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New York Blue Cross Blue Shield Begins Online Doctor Visits On Demand

Posted Jun 09 2010 3:17pm

Overall this is really a good technology for the use for patients who can use the system to have an online visit with a physician that is “in network” and part of the approved physician listing.  American Well provided the format and video portions of the software/web connection. 

I’m not sure how all their contracts are set up as another insurance carrier, United has been actively enrolling doctors to take calls as such to be within their network but in talking with a couple local doctors in southern California that I told about it, they said the compensation and all the provisions that came wit image h providing the service to patients was not worth their while as with a contract they had to also buy into the carrier basically “getting to far into their practice” was the word that one MD used, in other words, he didn’t need all the extra data as far as how he compared with peers, etc. and all the analytics they offered on how to improve his practice and saw the trade off as not for him.  

He thought it opened up a a big door for additional monitoring and judgments that he frankly didn’t want, nor had the time to even spend with it, so compensation versus participation went out the door with his evaluation to be an MD participant.  I don’t know how this situation is set up by the article states they need to be an approved MD within the system and every contract scenario is different today. 

It’s too bad all the other administrative nightmares as the one doctor put it comes along with a great service like this though and I guess when others wake up to the idea that their administrative and compliance efforts are prohibiting such service to thrive more, maybe things will change. 

The reality of good technology getting stifled in the quest for getting more dividends to the bottom line at time and useful technologies that could be benefiting many don’t get out there in a large enough number.  The program in Hawaii though, due to the fact that their insurance works so much differently than on the mainland seems to be moving along at a better clip.  BD

LAS VEGAS – BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York (BCBSWNY) and BlueShield of Northeastern New York (BSNENY) announced Wednesday the initial launch of Online Care NY, a new service which offers on-demand healthcare services to eligible members and employers.

Officials made the announcement at the American Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) industry conference in Las Vegas. The launch represents the completion of the service's 90-day operational implementation and begins its rollout, first to the payers' employees and charter physician group, on August 1. The plan member launch for Western New York will take place on September 1, with the Northeastern New York launch following by year-end 2010.

Online Care NY, powered by Boston-based American Well's telehealth technology, will enable eligible members to have immediate live encounters with credentialed physicians from the plans’ established provider networks. Patients can make these connections from their homes or workplaces at any time, by Internet or telephone.

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