Back in November I posted about American Well and the Blue Cross/Blue Shield collaboration in Hawaii and now it has expanded once more to OptumHealth, which is part of UnitedHealthCare and offers it’s own PHR (personal health record) for participants.
Also in April, American Well physician video services became available in Minnesota with Blue Cross.
Also, as a refresher, this information can be ported to the Microsoft HealthVault as well which was announced back in December 2008.
One added benefit here too 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 HealthVault. This program may be a little different and here I am referring to the normal features anyone can use with HealthVault related to sharing.
I was not familiar with what eSync was so I watched the video and the presentation. There’s a lot there and it takes a while to watch, but if you have the time it will discuss and focus on how physicians can save money and learn about using the “business intelligence” they have to offer, how you can analyze community statistics and be a better doctor for your community. We see this happening everywhere, hospitals, etc. all pushing business intelligence down to the already over burdened doctor to analyze and help become cost effective, so this is nothing new here. Through having all this information to analyze the hopes are to save money and create better decision making processes, if it doesn’t end up muddying the water too much in the process, as a physician may be members of more than one health plan, so to keep up with 4 or 5 of these, which is not uncommon here in California, it could end up being overkill, unless you put all your eggs in one basket, but nobody does that.
They are also getting the health coach consultants in the act, aka Utilization Managers to some extent here to help doctors make their decisions, so are 2 head better than one? If one is a clinician and the other is risk management focused? One more way to keep “cost” and not better healthcare in focus.
Back to the American Well video side of things, I think this is great as there are automated processes that bill for you and create a smooth interaction. With having a webcam, it makes for a better visit by all means, although it said it is not necessary. This part I like and frankly what patient would not like this convenience.
I am not sure on how this agreement works, but on the one in Hawaii, even uninsured individuals can use the service for a quoted fee deemed affordable. There will be a time when I think we won’t be able to live without a webcam (grin).
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