|[December 21, 2012]
The Doctor Will See you Now…On Your Computer
WOODLAND HILLS, Calif. --(Business Wire)--
Anthem Blue Cross members will soon have a more convenient way to see a
doctor for non-emergency needs when their own doctor is not readily
available. By accessing the new LiveHealth Online service, at livehealthonline.com,
via computer, members can choose a doctor and address their health
issues live via two-way video.
This new online care service, LiveHealth Online, will launch in the
first quarter of 2013 initially to small and large-group fully-insured
customers and self-funded national employers. Doctors will offer members
live consultations from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily, including holidays.
"The LiveHealth Online care solution offers a secure means of reaching
board-certified primary care doctors on demand, especially when
consumers find it inconvenient to leave work or home and go to a
doctor's office," said Pam Kehaly, president of Anthem Blue Cross. "Our
members and employer groups are telling us now, more than ever, that
they need access, convenience and affordability in health care.
LiveHealth Online is one of several ways we are able to respond to and
meet their needs."
Online care, for non-urgent medical conditions, is more convenient,
accessible and affordable than a visit to the emergency room or an
urgent care clinic. Members can initiate online encounters from their
home or workplace at any time, via live audio/video and secure chat
through a computer. Patients use online care typically to communicate
with a doctor about colds, aches, sore throats, allergies, infections as
well as wellness and nutrition advice. A complete record of each
encounter is crated, and with the patient's permission, can be
forwarded to their primary care doctor -- supporting continuity of care
and collaboration among providers.
"LiveHealth Online represents a true shift in healthcare delivery by
using technology to make healthcare easier and more consumer friendly,"
said Dr. Roy Schoenberg, president and CEO of American Well, which
provides the technology powering LiveHealth Online, "At this critical
juncture in our nation's healthcare transformation, Anthem is taking a
lead in improving access to care and bringing a better healthcare
experience to its members."
Telehealth is an accepted mode of health communication, especially in
rural areas where many people have to drive hours to visit a doctor. A
November 2012 study from the University of Pittsburgh published in the
Journal of the American Medical Association showed that e-visits-using
e-mail and electronic patient health records only-had similar outcomes
to in-person visits for treating sinus and urinary tract infections.
As doctors participate in accountable care organizations and
patient-centered medical homes, LiveHealth Online can offer their
patients an alternative to unnecessary and costly ER and urgent care
visits. It can also lessen the burden on primary care doctors who are
increasingly feeling the pressure from the growing doctor shortage. The
Association of American Medical Colleges estimates that in 2015, the
country will have 62,900 fewer doctors than needed.
LHO is offered through UniCare and powered by American Well, which are
About Anthem Blue Cross
Anthem Blue Cross is the trade name of Blue Cross of California.
Anthem Blue Cross and Anthem Blue Cross Life and Health Insurance
Company are independent licensees of the Blue Cross Association. ®
ANTHEM is a registered trademark of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc.
The Blue Cross names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue
Cross Association. Also follow us on Twitter (News - Alert) at www.twitter.com/healthjoinin,
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About American Well
American Well™ brings healthcare into the homes and workplaces of
patients. Its Online Care Suite is the industry's leading telehealth
solution, connecting providers and patients for live, immediate, and
clinically meaningful encounters using the Web or phone. With its
patented technology, the Online Care Suite removes traditional barriers
to healthcare access - such as geography, mobility, and time constraints
- while enabling providers to deliver quality care in a flexible,
convenient manner, generating revenue along the way.
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