Patient encounters in cyberspace
Morgan Lewis, Jr. at Medical Economics reports on online patient visits:
HMSA, a Blue Cross Blue Shield Association licensee [operating in Hawaii], announced in June it would be the first commercial health insurer in the U.S. to offer the American Well service to its members. The member pays a $10 co-pay for the 10-minute maximum online visit and the physician receives $35 fee, with $10 deducted for American Well’s malpractice coverage and administrative costs. Online visits must last at least three minutes in order for the doctor to earn the fee, Sussman says, and the patient must be the one to end the call. The encounters can occur on a web camera, over the phone or through a text chat.
We’ll see how this works out. I’m a little skeptical about patient encounters without a physical exam.