UnitedHealth To Spend Tens of Million of Dollars with Cisco to Build Nationwide Telehealth Network
Posted Jul 11 2009 11:00pm
Not too long ago UnitedHealthCare announced the forming of their 24/7 physician web consultations program and is soliciting for physicians who want to earn extra money by doing on line consultations, and it appears now there’s more to invest to ensure this service can go everywhere, millions of dollars with Cisco to make sure everyone can have a web visit. Don’t get me wrong, I like the technology and what web meetings can do, but what about paying claims? What kind of company is this anymore?
Every physician I come across has very few kinds words to say about dealing with them as it is a headache. I would rather see the company pay claims and work more as a team player instead of going 100% towards business intelligence and I think we have lost our balance with technology being used in a fashion that denies people healthcare. Sure Cisco has the technology to do this, but wouldn’t something like this be better done in another fashion? I’m sure there’s money to be made to lease the agreements out to other insurers to use the network, such as the Ingenix data base service was so more money can be made in that effort too. Has the FTC granted approval for this? I guess we will know more next week after the scheduled news conference.
It does make one stop and think about who is running this country as of late it sure sounds like health insurance companies certainly have a stronghold since they have all the money made over the years and paying claims seems to be a second hand business. In retrospect it’s almost too bad that these folks with their huge reserves of cash didn’t step in to bail out their compadres also in the insurance business. I guess if it gets worse President Obama could always pull a Roosevelt like what was done with Schering back at the end of World War II and seize all the assets of the companies, but that’s pretty drastic but at the rate we are going things are not getting any better in a hurry and technology and use of algorithms for risk management decisions is running all over everyone, Congress and White House included. White House is making great efforts but Congress still seems to be so technology challenged and still living in the 70s.
If you happened to listen to Wendell Potter discuss with Bill Moyer about what happened to him, as he put it out there pretty blatantly as to what happens when you are on the inside as you are so caught up in the statistics and dollar reports, you forget that all those number represent humans, as what had happened to him over the years until he saw a taste of reality and asked “what country am I in” when watching all the volunteers take care of those who needed healthcare but could not afford it, in tents set up for the day. Perhaps United has the same goal as Blue Cross to be “carrier of choice for national accounts.” at any cost. BD
UnitedHealth Group Inc., a health insurance giant that operates in Colorado, is making another major foray into health information technology.
UnitedHealth plans to spend tens of millions of dollars on a partnership with Cisco Systems Inc. to build a nationwide “telehealth” network using Cisco video conferencing technology.
The goal is to provide patients in rural and underserved urban areas with real-time, remote doctor appointments. The technology in some cases will reach patients via 18-wheel trucks carrying videoconfering equipment.