Patients who use the pilot program will have no co-pays the article states. The e-visits consist of emailing the doctors and patients need to be members insured by Blue Cross/Blue Shield. The program can also be used to schedule appointments with doctors, request prescription refills and find out test results. This doesn’t appear to be a web cam type of visit, but more or less a follow up of visits made at the doctor’s office.
The future seems to be that you will email your doctor and he will respond as we see more of these types of programs coming online. No mention on the compensation for the physician here for e-visits which has been a hot topic as it does take time just as a face to face visit does. BD
BANGOR, ME – Physicians in Maine are piloting electronic visits with their patients as part of a program developed between Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems (EMHS) and Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Maine.
The initial phase of the program will allow physicians at selected primary care practices at Eastern Maine Medical Center (EMMC) in Bangor and The Aroostook Medical Center (TAMC) in Presque Isle to conduct "e-visits" with their patients who are Anthem members. The program will also allow Anthem members to send health related messages and questions and communicate via email with their doctors about non-emergent issues, in addition to scheduling appointments, checking on test results, or requesting prescription refills.
"In addition to the added convenience," Liscomb said, "members who choose to use the pilot will not have co-pays."
EMMC and TAMC - both members of EMHS - are also participating in a similar pilot with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Sabbagh said EMHS staff has worked hard to develop a number of protocols to ensure the interactions are both secure and appropriate to a patient's treatment plan.