Health insurer to reimburse doctors for Web visits

By Molly Merrill
09:55 AM

A regional not-for-profit health insurer serving New York, Vermont and New Hampshire will reimburse physicians for online consults.

Officials at Schenectady, N.Y.-based MPV Health Care say they will reimburse more than 22,0000 physicians who use RelayHealth's webVisit consultations in most of its benefit plans.

MVP Health Care has partnered with Mohawk Valley Medical Associates (MVMA) an independent physician association also based in Schenectady, to offer physicians immediate reimbursement and subsidies to defray deployment expenses.

"We're partnering with MVMA to identify the best early adopters," said Jerry Salkowe, MD, MVP's vice president for quality improvement. "Our goal is to identify 200 physicians, and we plan to find at least 50 more in different markets who will actively use webVisit consultations. So far, physician feedback is enthusiastic because RelayHealth is very easy to implement and will complement their electronic health records. We expect online connectivity will be very well received in all of our markets."

Atlanta-based RelayHealth, the healthcare connectivity subsidiary of McKesson, also offers results management, personal health record (PHR), requests for appointment scheduling and referrals, patient health education and electronic prescribing.

"We are honored to be working with MVP Health Care in support of their strategy to use technology as a means to facilitate health information exchange between its members and their physicians," said Jim Bodenbender, president of RelayHealth's Consumer and Provider Solutions group. "Our goal is to help MVP members and participating health professionals enhance overall efficiencies and patient care as well as physician and patient satisfaction."