imageOffice Ally and Blue Shield are now working together to supply the electronic road map that will allow patients to communicate securely with their physicians on the internet.  Patient Ally, the PHR web based personal health records system is the vehicle from Office Ally that supplies the secured connections and the link. 
You can read the information below in the communication set to go out to all current participants who have been using Relay Health from McKesson for this purpose.  Patients will still be able to use Relay Health without change, but the visit will not be covered under an “E-Health”visit.   We are starting to hear more and more about compensating physicians for their time spent with following up and consults using technology today.  Not too imagelong ago I posted about Office Ally receiving their accreditation for privacy and HIPAA compliance.

Office Ally Receives Electronic Health Network Accreditation – Privacy and HIPPA Compliance

Back in November Office Ally introduced “Patient Ally’ the PHR (personal health records) website for patients.  All of Office Ally’s web based  modules coordinate and talk with each other, thus allowing a full stream of information to be shared.  With Patient Ally, all medical records are stored with Office Ally on their servers, something you need to inquire about today, know where your records are stored.  I have used the PHR myself to set up records as when speaking about software, you need to experience it yourself and it is pretty straight forward.

Office Ally Adds More Connectivity for Physicians and Patients – EHR and PHR Web Based Services

The big reason of course here too is too look at what the new contract with Blue Shield entails here both for the patients and physicians with the clarification of “E-Visits” being covered.  One thing I do have to say from personal experience is that they still provide real people to help you out.  I do some billing and use their Practice Mate billing software and have had to call on a couple issues with claim related questions and the help is right there and is free.  image
You can follow Office_Ally on Twitter for additional updates. 
Under "Physician’s Resources” column on the right hand side of this site for the main site you can read up on the free clearinghouse services they offer for MDs and hospitals across the US. 
Below is the notification being sent this week to notify patient of the change.  Again, anyone can sign up at a patient though and you don’t have to be with Blue Shield to set up your PHR.  Will stay on top of any more news for future developments here.  The E-Visits are on the way.  BD 
The following is an advertisement for Blue Shield of California

Thank you for entrusting us with providing you access to quality coverage. Our records indicate that you are registered to use RelayHealth for communicating with your Personal Physicians online.
In an effort to expand this service to more members and physicians, we are changing our vendor for this service from RelayHealth to Office Ally effective January 1, 2010. Like RelayHealth, Office Ally offers online communications services for physicians and patients.
You may continue to use most of the features available to you via RelayHealth, including making appointments and getting prescriptions through a participating physician. However, to receive coverage for an E-Visit (Internet-based consultations) please register with Office Ally's patient website, Patient Ally. Your Personal Physician must also register with Office Ally. E-Visits through RelayHealth will no longer be covered effective January 1, 2010.
You can register and learn more about the Office Ally service by visiting or calling (888) 747-4255.
If you have any questions about the change, or about your benefits for this service, please call a Member Services representative at the phone number listed on your Blue Shield ID card. We apologize for any inconvenience this change causes you or your Personal Physician.
Thank you for being a Blue Shield member.

If you no longer wish to receive emails from Blue Shield of California, you can unsubscribe by sending a blank email - no need to fill in the subject line.
Blue Shield of California, 50 Beale St., San Francisco, CA 94105.
Blue Shield of California is an independent member of the Blue Shield Association. Blue Shield® and the Shield Symbol are registered marks of the BlueCross BlueShield Association, an Association of Independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans.


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