If you are a participating physician, you just log on and wait for the patients to connect, pretty simple on that end. Health plans pay American Well a license fee per member to use the software, as well as a transaction fee of about $2 a patient each time a patient sees a doctor. This system also files the claim for the physician and compensation is somewhere between an office visit and a phone consult, so somewhere in the middle of the 2.
Malpractice insurance is from our old friend from Wall Street, AIG for the site and for the most part the insurers are covering it as the charge is pretty small, or at least it is for the time being.
A webcam diagnosis is not for everyone, but I have posted along with many other bloggers about Jay Parkinson and the early success he had with consults via web cams and patients were happy! Uninsured patients will be able to use the service as well and you get 10 minutes of webcam time with the doctor.
One added benefit here too is the agreement with Microsoft HealthVault – share any records with the physician while connected with a webcam consult, so if you needed to reference a lab stored in the Vault, you can by sharing, and you can also share any documents you choose as well even when offline, but doing it while connected when there is a need sure will make in convenient. Shoot, for that matter if you have a device that does glucose or blood pressure readings you could connect the units via USB to your computer and share those as well through the Health Vault.
It appears there will be more forthcoming soon with feedback from Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Hawaii, since they have been the first to sign on for the service. Not having to do your own billing is one big plus and the screens appear very user friendly, so we all need to get out web cams going, physicians and patients! BD
Hospitals and delivery networks partner with American Well™ to extend their services into patients' homes and the community at large. Typically, hospitals and delivery networks grow by building new care and treatment facilities. With American Well, hospitals and delivery networks can engage patients in a broader geographic area, and allow their patients access to more physicians.
In the new healthcare marketplace, hospitals and delivery networks can:
- Expand their services and create a direct "retail" relationship with consumers
- Build a widely recognized brand
- Provide patients with convenient, high-quality care
- Strengthen recruiting message to physicians and build a broader physician network
- Offer delivery network physicians a flexible way to generate revenue
- Optimize physician schedules with an innovative mix of online and office visits
Consumers whose health plans use American Well will log on to their health plans’ Web sites to access the service. The first plan to sign on is Blue Cross Blue Shield of Hawaii, which starting in January will offer patients virtual visits with its doctors. Other states and health plans, yet to be announced, will also activate it in 2009.
American Well has formed a partnership with HealthVault, Microsoft’s electronic medical records service, so patients can get access to and share their medical information with doctors while using American Well.
Patients who are members of the health plan pay a co-pay, just like at the doctor’s office. Doctors hold 10-minute appointments, which can be extended for an optional fee, and can file prescriptions through the system. Uninsured patients can also use it, for a fee that the health plans choose but which will be less than $50, much less than a visit to the emergency room, which is where the uninsured often end up. Health plans pay American Well a license fee per member to use the software, as well as a transaction fee of about $2 a patient each time a patient sees a doctor.