Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Big Insurers Pay for Online Doctor Visits


clipped from blogs.wsj.com
Doctors are finally starting to get compensated for online consultations with patients, but whether the practice will catch on is another story.
Aetna recently took a three-state pilot project nationwide, and Cigna plans to start paying for Web visits next year, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
Both companies contract with RelayHealth
Patients typically pay the same co-pay whether they go to the doctor or have a Web consult. Insurers pay doctors less for the Web consult — typically $25 to $35, according to the Inquirer.

But Lisa Rankin, a Florida doctor who has been using Web visits for a while, said they can substitute for simple questions that might otherwise be answered over the phone — and not reimbursed by insurance. “There definitely is a nice niche for it,” she told the Inquirer.

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