Sunday, June 22, 2008

Health Blog : The Doctor Will See You on the Webcam Now

Health Blog : The Doctor Will See You on the Webcam Now: "American Well sounds like a company that’s selling doctor visits via webcam. But Roy Schoenberg, the CEO, tells us we don’t get it.

“The fact that you can engage in a Web video chat with a provider is a nice exercise, but it’s not the fundamental offering of the system,” is how he put it in a recent conversation.

The company’s big idea is more ambitious: A patient who wants an online doctor consult can log on and get something approaching a complete doctor visit, often without waiting. The doc can review the patient’s record, make a diagnosis, write a prescription and make a referral, all online. Patients without a webcam can talk to the doctor on the phone.

The company’s business model is to partner with insurers, who agree to reimburse in-network doctors for patient e-visits. Docs who choose to work with American Well can sign on whenever they want and see patients who are looking for an online visit

The visits are reimbursed through relatively new standardized billing codes that allow docs to get paid for electronic visits. The insurer pays the doc, and American Well takes a cut. The company also charges an up-front licensing fee.

Doctors make about $40 for a 10 minute consult. The rate can vary — specialists may cost more, and the price may rise after hours or if a patient wants an immediate consult rather than wait a few hours. It’s up to the insurer to set the parameters on what’s reimbursed and what the patient pays out of pocket, but the basic idea is for patients to be on the hook for their regular co-pay."

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the information on how this company sorts of use a webcam to give pateints cunsult. That's very interesting!!!

    We recently wrote an article on curbiside consulting at Brain Blogger. A "curbside consult" is when a doctor asks another for an unofficial consult, or when a a friend or stranger asks a doctor for his opinion. But where do you draw the line; is it right to give a complete stranger a diagnosis on a few symptoms?

    We would like to read your comments on our article. Thank you.



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