navigate the telehealth experience from Oshi Health and can also help coordinate in-person care when needed.
What is a Gastroenterologist?Your Gastroenterologists are board-certified physicians with dedicated specialty training in the management of diseases of the gastrointestinal tract and liver. Their training includes conditions such as colon polyps and cancer, hepatitis, gastroesophageal reflux (heartburn), peptic ulcer disease, colitis, gallbladder and biliary tract disease, nutritional problems, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), and pancreatitis. After medical school, Gastroenterologists complete a three-year residency in Internal Medicine and then an additional three-year fellowship (specialty training) in Gastroenterology. Gastroenterology fellowship is a highly competitive and rigorous program in which trainees learn directly from nationally recognized experts in the field. They learn to treat and diagnose a broad range of conditions and receive dedicated training in endoscopic procedures. Your gastroenterologists have completed their training in the United States and are board-certified from their perspective organizations. (description adapted from the American College of Gastroenterology).
What is a GI Provider?Your GI Provider is a licensed professional with specialized training and significant experience in caring for patients with GI conditions. After nursing school, they completed an additional advanced degree followed by experiential training in Gastroenterology. Your GI Provider is trained and based in the United States and has undergone further extensive training at Oshi Health on how to incorporate dietetics, psychology, and health coaching into your management plan. Your GI Provider works alongside the gastroenterologist to provide high-quality care that is timely and personalized.
What is a GI Registered Dietitian (RD)?For many patients with GI conditions, dietary intervention plays a critical role in the GI care plan. As an Oshi Health member, you may work with a Registered Dietitian (RD) who is an expert in nutritional care with extensive knowledge in GI and digestive health. He or she will provide tailored dietary advice to help you identify foods that trigger your symptoms, and generally, help with finding the right foods that work for you. Your Registered Dietitians are US-licensed, hold nationally recognized certifications from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and have completed accredited, supervised practice programs. The dietitians at Oshi Health take this training one step further by undergoing sub-specialized training in GI.
What can I expect from my appointments with my Registered Dietitian?Your RD will most likely ask you to keep a regular journal of your symptoms, lifestyle habits, and diet. Together, you’ll explore the nuances of your specific condition to help define a care plan that meets your individual needs. You and your RD will review and discuss your current diet and gauge whether it’s working for you, as well as what potential adjustments you might make to prevent or alleviate your GI-related symptoms.
What is a GI Psychologist?
- A psychologist is a certified medical professional who studies the mind and behavior. Your psychologists are US-licensed and have a doctorate degree in psychology. They also complete post-doctoral training in medical modalities and further specialized training in how to apply these modalities to patients with GI symptoms.
- As the healthcare and GI community continue to learn more about gut health and the strong relationship between the gut and brain, we are seeing a greater need for incorporating psychological intervention—including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Psychodynamic Therapy, Hypnotherapy, Mindfulness, and other therapeutic modalities—as part of the total GI care plan. You will be able to address core mental health concerns like stress and anxiety that might be contributing to heightened symptoms, as well as learn how to cope with psychological concerns that might be brought on by your GI condition.
What can I expect from my appointments with my Psychologist?Your GI psychologist will work with you to determine which treatment approach is most appropriate for your specific case and communicate that approach to your broader care team. Your psychologist will help you manage your symptoms and provide you with specific strategies and techniques to do between sessions to maximize their effectiveness on the gut-brain connection.
What is a GI Health Coach?GI Health Coaches are specialized members of your care team who have expertise in behavior change and can help you manage your condition to lead a happier and healthier life. GI Health Coaches work with your care team to help you set lifestyle and behavior goals to improve your GI symptoms (such as sleeping better or managing stress more effectively). Your coach will meet regularly with your dietitian, psychologist, and medical team to understand what they recommend for your specific needs. Then, they will work with you to help implement those recommendations.
What can I expect when working with a GI Health Coach?
- The primary form of communication with your GI Health Coach will be in-app messaging, with an option to have a call when needed. Your coach will work closely with you to find the right resources, tips, and goals to optimize your GI care. You may be asked to keep a journal of your symptoms, lifestyle habits, and diet so that your coach (and the other members on your care team) can identify what adjustments may be necessary to improve your health and wellbeing. Your coach’s objective is to create reasonable tasks to make your overall GI care plan easier and more straightforward.
- While Health Coaches are equipped with extensive GI knowledge, they are not licensed, or responsible for giving you medical advice, prescribing treatments, ordering tests, or performing the work of a clinical professional.
What is a GI Care Coordinator?Your care coordinator will help you manage the logistics of care, while also supporting our internal clinical staff to ensure fluid coordination among the various professionals working on your team. We know that sharing your medical history, scheduling appointments, filling out insurance forms, navigating benefits/coverage of your health plan, and finding local test sites can be challenging. We’ve got you covered, and your care coordinator will help facilitate these tasks for you. Oshi Health’s care coordinators work only with GI patients and therefore understand the unique circumstance of GI care including endoscopy, infusions, GI medications, and symptoms.
Yes, you can choose to continue receiving care through Oshi Health after the 9-month program is completed! However, Optum Labs will no longer be paying for the membership or appointments. These services might not be covered by your insurance. Please reach out to your Oshi Health Care Coordinator to help determine your insurance coverage.
Protecting the privacy and security of your information is extremely important to us. All data collected during this program is stored on HIPAA-compliant systems in accordance with US law.
Optum Labs, part of UnitedHealth Group, is an innovative research organization working to solve healthcare’s greatest challenges. Optum Labs researchers use math, science, and clinical expertise to identify new ways to prevent, detect, and intercept disease.